While planing my trip to Rome, I got the idea of taking a day trip to the city that claims to be responsible for the birth of the Renaissance. Only a short train ride from Rome, Florence makes for a perfect day trip.
Florence is located in the region of Tuscany. Although visited by many people, it remains quiet and holds an old world charm.
Arrive early in the morning and leave in the evening. It will give you a chance to see most of the city’s highlights and eat as much food as you can handle.
The Centerpiece of Florence is Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, commonly known as “The Duomo.” This gothic style Cathedral was finished in 1436. Step into the cathedral and get a glimpse of breathtaking art from the Era.
Climb the 414 steps and get an incredible view of Florence. You can chose to climb the dome or the tower.
Go to The Baptistery and check out the 11th Century Building, as it is one of the oldest in Florence. Check out Ghiberti’s bronze double doors, “Gates of Paradise.”
Gates of Paradise
One of the main reasons I took a trip to Florence was to see the famous statue of David, as it is one of the most famous sculptures in the world. Galleria dell’ Academia, holds the statute of David, and I can assure you it will not disappoint. The sculpture is my ultimate favorite, the craftsmanship is like no other.
Don’t just go to this museum to see the statue. There are so many more great paintings and sculptures worth checking out.
The Accademia holds the a one-of-a-kind tenor viola made by Antonio Stradivari in 1690. The viola is in its entire original condition.
I recommend purchasing tickets online in advance. The museum is not entirely large but the lines to get in can get quite long, especially after noon.
Antonio Stradivari Viola
Florence gave me my first glimpse into European markets. When I set foot into Mercato Centrale Firenze, it was flashback to the markets I used to go to as a child. Forget chain food stores, the market has delicious food, pastries, coffee, wine, fresh produce, meat and olive oil and vinegar shops.
Located at Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio is a symbol of power. Inside, you will find a fortress and an art gallery with painted frescoes on the walls. There are a number of tours offered year round, Visit Florence to find tour information.
Piazza della Signoria
Ponte Vecchio was once Florence’s only bridge across the Arno river. It is also the only surviving bridge from medieval days. And it was left intact during WWII while others were destroyed around it. When crossing the bridge you will be surrounded by gold and jewelry shops.
If you want to have a great view of Florence then head up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
And finally…Get Lost!
Go in search of the best cannoli.
Sample all kinds of gelato.
Walk by Basilica Santa Maria Novella.
Every inch of Florence has something to see.
Walk across as many bridges as you can. Each will show you a different angle.