Florence is the capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region, in which there are about 20 regions overall in Italy. Every time I hear about Florence, this reminds me of the leather market of which you may buy them at lower prices, in comparison to any other parts of the world. The quality are good too!
I would suggest that an entire day or two may be sufficient to discover Florence, depending on your pace. There are many museums here, but I would rather spend most of my time at old historic buildings, its river, and of course the awesome gelato ice cream!
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO IN FLORENCE
Florence Cathedral (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore)
The Florence Cathedral is a huge and a wide structure that gives you chills! Nevertheless, it is Florence’s main church and made in Gothic style. Though, I had problems fitting myself into a picture that tries to fit all in it.
Florence Baptistery (The Baptistery of St. John Battistero di San Giovanni)
Just opposite of the Cathedral is the Baptistery that is used as a religious building in Florence.
Piazza della Signoria & Fountain of Neptune
This is a square where you will find various eateries, souvenir shops and museums. Also, you will find the Fountain of Neptune, that is made out of marble and bronze. It was also said that the fountain have suffered a great deal of damage and vandalism during the centuries.
A stroll on Arno River & Monumento a Benvenuto Cellini
A stroll along Arno River keeps the night younger by taking your path towards the Ponte Vecchio Bridge where you will also find the Monumento a Benvenuto Cellini who is an important Italian artists of Mannerism.
This means that he was well respected of his work!
Visit the San Lorenzo Market
In Florence, you should never miss to visit the San Lorenzo Market that is popular for its leather market. The smell of genuine leather is all in the air throughout the market where vendors will normally demonstrate how their leather can be as pure and genuine (even by lighting the leather with fire). Grab something, because I did!
In San Lorenzo Market, you will find food and other souvenirs shops too.
I would also recommend coming here as it gives you a panoramic view of Florence. Glad it was a sunny day during my visit, and mainly accessible by foot only. However, there are many tour buses but if you are doing your backpacks by your own, you may walk your way from central Florence which takes about 30 – 35 minutes. Public buses however, will only stop along the banks of Arno river.
OTHER OPTIONAL PLACES WORTH VISITING
Take a stroll along Via del Corso
Not too far from Florence’s Cathedral, is the Via del Corse that was worth to take a walk on a lovely day. During the day (especially during summer seasons), these streets are normally packed as these areas are known also as shopping places.
Museo di Palazzo Vecchio
Located just adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria is the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio.
San Marco Museum
Some museums I walked by and you may pay a visit if you are keen!
FOOD AND DRINKS YOU’D LIKE TO TRY
Gelato Ice Cream
In Italy, you shall not miss any of these awesome Gelato ice creams! Most stalls / shops do come with various flavours, and served in tall shape! If you don’t already know, Gelato is originated in Italy that is normally made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar.
It is sweet and salty depending on your choice of flavours, but best to eat em’ on a hot sunny day!
RECOMMENDED MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION
I would suggest that you go by foot during your visit in Florence. These roads are considerably narrow and public buses may not have access to all of them.
TYPICAL COSTS AND MONEY SAVING TIPS
- Shared dorm rooms: Starts at EUR40 per pax/night, but EUR55 is average.
I am not too sure about hosteling in Florence and based on estimated prices, you could save money this way.
- Hotel rooms: Starts about EUR55 per night but a room at a 3-star hotel could possibly be about EUR70 – EUR75 at average per night for 2 persons.
Food & Drinks
- Typical restaurant: An average meal could cost about EUR7 and
- Good restaurant: Could start as high as EUR20 for an average meal.
- From Rome (train): You may travel to Florence by train, arriving at Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. By doing this, you may choose to take ItaliaRail that costs about EUR25 – EUR30 for an adult (single journey). The journey however, takes about 1 hour 30 minutes ride (depending on the date/time of your visit); and
- From Pisa (train): You may travel to Florence by train, arriving at Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. By doing this, you may choose to take ItaliaRail that costs about EUR10 or less, for an adult (single journey). The journey however, takes about an hour to 1 hour 10 minutes ride (depending on the date/time of your visit).
You may visit ItalianRail – Website for more information.
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