Chi non va non vede, chi non vede non sa e chi non sa se lo prende sempre in culo.
Is there a greater attestation to artistic endeavour than Florence? The birthplace of the Renaissance period, Florence is a city filled with churches, art, statues and beautiful facades at every corner – capable to offer many sight seeing, cultural and natural opportunities.
Though there’s never a bad time to visit Tuscany’s cultured and dense capital, it’s particularly alluring at this time of the year. Filled with an ocean of tourists of course, but with more breathing spaces, Florence will definitely take you back to that particular era with elaborated churches and celebrated works from the Renaissance masters.
What makes Florence interesting is that it houses most of the world’s art treasures. The city is best explored on foot – all the prime spots are within reach. There are plenty of museums to go that you can’t do in a day, perhaps not even a week, like the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia which are world-famous. Other galleries and museums are tucked around the city that boast lesser-known masterpieces by Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio, and Donatello (to name a few).
The world’s most famous nude statue stands in splendid isolation in the ‘tribuna‘ of the Accademia Gallery. Michelangelo’s David was famously carved from a single, five-metre high piece of Carrara marble, its top-heavy proportions due to the fact that it was originally intended to perch high on the Duomo.
Tip: skip the line by spending a couple of extra euro buying the ticket from a small vendor near the museum.
Florence’s Duomo is so decorative on the outside, with its multi-colored marble facade and famous red-tiled dome. The Duomo has 463 stone steps, which, if you can climb to the top you can reach the cupola for a close-up of The Last Judgement and a sweeping bird’s-eye view of the city and its sea of ancient terracotta roof tiles.
For a more modern vibe with a cool rooftop bar and swimming pool overlooking the whole city, The Student Hotel (TSH) is the place to be. We found this gem after our hotel’s receptionist recommended to us. It’s a fairly new hotel with a cheeky and playful vibe – stark contrast with the ancient facade wrapped around Florence but the view is priceless.
The Old Town area in Florence is quite large. You could spend half a day walking the narrow winding streets. This city is also a shopping paradise for tourists, from well-known brands to locally made leather goods – it’s no surprise you’ll be leaving the city with at least a paper bag or two.
Apart from the countless mentions of museums, arts and churches, Florence is also famous for its steak. I didn’t have any appetite for steaks but I did try the deep fried lamb chops and it was really good. I ate a lot of pastas, gelato and tiramisu. If you’re going to spend your holiday in Italy, never miss out on eating Italian food, especially pastas.
Things to do
- The Duomo: Built over six centuries, the cathedral is famous above all for Brunelleschi’s huge 15th-century terracotta-tiled cupola, still the biggest masonry dome in the world.
- The Accademia Gallery: The world’s most famous nude statue, David by Michelangelo
- The Piazza della Signoria: A wide square dominated by the medieval town hall of Palazzo Vecchio
- The Galleria degli Uffizi: Italy’s most celebrated art gallery is housed in what was originally built as the Medici Whitehall
- The Student Hotel: The rooftop bar and pool overlooking the city
Where to stay
- Hotel Cosimo de Medici: €216 for 2 nights
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