In Arno river valley, is located one of the most beautiful European cities, the capital of Tuscany, Florence. Florence is one of main tourist destinations in Italy and is surrounded by nature and famous for its amazing wines. If you love history, delicious food and wines, art and appreciate Italian peaceful lifestyle, Florence is the perfect destination for you.
How to Reach the Destination
By car – Europe is well-connected, so you can come to Florence by your car from every part of this continent.
By train – The main city station is Firenze Santa Maria Novella and it’s located in the city center. You can come here from all European capitals and bigger cities and connection with other Italian cities is available.
By plane – Florence Airport, Peretola or Amerigo Vespucci Airport is the main airport in the city. You can also use nearby Pisa International Airport.
Visit local market – remember the movie Under the Tuscan Sun and the scene with the city square? You’ll feel exactly like that! You’ll enjoy the smell and the colors of the fruit, vegetables and the flowers. You’ll meet some local people and get to know the everyday life of the Florentine citizens.
Browse around on the Ponte Vecchio – This bridge is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world and an inspiration for photographers. There are also many shops to browse. However, things seemed overpriced in this area.
Enjoy the sunset at the Piazzale Michelangelo – This little square is settled on the hill above the city. Here you can see the replica of Michelangelo’s David and the most beautiful sunset on the world. Florence is prettiest at sunset when all the warm colors make this city look even more magical.
Visit some of the nearby vineyards – Tuscany is the land of vineyards. Try some of the finest Tuscan wines like Chianti!
Try a florentine steak – Similar to an American “T-bone”, this Italian steak is from a young steer or heifer that is combined with the specific preparation and it makes one of the most popular dishes of Tuscan cuisine. Not into steak? Well, there not shortage of great Tuscan dishes such as Caccuccio, Pappardelle, etc.
Price Range for Hotels
Depending of the type of the hotel you want to stay in, the price can vary from 60-1000 €. For example, budget hotels are approximately between 60 and 250€, average hotels between 130 and 300 € and luxury hotels vary between 300 and 1000€.
Cost of meal
You can enjoy some amazing dishes in Florence. In the less expensive restaurants you can buy a meal for 5 or 20 €. In some restaurants, you get the full plate of meat, and have an amazing meal for 10€. Check out the Michelin guide for Michelin Star restaurants or if you are looking for a value the Michelin Gourmand.
If you want to explore the city by bus, you should take a circle bus, bus number 12 or 13, with the price of the ticket between 1 and 2 €. You can also take the tourist bus. The ticket for this bus for 24 hours costs 15€ and 22€ for 48 hours.
Top Places to Visit
Piazza Della Signoria
The historical center of Florence is one of the sites on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list. In the center of this square is the Fountain of Neptune and all around it, there are numerious statues, making the art collection named “ Loggia dei Lanzi” and Uffizi Gallery.
This is the main building in the square. It was the home of the Florentine rulers and now it’s the City Hall. Today’s name, Palazzo Vecchio was given after the Medici family moved to their new palace, Palazzo Pitti, by the river Arno.
The Florentine cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore or simply, Duomo. It’s fifth largest cathedral in Europe, with length of 153 meters. The construction began in 1296 and it was finally finished 173 years later, in 1436. For a breathtaking view of Florence climb all the way to the top. However, the stairs are quite narrow and not great for people who get claustrophobic.
This is the most photographed site in the city. “The old bridge” was built in 1345, on the narrowest point of Arno river. During your walk here, you can visit some of the numerous shops on the bridge and buy some souvenirs.
Here is another replica of Michelangelo’s David (original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia). Piazzale Michelangelo is the best place for view of Florence. It’s great for pictures or to just enjoy the incredible city.
Uffizi Gallery &
See some of the best works of art by the artists like Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez, Rembrandt and El Greco. Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid long lines. I recommend the “skip the line” version.