How To: Florence (Part 1)

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View from Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence, Italy is a truly magical place rich with art history, delicious food, and beautifully made leather and gold goods. I recommend giving yourself a good amount of time to visit all the museums, churches, and other attractions Florence has to offer. Florence is an economically reasonable city and easily accessible by train and airplane. Be strategic when planning your trip, however, because summer temperatures can reach upper 90s with high humidity. Florence will surely be a trip you will never forget!

What To See

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo offers spectacular views of Florence, but requires a hike uphill unless you take the bus or a taxi. I strongly recommend watching the sunrise or sunset from this famous square. Make sure to check the weather, however, because I woke up VERY EARLY one morning to watch the sunrise and couldn’t see the sun through the clouds.

Ponte Vecchio

Known now for their exquisite fine gold jewelry, the Ponte Vecchio used to be a bridge where butchers sold their meat. It’s fun to walk through and admire the beautiful jewelry items.

Academia

The Academia contains the historic David by Micheangelo, among other famous works by numerous artists. The David will leave you in awe.

Uffizi Gallery

Anna Maria, the last living Medici, donated the Uffizi Gallery to the city of Florence in the 18th century. The Gallery contains Byzantine and Gothic paintings, as well as Sienese artwork.

Where to Stay

Hotel Giglio (85 Cavour)

Hotel Giglio is located a short 10-minute walk from the Duomo, making it a great location for visitors. The hotel is located on the second floor of the building, but has a front door that locks in the evening hours.

Hotel Cordova

Cordova is family operated and has an extremely help staff. The room and bathroom are clean but on the smaller size, though most European rooms are! The rooms located on the top floor open up to a shared terrace that provides stunning views of the city.

Shopping

Leather Market

The Leather Market in Florence has a plethora of different leather products including purses, coats, and gloves. The market can definitely be overwhelming, however, so I would recommend walking through once to get different prices before committing to buy an item. Be ready to bargain with vendors!

Where To Eat

Oil Shop

This hole in the wall sandwich and salad joint is simply UNBELIEVABLE. They have fresh and healthy ingredients and a huge menu or the option to create your own sandwich or salad. You cannot leave Florence without eating here!

Dante’s

Dante’s Pizzeria serves traditional Italian food, and offers free wine to students! The owner loves when students come in for dinner.

Firenze Pizza

Firenze Pizza has a huge menu full of various pizzas, as well as other traditional meals. I believe they have the best pizza in Florence!

Mosto Dolce

YOU MUST GO HERE. Mosto Dolce is my favorite bar and restaurant in Florence. They brew their own one-of-a-kind beer, and their food is just as good! They have awesome happy hour deals as well. Mosto Dolce is also a great place to watch sports and hang with the locals.

Bars and Clubs

Santo Spirito area

Santo Spirito is an area that is well known among the locals. They have great bars that won’t be filled with tourists.

Twenty-One

Twenty-One boasts a mix between locals, Americans, and other Europeans. It can get very crowded, but it’s a fun place to spend a night dancing with friends.

Astro

As seen on Jersey Shore, expect loads of American college students. If you’re looking for something more local, this is not your best bet.

Uncle Jimmy’s

Uncle Jimmy’s is indoor and outdoor pub that is a great place for a few drinks. The bartenders are super friendly, and you’ll find signatures of visitors from all over the world around the bar.

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Leaving my signature at Uncle Jimmy’s

 

Check back in next week for part two. This blog has other great recommendations and advice when traveling to Florence. Here’s another blog made by a college student who studied abroad in Italy. Hope this post gives you a good taste of what Florence has to offer!

Until Next Time,

Megan

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