Oh how I do love Florence! Being the very heart of Tuscany, Florence is timeless architecture, infinite sights, and the best pizza in Italy.
Things I did and loved
- Head to the Duomo and just bask in its magnificence. No need to go in, just find a seat at a cafe nearby and bask.
- Ponte Vecchio is a walking bridge that’s loaded with jewelry shops and is just sorta unique.
- Buy leather. If you’re looking to buy leather anything (belts, purses, wallets), buy it here. Florence is stocked with street vendors, and you can get some killer deals if you barter right (hint: start your barter at half of what they initially offer and do not let it go above 75% of their initial offer).
- Go into a few churches and look up.
Things to eat
- PIZZA! Like I know, cliche. But no, if you could only eat pizza in one city in Italy, make it Florence. You’d be smart to make it one with arugula and gorgonzola. AND it’s usually the cheapest thing on the menu.
Getting around and out
- The main historical parts of Florence are within a pretty small area, so Florence itself is a pretty walkable city. If you drive, park your car in a lot somewhere and forget about it until you’re ready to leave.
- Look at a map and you’ll notice that Florence is kind of perfect if you want to go to the other two cities that make the Holy Trinity (Rome and Venice). It’ll take about 2 hours to get to Rome by train, and 2.5 hours to Venice.
Things to maybe just skip
- You’ll also see that Pisa is pretty dang close to Florence. But unless you’ve visited every other awesome city in Italy and literally have nothing else to do, then don’t go to Pisa. Because as you may have guessed, it’s really just a tower (though U.S. military base Camp Darby is over that way, providing cheap lodging and a beach for the military folks).
- The Statue of David…So yea it’s nice, it’s enormous, it’s beautiful. But it doesn’t need to be at the top of your priority list. And there’s a snappy ole lady who yells at you if you take a picture (but I took one anyway). Besides, there’s a full-sized replicate of the statue in the Piazza della Signoria where the original once stood (a.k.a. your Instagram followers won’t know the difference).
Oh and Florence = Firenze in Italian.