I HEART FLORENCE

Fall in love with Florence as you walk through the city that takes you back centuries to see some of the most famous works of art, architecture and market places. Art galleries feature modern, contemporary and historic art (inside and out) on every corner throughout the city.

Not only will you see the famous naked David, Florence is one of the easiest cities to walk around. Restaurants and shopping stores are ubiquitous. Modern shops juxtaposed with centuries old architectural structures and cobblestone streets creates the perfect environment for flourishing Florence.

You don’t have to be an art historian to appreciate this Tuscan gem. I will argue that you will see some of the best art in the world right here! Adding to the city’s splendor, Florence is ornamented with gold, from the famous Duomo, the bronzed Florence Baptistry (molded in relief with 10 stories of the Old Testament) and the giant gold turtle in the middle of Palazzo Vecchio.

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Florence’s museums are within a five to fifteen minute walk from the next, so if you want to indulge in as many of them as possible, we highly recommend purchasing a Firenze Card. You may purchase it online in advance but must pick the card up in Florence. The easiest place to retrieve your card is at the Santa Maria Novella Basilica. Why is this card so important?  A Firenze card is a card that acts as your ticket to all of the museums and allows you to skip the lines. Buying this card online will save you money if you are planning on visiting multiple exhibits.  Side note: When you pick up your card you will given a guide and map of all 77 galleries and museums. They will each be numbered on a map for your convenience.

Of the 77 galleries and museums in Florence, here are some my favorites:

  • Uffizi- best works of art
  • Guggenheim exhibit at Palazzo Strossi
  • Galleria dell’ Academia 
  • Galleria d’arte Moderne
  • Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Museo Galileo

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Other than art, Florence is no different than any other Italian city when it comes to good food and shopping. It is obvious that the city center is full of high and low-end stores. But let’s walk to where, almost 800 years ago, people gathered to buy and trade items. Located along the river, Ponte Vecchio (the oldest outdoor market in Florence) is lined with jewelry stores, leather shops, artists, restaurants, Florentine masks, and of course, gelato. For more food, shopping and local bars,  cross the Ponte Vecchio bridge to the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) and Piazza Santa Spirito, a less congested tourist area. Learn how the Florentines cook and take a four hour food making class by walking to the central food market to select the foods you will prepare and eat.

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How did we get here:

We  flew from Rome to Florence on Alitalia Airlines. The flight was short. In fact, it was about 35 minutes in the air before touch down.

Words of advice: We recommend flying within Europe in economy as much as possible. The only difference between business and economy flights are the middle seat partition separates you from the passenger next to you. The seats are exactly the same with average legroom. This is where you will save even more when traveling throughout Europe if you opt to fly.

Where to eat:

Trattoria Gargani

Via del Moro, 48, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Where to eat? This is an impossible question to answer because you can find fresh bread, panzanella, pizza, pasta and bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak) anywhere in the city. We opted for Trattoria Gargani. Remember Francesco from our Madrid blog? Well, he is a native Florentine and suggested this restaurant as well. As we walked in, we immediately noticed every single space on the wall was painted with art. Apparently, the walls are constantly being repainted by the owner of the restaurant, so if you expect to see the same works, chances are they likely won’t be there. The restaurant is fun, the waiters are outgoing and the food is fantastic. Their popular steak or pasta with lemon cream sauce is a must.

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