Holiday Highlights - A Day In Florence
Posted by Kiri (16/12/2016)
Another of my favourite holiday highlights was the time we spent in Florence. I have wanted to visit this charismatic city for quite some time now, so on our road trip through Tuscany, I made sure we stopped off in Florence. Unfortunately we didn’t have a much time there as I would have liked, so we had to go on a whistle stop tour.
If you only have a few hours in Florence, what are the most important things to see? This was the tough decision we faced, but we managed to narrow it down. When we got there the queues for all the museums and galleries were very long, a little tip, try and arrive early in the morning rather than near midday like we did.
It’s also a good idea to get the train into Florence rather than drive if you can. The city has some restricted areas where cars aren’t allowed to go, if you enter them you will be fined. However, we had no option but to drive, and parked in the train station car park in the city centre for about 3 euros an hour.
We then wandered around the city, trying to take in all of the main sights. There’s plenty of shops in Florence, so if you have time you can indulge in a spot of retail therapy. If you are heading to Florence for the day, the main sights you should at least see and snap a photo of (if you aren’t able to get inside) include the Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile, Palazzo Vecchio, The Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti.
We discovered that apparently the Palazzo Pitti was originally home to the government, and they built the Ponte Vecchio in order to be able to walk to their offices without coming into contact with the general public.
By far my favourite moment in Florence was taking in the views of the city at the Piazzale Michelangelo. Half way up the steps there are some lovely gardens with equally amazing views, and then you make your way to the top to enjoy what I think is the most impressive spot in the city. We had a nice buffet lunch on the way down which included all you can eat meatballs, veg and salad for just 8 euros.
You can’t really go to Florence without trying the famous ice cream, there’s literally an ice cream shop on every corner. It was impossible to choose which shop to go to, but the ones on the back streets and away from the main crowds tend to be better.
If you head over the bridge you will find some quirkier shops and lots of jewellery stores. It’s slightly less crowded here, and there’s a few sandwich shops where you can grab some light bites.
I wish I had more time in Florence, ideally you need a couple of days if you want to see the city in all its glory. We will definitely be stopping by again on our next Tuscan adventure to uncover more of this magical city.