Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, and is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to get a taste of Renaissance art and architecture. As the eighth largest city in Italy by population, Florence was once the center of medieval European trade and finance as well as one of the wealthiest cities during that area. We’ll take a look at some of the spots that are a must see while you’re there!
The Duomo, Florence’s vast Gothic structure cathedral, is most recognizable by its Renaissance dome. Named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore, construction of the cathedral started in the 13th century, with the addition of the dome in the 15th century. Inside, you can find detailed mosaic pavements and a ceiling designed by Giorgio Vasari and painted by Frederico Zuccari, referred to as the “Last Judgement”. Entrance to the cathedral is free, and you can tour it either by yourself or with a tour guide.
At the Galleria dell’Accademia, you will find yourself face-to-face with the famous giant marble structures created by Michelangelo, most notably the David. If you’re interested and have the time, you can also take a look at The Musical Instrument Museum, or the “Hall of the Prisoners”, displaying Michelaneglo’s unfinished “Slaves”.
Ponte Vecchio is Florence’s oldest bridge! Here you can find the shops of Florence’s goldsmiths, and a variety of dazzling jewelry. Above the shops, you will find self-portraits by artists including Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo lining the walls of the Vasari Corridor. Definitely a great way to do some shopping and sight-seeing at the same time!
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
This is Florentine Steak, Florence’s most famous dish. If you’re a meat-lover, you’re in for a treat with this t-bone cut weighing 2-8 pounds, fire grilled on the outside and pink on the inside.
Papardelle al Cinghiale
This one definitely has me drooling a bit. This dish consists of a long, wide, flat pasta paired with (traditionally) a ragu meat sauce.
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t throw a dessert in here. Schiacciata Fiorentina is a sweet, rectangular, soft, spongy yellow cake, covered in powdered sugar. This with a side of gelato, please!
Some other quick things to know:
Obviously there is so much more to Florence, Italy than what I mentioned above, but if you’re shopping around for your next travel destination I hope I was able to put an attractive option on the table! Here are a few other things you might want to know in case Florence is next on your travel list!
Best time to travel: If you’re more concerned about weather, the best months to go are either April-June or September-October. These months also happen to be the busiest and most expensive, so if you’re worried about that, consider any other month!
Closest Airport: Either Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa or Amerigo Vespucci Airport (aka Peretola) in Florence.
I’d love to hear about anyone’s Florence experience in the comments!