I really do love Florence. Firenze, as it’s really called in Italian, is the capital city of Tuscany. The whole region of Tuscany is a tourist draw for the wines and the picturesque landscapes… winding roads lined with Italian cypress trees, hill towns and villas scattered here and there.
Florence is a fitting capital for all this. It straddles the Arno River giving it a beautiful setting. It’s such a historic city…. Important since the Middle Ages, and powerful during the Renaissance. It’s full of museums and palaces and churches… but if you’re not into museums and churches, don’t let that scare you away.
This city is fun to wander in! The center of the city… the part that tourists want to see is so walkable… anyone can do it. If you get tired, there are plenty of outdoor cafes and restaurants where you can stop for a rest and refreshment.
Even if you’re not into museum crawls, Florence might convert you… The art is so great. Museums around every corner it seems… with an abundance of sculptures and paintings by names everyone has hear of.
You’ll want to spend some time in the Uffizi… see at least Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus”… not to mention all the other great works. Even the most museum weary will probably want to see Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia. Compare that with Donatello’s David in the Bargello.
You don’t necessarily have to spend tons of time in any of these museums, but I guarantee that if you go home without at least seeing the most famous pieces, you’ll be sorry you missed them. We have many more Italy Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.
(Both the Uffizi and the Accademia are popular museums, and they tend to have long lines. Make a reservation ahead, even by calling the day before, and you’ll save time. They do have operators that speak English and other languages besides Italian.)
Churches overflow with great art and tombs of the famous. The facade of the Duomo and the Baptistry provide a stunning centerpiece for the city. Walk Via de Calzaioli, the pedestrian street, from the Duomo to the to the Piazza della Signoria to enjoy the open air sculptures, and sit in a sidewalk cafe to watch the crowds.
Browse the stores that line the Pont Vecchio. The current bridge dates from 1345, and there have been stores on the bridge since that time… in the 16th century there was a decree that only goldsmiths and jewelers could have stores there, so it’s a fun place for window shopping.
The Pitti Palace, across the Arno, also has great art, furniture in the Royal Apartments, and has silver, porcelain and exhibits of historical fashion in the Costume Gallery. The Boboli Gardens that are adjacent to the Pitti Palace will give you a nice outdoor green space to wander in, and views of Florence and the Duomo.
You can find great food on the squares or down side streets, in osterias, in sidewalk cafes, and of course in many restaurants. Remember, you’ve got to save room for gelato…. can’t forget that! So many gelaterias to choose from, and so many flavors! Makes you glad for all that walking to burn the calories!
The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some say it is the best preserved Renaissance city if the world. Whatever takes you to Florence, you’ll be glad you got there. We have many more Italy Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.