|Image source: alberghi-firenze.com|
Florence, or Firenze to the Italians, lies at the heart of Tuscany and is one of the biggest and most visited cities in Italy. Every year thousands of holiday makers flock to this beautiful city to experience its wonderful architecture, breath-taking scenery and typical Italian atmosphere.
Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy Florence is by renting a Tuscan villa on the outskirts and either hiring a car or hoping on a bus to reach the city centre. Not only does this give you the chance to enjoy the quiet, rich countryside instead of the more densely populated tourist filled areas, but the rest of Tuscany will also be at your beck and call.
Whether you have a week to relax and take in the sights or only a long weekend to cram as much into as possible, Florence has something for everybody. So here’s a - by no means exhaustive - list of what there is to see and do.
Make no missed steak – It may sound like a typical thing for a holiday maker to do when in Florence but having a taste of the traditional Florentine steak should not be missed, especially for all you meat lovers. For a well-cooked steak, head to the Ristorante Riflessi close to the Piazza della Liberta. The steaks are high when it comes to this Tuscan speciality dish but you won’t be disappointed.
Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo - If you pick up any literature on where to go in Florence then you are sure to be directed to these two iconic pieces of architecture. Crowds are likely to be big around these attractions, especially in peak seasons, but that doesn’t mean you should forego these amazing sights. The Ponte Vecchio bridge was created so that the rich didn’t have to mix with the commoners on their way from their palaces to their offices and the dome at the top of the Duomo can also be climbed to give you a stunning view of the city.
Party with the cool kids – For something that is definitely less likely to be teeming with tourists, head to one of the trendy areas for quirky bars and al fresco style dining. The Piazza di Santo Spirito is a great place to start if you really want to experience lively Italian culture, untouched by the holiday making masses.
Gorge on Gelato – All over Florence there are plenty of places to grab a delicious ice cream but with so many different flavours to try, you are going to have to establish a plan of attack. So many of these stalls will be making their own home made Gelato as well, so chocolate at one place may not be the same as the other chocolate flavours; there really is a world of ice cream waiting to be explored. Try to sample as many as possible by having at least too Gelato breaks per day.
An abundance of art – Florence is famed the world over for its rich and vibrant history of art and with so many different galleries and outdoor exhibitions it can be hard to fit them all in. However, just walking through the streets and taking in what you see before you will be enough to get those artistic juices flowing. The Galleria degli Uffizi is perhaps the most famous of the galleries and is home to a vast amount of art from the renaissance period. If you are planning on visiting though, it might be an idea to buy your tickets in advance as it is sure to be very busy. Another gallery that shouldn’t be missed is the Galleria HYPERLINK "http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/"dell’Accademia where you will find the unmistakeable statue of David, arguably one of the most famous pieces of art ever created.