5 Top Things To Do In Florence
There are SO MANY great things to do in Florence, however I’ve narrowed it down to the 5 Top things To Do In Florence (in no particular order) and if you knew me and my love of Florence and Italy, you’d know what a task this is for me, as I could ramble on for hours!
Florence would have to be one of my favorite places on the planet! The history, the beauty and the people, are enough to take your breath away. I was on a six-week tour of Europe with a girlfriend where we had booked the first 4 days in Madrid and the last week on the Amalfi Coast. Our plan was to “wing it” for the time in between.
Our accommodation in Florence was on the edge of the famous leather markets, right at the beginning of the Piazza di Santa Trinita. The building was older than our country at 500+ years old!
Typically throughout Europe, there are no elevators in 3-4 story building and lucky us, we were on the top floor. It was an introduction and wake up call in one – travel LIGHT next time! Lugging a large hard-case suitcase up 3 flights of stairs was in no way fun! NEVER again!
Our studio apartment was spacious, freshly renovated with a full kitchen, lounge/sleeping area as one large room. There was also a full size bathroom and plenty of windows for the light to stream in.
Peering out one window, I couldn’t believe what I saw, for across the terracotta rooftops stood the dome of the Duomo! Which is #1 of 5 Top Things To Do In Florence. Unfortunately when we visited, the Duomo was closed for renovations, so we could only see around the outside of this magnificent building.
When arriving in a new place, my go-to thing to do is to jump aboard the hop on and off big red double decker buses, it’s a great way to orientate yourself so you can get your bearings and choose your “must see” favorite sites.
Part of the Florence tour stops at Piazzale Michelangelo #2 on the list, an absolute MUST to watch the sunset. Yes it’s touristy, but Oh. So. Worth It! Whilst you indulge your senses have a Prosecco aperitif as the sun sets at the nearby bar, it’s so very Italian!
Piazzale Michelangelo is aptly named as a replica of Michelangelo’s David is on show there, however, the real David, #3 on the 5 Top Things To Do In Florence, is now housed in the Galleria dell`Accademia, not as he was years ago (shown here) outside at the Piazza della Signoria.
We planned to visit early in the morning, however, became very distracted by the sales in the stores along the way. Shoes, OMG the shoes! I bought 3 pairs and my girlfriend 2, we returned to our apartment 3 times to off-load our goodies, by which time it was lunch.
TOP TIP TO AVOID THE CROWDS – Visiting after lunch, around 1 pm seems to be the magic hour, I really couldn’t believe our luck, not a single person in a queue! We asked for the tickets for the following day having read we would have to purchase tickets in advance, only to be ushered straight through!
David’s presence met me at the door, no words can describe this magnificent piece of art, the detail that Michelangelo captured is truly superb. With very few people in the Galleria, we spent over 2 hours, often just sitting and taking in the brilliance of the work. I shed a tear or two when I left, I can’t explain why, only that the energy in the Galleria was amazing.
I couldn’t possibly discuss Florence without mentioning the food! I tasted the BEST fresh pasta in Florence and I sampled many pasta dishes throughout Italy. My favorite dish was at #4 of the 5 Top Things To Do In Florence Ristorante Oliviero recommended by an Aussie expat stall holder we came across at the Leather markets. We asked for a traditional “non touristy” place to eat and it happened to be just behind the apartment on the Via Delle Terme, just 3 minutes walk! The dish was a veal ragout cannelloni, so good we returned on another night and had the same dish it was so good, my mouth salivates just at the thought!
#5 of the Top Things To Do In Florence is a tie between the Ufizzi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio Bridge. They are very close to each other with the Bridge spanning the Arno River and the Gallery facing it. You will have to pre-purchase a ticket for entry to the gallery tho, and I don’t recommend visiting with a hangover, it’s not that much fun! 😉
Have you been to Florence? Where are your favorite things to see and do? Let’s reminisce together!