It is hard to think of an alternative route around one of the most visited cities in the world, so here we’ll just outline a few of the things that we like the most about Florence. Romantic, beautiful and home to some of the most important works of the Renaissance period, the Tuscan capital is at the top of our beloved – and stylish in that very chic Italian way – cities of the world.
The Mercato Centrale, although often crowded, is one of our favourite spots to grab some local food, and even to taste the local dish: lampredotto. Although what it is might not be that appetising – it is made from the final stomach of a cow. Its taste is truly exquisite, especially if accompanied by a glass of Brunello di Montalcino.
If you prefer sitting comfortably on a terrace, then the picturesque option is to cross the Ponte Vecchio to the other side and head to Piazza Santo Spirito, where you will find the fantastic Trattoria Borgo Antico. If you find yourself in this part of town, after lunch you might want to visit Boboli Gardens, that, charming and picturesque, embody the spirit of the city and are in many ways an open-air museum.
Once you cross the Arno again, art will be on your plate. But before that, here goes a little history lesson. One of the most important patron family lineages of Italy and Europe were the Medicis (whose name possibly derived from Médico – Doctor), and among which notable Dukes, Popes, Queens and Bankers were found. Cosimo de Medici, in fact, is indirectly responsible for one of the jewels of Florence, as he sponsored Brunelleschi so he could paint the dome of Firenze’s Duomo (the Cathedral). A must-see on the list of every tourist, it is but one of the magnificent examples of art that characterize Florence, most of which can be seen at the Uffizi Gallery, which hosts works by Da Vinci, Boticelli or Andrea Verrocchio. These three artists were also sponsored by one of the representatives of the Medici family, who in the dynamic spirit of the Renaissance, in addition to being a Statesman, philosopher and poet was also a skilled card player. The art route in Florence obviously includes the Galleria dell’Accademia, where the one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, the David, is found.
Just walking around the city is fascinating enough, given that there are hundreds of valuable sculptures you will stumble upon as you make your way around Florence. Leaving the Renaissance legacy behind, as you walk by the Jewish neighbourhood you should not skip the Synagogue, which is one of the biggest temples of its kind in Western Europe.
And as the day comes to an end, you should not forget to visit the best place in town to watch a sunset: Piazzale Michelangelo. Although it is located at the top of a hill and you have to walk a little to get there, it is definitely worth it. Take with you a drink of your choice and sit on the stairs to see how the sun hides behind this magical city.
The best part about Florence is that once you’ve had enough of the city, you’re a stone’s throw away from the magnificent Tuscan countryside, which is in fact a whole other route worth talking about. We might wait until the summer to do so which is when dreams of a glass of Chianti and a stroll through picture perfect vineyards in the warm weather is what we will most likely be yearning for.