Florence would have to be one of the most likeable cities in Italy. It’s rich in culture and history, it’s beautiful and it’s compact. There really is something for everyone. It’s the kind of place where you could whizz through it and see most of the sights in a day or two, yet you could also spend seven days there and definitely not get bored. We spent four days and for us it was a good amount. Here are some of my favourite things we did:
Piazzale Michelangelo: coming here at sunset is ideal for both good views and fun atmosphere. We came up here on our first night and although we missed sunset, the views were still impressive and the Piazzale was alive with entertainment. One of my must dos here!
Walking tour: ours was self conducted, but we made sure to see the main sights including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s museum, Santo Spirito (which is the area we stayed) and the Palazzo Vecchio. This time I didn’t pay to go in/up any of the attractions but you can score some neat views if you do. For all museums I’d book online if possible.
Boboli Gardens: we actually spent almost a whole day here. It cost €10 to get in, so we took and a picnic and blanket and after we had explored the grounds we found ourselves a shady leafy spot with a good view and settled in for the afternoon. It was a really relaxing day and also refreshing to spend some time in so much greenery. The gardens themselves are not particularly rich in flora variants, just as a heads up.
Day trips: Florence is such a good base for day trips around. We went to Pisa (separate blog post) and family members also went to Lucca and Siena. Both received really good reviews. As the gateway to Tuscany the options for day trips (and even over nighters) are endless and should definitely be considered.
Lastly, eating. Florence has a great foodie scene, from your typical pizzerias and aperitifs to yummy brunches, coffees and bakeries. Piazza Santo Spirito was an extremely vibrant area with lots of traditional osterias and trattorias. We also stopped in at s.forne and Mama’s Bakery, both scrumptious spots on our side of the river.
As expected, our time in Florence was lovely. Considerably hotter than anywhere I’d been to date, I was mighty pleased for the efficient air conditioning and swish apartment we’d chosen to stay in. Florence was also the place where I hugged my mama goodbye as she headed back to New Zealand – we’ll catch up with Jamie and Summer again in Split.