A few weeks ago, I went on my jollies to the cultural capital, Florence so I thought I’d do another travels post, this time with a few in depth recommendations!
If you decide to visit, definitely get a guide book as there is so much to see – a good map is also a necessity as it’s easy to get lost! I’d recommend Lonely Planet Florence and Tuscany as I enjoy reading a bit about the surrounding areas and having the extra sections for some day trips.
Florence Duomo (Cathedral)
Superb architecture all round and it’s definitely worth climbing the tower. Climbing the Duomo itself is also an experience, and a little higher. The view is much the same but you get a great view of the ceiling fresco.The Baptistery is a must see (below). €10
Palazzo Vecchio:Amazing De Medici house with architecture, art and frescos aplenty. Also check out the tower and battlements if you like climbing stairs! €10
Uffizi gallery:Best gallery in Italy (and potentially Europe) for Renaissance Art. Do book in advance either on the website or by phone. We booked one day in advance after waiting in the queue for a while! Phone number: 055 294 883. Maybe save this for the end as nothing else is as good in comparison!! Allow 4-5 hours. Open late until 9.30 on Tuesdays. €15
Galileo Museum:If you like science history and scientific objects. Quite fascinating – would be good for kids €9
Gucci Museum:If you like fashion. Only €6 and has some quirky art too. Otherwise just hit the coffee shop for a nice cup of tea or coffee (with Gucci shaped sugar!) and some arty books.
Ponte Vecchio bridge: You will probably stumble upon this old picturesque bridge nr. Palazzo Vecchio. There are plenty of jewellery shops along the bridge selling all sorts from gemstones, antique pieces and cameo brooches.
Boboli gardens and Palazzo Pitti:Grand gardens but not as well kept as we expected so keep this as an optional extra. Would be nice for a picnic. They are in the grounds of florentine mansion Palazzo Pitti which also has lots of exhibits too. €10
Piazza della Republica. Nice for an evening drink we had a primo (first course) only as it was fairly pricey but very tasty and romantic too! Nice view of the square.
Best gelato ever at Vivoli: Via Isola delle Stinche (5 mins from Palazzo Vecchio) – we would have visited every day if we had found it earlier!
Best pizza at Gusta Pizza. Via Maggio #46 – very popular with tourists and locals. May have to queue to get in but well worth it. Dinner for two for €15! We went twice!
If you have time… then why not stop by the Tuscan hill town of Siena: Here there’s is a seriously over the top Duomo. The Old Town Hall and horse racing square are also worth a visit. About 1 hr for Florence – makes a good day trip. (allow €20 per person for sightseeing)
Other tips: We didn’t have wifi in our cottage so I bought a €15 SIM card from phone network TIM which came in useful (to send you this email haha!) and have 3G/maps on the move. Just make sure they activate it and you have an unlocked phone!
Bring insect repellent and after bite cream as there were loads of hungry mosquitoes. Also bring waterproofs/umbrella for afternoon downpours. Lots of walking so comfy shoes are also a must.
Have you been to Italy? Drop me any recommendations in a comment below – I love discovering new places to visit.
If you enjoyed this post you might like my other Travels posts: Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Zanzibar and America.