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The centre of Renaissance culture
Sights & Attractions in Florence (Italy)
Member Name: joey92
Sights & Attractions in Florence (Italy)
Advantages: Lots of cultural attractions, elegant and not at all tourist spoilt.
Disadvantages: The heat in summer!
Florence is the centre of Renaissance culture, a stunning city with plenty of personality in the heart of Tuscany.
With its wealth of history and culture combined with stunning art galleries, churches, museums and Baroque architecture, Florence is a city not to be missed when visiting Italy.
No one could accuse Florence of being understated! Indeed, standing next to the dome I was overwhelmed by the architecture! They were definitely being very fancy and lavish with their designs, emphasising the wealth and importance of Florence as a city.
I'd actually love to live in Florence for a while, the main drawback being how expensive it all is! We stayed here for five days and it was definitely a "whistle-stop" tour, as if you love culture, there is so much to see and do! If you find museums and galleries boring, you may enjoy the beautiful buildings and relaxed Italian living.
From the UK, we flew to Pisa, spent a night in Pisa then caught the train service to Florence, though you could do this in one day without the overnight stay as we wanted to see some sights in Pisa too! It is expensive to fly direct to the airport of Florence as it isn't a huge airport like the one in Pisa, so it definitely works out cheaper flying to Pisa.
The cathedral with its striking dome is the landmark icon of the city, the huge dome was engineered by the famous architect Filippo Brunelleschi.
Inside, you can climb up to the top of the dome for a view! This attracts immense queues, so I would recommend going in the early morning to skip the crowds. Inside, the dome is just as beautiful and decorated with religious artworks. Whilst I was in Italy, I was trying to learn Italian, so I enjoyed reading the information in English and Italian side by side inside the cathedral. At the top, there is a stunning view of the city and this makes for a photo moment if you are a tourist!!
It is very steep to climb to the top, only go up if you have the energy, there are no lifts!
To climb the dome it will cost you 8 euros, however it is free to wander round the cathedral itself. The dome was a later addition to the cathedral and was not in its original design. It was built in the 15th century.
This translates to the "old bridge". This would sum up this traditional landmark of Florence.
This bridge is packed with jewellery shops which is what it is primarily famous for, so its great for window shopping but if you just don't have the funds, its nice to wander over as it's a pedestrian bridge. It's very beautiful and there are nice views down the river.
This piazza is slightly above the main city centre which means it is a beautiful place to watch the sun set. Picturesque, this piazza can be accessed on foot which is what we did, though I understand you can also take a bus.
This is a famous art gallery of Florence, featuring many of the greats including Botticelli, Michelangelo and Giotto. This can take a whole day to go round, though it is recommended to pre book tickets. I spent an afternoon here as my friend wasn't bothered about the artwork as much as I was. It also has a rather nice cafÚ with a roof terrace.
I didn't manage to go to this museum as it was closed, but Dante was born in Florence so it is probably worth a visit!!
Piazza della Signoria
This piazza has always been the heart of Fiorentine politics, with the palazzo vecchio. I can remember having a lovely evening listening to a busker here, he had drawn quite a crowd with his mixture of Italian and English hits and he played a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's sound of silence which suited the atmosphere perfectly! There are often buskers in the piazzas in the evening.
Florence has many street markets selling products such as leather bags which it is famous for, jewellery, sunglasses and tourist items.
You can eat out in Florence and get pizza and pasta everywhere, there are many lovely restaurants in the piazzas and on the outskirts where we were staying.
My friend and I shared pizzas for the most part, as we were on a budget!!
We stayed in a hostel, which I have reviewed over on Ciao as jojo92. It is generally quite expensive to stay in Florence, but there are hostels available for those on a budget so it is possible!
I had a brilliant holiday in Florence, and would definitely want to return, despite the scorching heat in July!
Summary: Pay Florence a visit!