Florence was one of my favorite cities in Italy and it is definitely worth going. Do not miss the chance if you have it!
What to do
Florence is a city full of culture and activity so you will have a lot to do. Here are just some of the things we did and recommend:
- Visit the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo as it is more commonly known. It is an icon of Florence so you cannot miss it. There is a €15 ticket that grants you access to the museum, going up the duomo, going up the bell tower, the baptistry, and the crypts underneath the cathedral. I think this is totally worth it as they are all amazing. All of them are included in the ticket but you do have to reserve a space to go up the Duomo. Make sure you do this some days in advance through their website. You can also reserve times for the museum but to go up the Duomo you have to reserve them so make sure you do not forget. Note: if you are claustrophobic, have a fear of heights or are not in a condition to go up many stairs I would not recommend going up the Duomo or the bell tower. There are a lot of stairs and the halls tend to get narrow.
- See all Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery. It is truly a master piece. Be prepared to make a line when you get there. You could also purchase tickets ahead of time through their website.
- Visit the Uffizi Gallery to see more amazing master pieces. Again, be prepared to do the line unless you buy the tickets beforehand online. (The website might get a little confusing and there is a reservation fee but I think it is worth it)
- Go to the Mercato Centrale or Mercato di San Lorenzo (Via dell’Ariento). It is a great place to see local foods and maybe even have lunch. We had fresh pasta from Pasta Fresca on the first floor. There was a long wait so we were able to walk around while we waited on it. It was very cheap and one of the good pastas I had while there.
- Walk down the shops of Ponte Vecchio
- See the sunset from Piazza Michelangelo. There is not much to do up there besides see the view, but it is definitely worth it!
- Pay attention to the street art you can see all around Florence. You can also go to Clet’s studio (the artist who does the stickers on street signs). The address for his studio is Via Dell’Olmo 8r.
- We really liked Trattoria ZàZà for dinner one night. It has great service and a good ambiance, while keeping prices relatively reasonable. Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26r
- After you go to the Uffizi Gallery have great cheap panini’s at All’ Antico Vinaio (Via dei Neri, 74/R). There are two of them on the same street so check to see which one has a smaller line. Note: if you get full easily it might be better to share one with some one else, just ask them to cut it in half!
- Perhaps one of my favorite gelato from my trip to Italy was in Edoardo, it is near the Duomo (Piazza del Duomo, 45r). Their cones are handmade and their ice cream has no preservatives, food coloring, additives, or GMO’s. Try the eggs and wine gelato as well as the gianduia!
- Another great gelato place is Perché no. It is very artisanal and tastes great! Address: Via dei Tavolini, 19R
Where to stay
We stayed at an Airbnb. The owners were really nice and the location was good relative to the price. It is about a 15 minute walk from the center of Florence, west of the train station. Check out the apartment!