Ho lasciato il mio cuore a Firenze. Firenze, or Florence in English, will forever have my heart and continue to inspire my desire to learn Italian.
I have had many dreams about moving to Florence. This city is so beautiful, laid back and filled with culture. These dreams are so vivid I see myself walking along the cobblestone streets with my dog going to get some gelato. Its ridiculous and amazing and makes me want to pack up and move right now.
Alas, Florence is not in the cards at this stage in my life to take up residence but that doesn’t mean you cant visit! This city is my favorite in all of Italy, admittedly though I haven’t seen nearly all of the country. Although based on my time in Florence I don’t see my opinion changing.
How to get there: There are many ways to get to Florence! We rented a car in Venice and drove across the beautiful Italian countryside to get here (stopping in Bologna on the way for bolognese sauce of course). You can take a train, which is the most popular means of transportation in Italy or you can fly, although there is no airport directly in Florence you will still need to take some sort of public transportation to get into the city.
Where to stay: We had the immense pleasure of staying at Hotel Brunelleschi which is a gorgeous boutique hotel within walking distance from the famous Duomo. The location is ideal, the staff exceptional, the breakfast delicious and the rooms luxurious. The rates are on the higher end but there really isn’t another property like it. In Florence, this is money well spent for sure!
What to eat: Oh but the food in Florence! You can’t go wrong at most places in Italy…as long as you avoid the tourist traps. We enjoyed every meal we had but the best was the steak!
- Antica Trattoria da Tito – dont skip this place! The atmosphere is that of locals, the steak here is divine and the house wine is top notch. Get some homemade limonchello as well its better than anything you’ve had in the USA.
- Il Santo Bevitore – not your typical Italian dinner but still delicious food served with hospitality and delicious wine
- Cammillo Trattoria yummy Italian lunch with classic Northern Italian fare
- Scudieri Firenze – delicious gelato but not the place we had heard about that was phenomenal
What to do: There is so much art and history in this city its almost hard to know where to begin. Personally I get bogged down in art so that wasn’t high on my priority list but trust me, there are so many galleries you could spend weeks here and still not have seen everything. While we only had 2 days in Florence here is what I recommend:
- Walk to the top of the Duomo at sunset – be prepared its 463 steps and at times can be very narrow and steep. Prepare for this walk to take at least 30 minutes but this is the best view of Florence.
- Walk to the top of the bell tower – 416 steps but great views as well with a little easier climb than the Duomo
- Visit the baptistery
- Galleria dell’Accademia- this is where the statue of David is. Its a very small gallery
- Piazza San Lorenzo – beautiful piazza with lots of statues and hidden areas
- Uffizi Gallery – this is where the Birth of Venus is and the gallery is HUGE.
- Palazzo Pitti – outside is where we bought some beautiful art from locals
- Giardino di Boboli – beautiful grounds I loved walking around here
If you are in the city longer you can either see more of the museums or go outside of the city and visit the wine country. There are olive and wine estates you can visit and spend the day at, which is what I will be doing on my next visit to Florence!
If you are going to visit museums make sure to get the Florence Card. This card gets you access to almost all of the museums and galleries in Florence as well as discounts and public transportation. If you visit more than 2 galleries it will definitely save you money and time.
What to remember:
- Currency is Euros
- Language is Italian but most speak passable English
- Credit Cards are accpeted in most restaurants but must be chip enabled
- Bring cash to barter with street vendors
- This city is much smaller than it looks, its easy to walk around you don’t need transportation inside the city.
- Dinner for Italians doesn’t really start until 8pm and goes all night
- Be mindful of religious holidays and national holidays when visiting as this may impact religious sites you want to visit.
- Summer is peak season and will bring the highest crowds and room rates. Try and plan your visit for off-season times to get the most bang for your buck.
Don’t forget, I can help you plan your vacation to Disney, Universal, Cruises or ANYWHERE!!! Here is the link to my facebook page or email me at Rachael@DreamComeTrueVacations.com
I was in no way paid for this review all opinions are my own and links have no affiliates for me. My goal is for you to enjoy your visit with curating great experiences for you that is totally unbiased.
CHIME IN!!! Have you been to Italy? Where do you dream of moving to? Do you like art musuems?