Florence, cradle of the reneissance and delicious Tuscany cuisine,a place full of history and art, I’ve been there a thousand times but every time it surprises me, without any doubt one of my favourite place to visit.
So what to see in Florence?
Comfy shoes, light backpack and a camera, this is how our one day tour around Florence starts!
We parked our car in “Isolotto” zone and jumped on the first light rail train available towards the city center.
BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA NOVELLA
Just a few steps away from the central station, springs out one of the most famous and majestic “piazza”.
A wonderful gothic style church with the façade created by Fra Jacopo Talenti e Leon Battista Alberti. Entering the “Basilica” it’s possible to admire some really interesting masterpieces like “La Trinità di Masaccio”, some frescoes of Ghirlandaio and Giotto’s crucifix.
The entry ticket is 5 euros and you can visit the following days and times:
Monday to Thursday from 9.00am to 5.00pm
Friday from 11.00am to 5.30pm
Saturday from 9.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday from 12.00am to 5.00pm
Carrying on our tour, next stop is:
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral “il Duomo”:
Majestic and beautiful, with her pink, white and green marble façade Santa Maria del Fiore is Florence true blossoming flower. With her numerous frescoes from the most famous renaissance artists, just to name one, Giorgio Vasari, that painted “Giudizio universale” (universal judgment), inside the cathedral dome, which was projected by Filippo Brunelleschi, just looking at it brings joy to the eyes.
Good news there’s no ticket to pay at the entrance but be ready for a big queue.
Opening days and times are:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm
Thursday 10.00am to 4.45pm
Saturday 10.00am to 4.45pm
Sunday 1.30pm to 4.45pm
Right in front of the Cathedral you can find Florence Baptistery, with one of the most amazing doors in the world and third stop of our tour:
PORTA DEL PARADISO DI LORENZO GHIBERTI
Weighing 8 tons, 5 meters tall and 3 meters wide, la “Porta del Paradiso” (heaven door) is one of the most famous works in the Florentine renaissance. It took 27 years to build this magnificent golden and bronze door, the work was so majestic that after a few years from its completion, replaced the old door east of the baptistery (the one in front of the cathedral), gaining the place of honor.
The 27 golden/ bronze squares, represent biblical acts, meanwhile the round ones represent heads of the artist contemporary to the author; but these are just replica’s, to see the original you must visit the cathedral museum.
But let’s continue our cultural walk to:
Piazza della Repubblica
“Piazza della Repubblica” (Republics Square), it’s probably the most important square in Florence, a huge rectangle surrounded by bars, cafes , shops and a marvellous arch of triumph. Underneath the arcade’s on the right you can find the Hard Rock Café.
All this walking will get you hungry and in Florence it’s impossible to miss…
Trippa Sandwich or Lampredotto
Flat bread with “salumi toscani” (cured meats), lampredotto (typical sandwich with cow stomach), tripe, tuscany soup, “pappa al pomodoro” (tomato soup), game dishes and wines are just some of the most delicious plates you can find in this hystorical “osteria” Da Vinattari. Just a few steps away from Dante’s museum, you will finda small door full of yummy surprises.
Open from 11.00am to 7.00pm you’ll be served by friendly staff and to spend 6 eruros for a sandwich and a glass of wine.
Piazza della Signoria
In my opinion the most beautiful square in Florence and I think I’m not the only one to think so, judging by the hord of tourist that everyday visit the square. Tall and majestic man like sculptures like Michelangelo’sDavid and the Ammannati Neptune dominate the square, not to mention the ones you can see inside “Loggia dei Lanzi” that overlooks the square. I also recommend a visit in the small courtyard inside the city hall.
Walking just beneath the “Uffizzi” museum our walk takes us to:
The symbol of Florence, “Ponte Vecchio” crosses the Arno river with elegance. When on the bridge, it’s possible to see part of the “Corridoio Vasariano”. This corridor, was built by Giorgio Vasari, on top of the goldsmiths shop’s that are located on the sides of the bridge, commissioned from the Medici’s family so that they could move from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti without accessing the public road of Florence.
A walk on top of the bridge is a must if you’re in Florence, it’s interesting to admire all the beautiful goldsmiths shops.
As we said earlier walking makes you hungry so next stop…
Located on the first floor inside the S. Lorenzo Market, basically a big food court that offers any kind of Tuscany and Florentine cuisine.
Often pretty crowded it’s worth a visit specially if you’re hungry!
Open 7 days per week from 10.00am to 00.00.
Hope that you’ve loved our tour on WHAT TO SEE IN FLORENCE!