After a day in Rome all to myself, I headed to the Termini and hopped on a train to Florence to meet a close mate from our grad school days in London. Both having studied abroad in Italy during our undergrads, we’d done our fair shares of meandering from northern to southern Italy. I hadn’t been to Florence since 2008 so was quite excited to have a refresher. Here’s what I’ve gotten up to in Florence over the years…
Where We Stayed:
- Air B’n’B. When not traveling alone, renting an apartment is my go to.
What We Did:
- The Duomo + Tower Climb. This was my first time actually climbing the tower. If you’re claustrophobic, I wouldn’t suggest it. Whilst St Paul’s has a separate route for ascending and descending…the Duomo does not – in typical disorganised Italian fashion. The view is breathtaking though. Note: tickets to climb the Duomo aren’t purchased inside the Duomo, but at an office to the left of the front of the Duomo.
- Ponte Vecchio. Stroll the famous bridge lined with jewelry shops. Back in 2008 I bought a gold pendant with a Florentine coin which ended up being the start to my continent necklace (I’ve bought one pendant from each continent I’ve gone to – haven’t quite figured what I’ll do about Antarctica though…).
- The Ufizzi. The gold mine of Renaissance art. Look into getting your tickets beforehand.
- The Accademia. The main attraction is, of course, Michaelangelo’s David. It is truly striking.
- Piazza Della Repubblica. Grab a table and share a bottle of prosecco with your mates.
- Arno. I always love a stroll along any river.
Where We Ate (and other suggestions):
- Trattoria dell’Orto. Suggested to us by our Air B’n’B host. Per usual, I had traditional spaghetti pomodoro. The sauce rocked my socks off.
- Il Magazzino di Luca & Ale. We ended up here because the two other places we tried first had a two hour wait. On a Sunday evening. Lesson learned: make reservations. In the end, we enjoyed the food and the cute little piazza it was located in.
- Trattoria 4 Leoni. The restaurant we originally wanted to eat at which is in the same Piazza (Della Passera) as the aforementioned eatery.
Other Neighbouring Towns to Visit:
All of the following are easily accessed from Florence by train or bus!
- San Gimignano (more on that in my next post)
- Lucca (the home of Puccini for you opera lovers!)
- Pisa (we actually flew back to London from here because the flight was a steal at 30 quid – it’s an hour bus ride from the train station in Florence)