Florence, Italy

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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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)
  • Siena
  • 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)

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