My original list of Top 10 things to do while in Florence! Let’s see if my second time around in Florence will be drastically different and if I discover any new hidden secrets to add to the list. I’ll keep you posted!
“This weekend I am relaxing in Florence. No travel plans, thank god, besides exploring more of the city which I have called home for the past 3 months. The date is quickly approaching for me to return back to the United States and I have realized that I haven’t even seen half of what I wanted to in Florence. So I will be stuffing my face with gelato, and seeing some of Florence which I haven’t discovered yet. In the meantime, I have complied a list of the best things to do/see in Florence.”
- Climb the bell tower of the Duomo: This way you can see the Dome in your view of the city. Climbing the actual Dome is an experience, but when you make it to the top the view of Florence doesn’t feel complete without seeing the amazing Dome in it as well. If you have time, do both because they each have their perks.
- Eat a real Tuscan meal: You must have a 4 course Tuscan meal, complete with antipasto, primo, secondi, and dolce, oh and of course a glass of wine (preferably red)! Try the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a Tuscan soup, or just a bowl of delicious pasta! (Beware, authentic Tuscan bread is unsalted.)
- Hike to Piazzale Michelangelo: Cross the River Arno and hike up the small hill in the San Niccolo neighborhood to the best view of Florence. Expect a lot of people and cars but definitely worth it to appreciate the beauty of Firenze.
- Take a ride through Tuscany: Either go on a tour, rent a Vespa, or a car and ride around the hills surrounding Florence. You will stumble upon vineyard after vineyard, small Tuscan towns with local delicatessens, and absolutely breathtaking scenery. (Best to do this in the summer, but can be enjoyed at any time.)
- Forget Cannolis: Cannoli is a southern Italian thing so don’t have them in Florence. Instead try tiramisu or have some gelato! (Never buy the gelato that is pilled sky high in the freezer, it is just merely pumped with air and you will be very disappointed when you realize half of your ice cream isn’ there!)
- Walk down the popular fashion streets: Streets such as Via de Roma and Via del Calzaiuoli are home to some of the world’s most famous designers. Even if you don’t want to buy a 2,000 euro Gucci bag, still walk by. The fashion in the windows is impeccable and very high quality.
- Find a roof top terrace aperitivo: Italians like to have pre-dinner cocktails and snacks, often referred to as aperitivo. Many restaurants offer this before dinner hours, which is much later than in the U.S. Most Italians eat dinner between 7:30 and 9:30, so aperitivo usually begins before that. It is a cheaper option than buying dinner, since a drink comes with an unlimited appetizer buffet. The Hotel Baglioni and the Rinascente Department Store both have excellent roof top apperitivos.
- Sightseeing: Kind of a must in Florence, especially because there is so much to see. The Uffizi, The David, Piazza Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce Church, Cappelle Medici, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, the list goes on.
- Gusta Pizza: If you come to Florence and do not eat at Gusta Pizza, your taste buds will be thoroughly mad at you. This is the best pizza I have ever eaten and I will be eating it my last night here. Gusta is located on the other side of the Arno, but still attracts so many people. Don’t expect to sit down and enjoy your pizza there, always get it to go, and then if there is table grab it, otherwise just eat on the Santo Spirito steps or on the Santa Trinita Bridge. Best pizza ever.
- Sit and enjoy in Piazza di Signoria: In this Piazza lies the Gucci Museum, the Neptune Fountain, the Uffizi, the Palazzo Vecchio and an open air museum. Often times during the warm months and into fall, you will be able to walk past when a guitarist is serenading the square. Even though it is a little touristy, while sitting in the open air museum, enjoying the moment, and listening the to calm music, it is just pure happiness. When you sit there appreciating the scenery, the music, and where you are at, it can’t get any better.
-Stay tuned for an update!