City Guide: Florence

If you’ve never been to Florence, Italy, you’re missing out.

Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. The capital city of the beautiful Tuscany region, Florence is a small city famous for its rich cultural history.

Florence is apparently the birthplace of the Renaissance, but more recently has been pegged as one of the 50 fashion capitals of the world. While Milan outpaces Florence in the fashion world in Italy, it still claims it’s stake.

Florence is also an incredibly romantic city, with amazing sights, delicious food and unbeatable architecture.

florence

HOW TO GET THERE:

Luckily, Florence is easy to get to. It’s a short train ride from most Italian cities, such as Rome, Venice and Naples.

For those travelling throughout Europe, just like with Madrid, you’re better off investing in a Eurail Pass. You will save a lot of money by getting the pass and there’s nothing better than being able to look out the window on the train and seeing beautiful views of the Italian countryside.

 

SEASONAL ATTIRE

city guide for florenceLike much of Europe, Florence enjoys many seasons.

As such, remember to pack for the season before you leave for your trip. We were there in February, and we were treated to wind, rain, and even an earthquake. This is by no means normal for Florence, so don’t let that scare you away, but if you are going in the winter months be sure to bring an umbrella and a warm jacket.

In the summer, Florence gets quite hot. Dress accordingly. A nice light summer dress will be perfect for sight-seeing, and be sure to bring your sunscreen and sunglasses.

The cobblestone streets of Florence demand great footwear. In the winter, some comfortable boots will work (we recommend going to the Leather market and investing in some beautiful Italian leather).

In the summer, try out Keens Uneek open air footwear. They’re incredibly comfortable and great for long days spent sightseeing. Plus, they double-duty as great, light hiking shoes.

Bring a big bag if you plan on going to the markets. The city center of Florence has some great shopping and you don’t want to miss out!

SIGHTS, SHOPPING AND MORE:

The history and architecture of Florence make it the perfect city of arts.

For travelers looking to get off the beaten path, get away from the city center and over the bridges to soak in the beautiful Tuscan vibe of the quieter neighborhoods of this charming town.

Despite its old-world charm, Florence does have modern amenities aplenty. Enjoy the modern restaurants and gelaterias.

If you enjoy shopping, head over to the San Lorenzo market for a look. Soak in the experience of the market, and you’ll have a great time even if you leave empty-handed.

Head over to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a beautiful view, and soak up the Duomo in the city center.

You could spend days or weeks in Florence, but we recommend spending a bit more time so you can really enjoy the vibe of this special city.

DINING OUT

The food in Florence is absolutely unbeatable.

Whether you want a treat and want to stop in for some gelato or dessert, or would rather have a long, sit-down meal over some fresh pasta or delicious pizza, you won’t go hungry here.

The prices are reasonable outside of the city center, so wander away from the hustle and bustle and find somewhere small and quaint to chow down.

Don’t order too much, though! Most restaurants will bring you bread and the portions are huge. You’ll get your fill.

A word of caution if you’re a Westerner visiting Florence: restaurants do not open until around 7:30 or 8:00 PM. If you’re hungry before hand, make sure to have a snack.

WHERE TO STAY

The best place to stay in Florence hands-down is Torre di Bellosguardo. It’s a luxury hotel steeped in tradition on the Florence hillside. It boasts the best views of the entire city, as well as a pool (great for cooling off during the summer), beautiful gardens and history in the hotel itself.

Torre di Bellosguardo was a bell tower from the 15th century, fully restored to it’s splendour. It’s a privilege to stay in a part of Florence’s history.

ENJOY FLORENCE

No matter what you do in Florence, you will undoubtedly enjoy it. Be sure to explore and take a moment to breathe the history of the city in.

 

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