One of the most beautiful cities in Italy, rich in history and charm, amongst the most popular destinations in Europe for cultural tourism and more; we are talking about Florence, of course! This city has an incredible historic centre making things easy, practical and concentrated to explore and visit. If you explore it in the right way and you use your experience wisely, you are going to really catch the most intimate authentic and traditional side of this Italian gem. Lets see how to make it so with this guide.
Even if you only have a day in Florence, you cannot miss Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square). It is one of the most visited places in Europe and as popular with pigeons as people it seems. In the square you will be enthralled with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, this is one of the most beautiful European cathedrals, the result of the genius of Brunelleschi. Leaving the Duomo we find ourselves in front of the Baptistery of San Giovanni and Giotto's Bell Tower. For those who are happy to brave climbing the stairs, all 414 steps, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Florence from the tower.
Another great place of interest in Florence is the Uffizi Gallery that is home to many masterpieces, amongst these it guards The Birth of Venus and the Spring by Botticelli. For both the Duomo and the Uffizi prepare yourself for long queues, especially in high season, but they are very much worth the wait. We advise booking tickets online to reduce these waiting times. A very useful purchase is the Single Ticket to access all the monuments of the Great Museum of the Cathedral; the Cathedral, the Dome, the Baptistery, the Campanile and the Crypt.
Since you are already on this unique tour of beauty and history, its definitely worth visiting the Piazza della Signoria with the fountain of Neptune, Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi.
Any visit to Florence would not be complete without a walk along the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone arch bridge, where you can peruse the old shops that are built along it to give you a real taste of the Middle Ages.
Following this fantastic itinerary through the historic streets of Florence, we arrive at Palazzo Pitti, one of the finest palaces with the nearby Boboli Gardens, a small paradise with fountains, ponds, trees, flowerbeds and ancient statues. Another masterpiece and an absolute must to see is the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, a Renaissance masterpiece, one of the earliest examples of Cistercian Florentine Gothic architecture, with its splendid windows, and the Crucifix by Brunelleschi and Giotto. The monumental cloisters of the adjoining convent must also be seen.
A visit or stay in Florence comes with the opportunity to explore the famous and stunning Tuscany countryside. With a car youll have so many options to experience nature in the Tuscan hills, to visit villas and parks of the Medici, or the villages of Chianti or Mugello. These provide a gentle relief from the bustle of the city to enjoy the view and of course the delicious food and wine of the region. In the province of Florence there are many protected areas and nature trails, here you can organise hiking, trekking, horseback riding and you can practice all sports for the most adventurous. Florence can be starting point for a day trip to visit other Italian gems such as Lucca, Pisa or Siena. Youll really appreciate the freedom to explore at your own pace and enjoy your ultimate Italian adventure.
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