Having gone to art school, I definitely couldn’t pass up the chance to go to Florence. After all, it’s the birth place of the Italian Renaissance! Also opera was invented there and the Florentine dialect which was adapted and became what’s now the modern Italian language.
Ok so maybe I did doze off a couple times in art history class when we were looking at slides of Renaissance art, but when you’re walking around the city, immersed in the charming old architecture, you feel like you’re transported back in history and all of a sudden, there’s nothing more you’d like to do than look at works by Michelangelo (and also eat gelato because it’s hot out).
Getting to Florence is super easy and cheap from Pisa. In fact, some people fly to Pisa and go directly to Florence, since they actually have airport shuttles at the Pisa airport to take you down to Florence for just 5 euros. It’s only about an hour away and the views of the Italian countryside from the bus aren’t bad either!
The first thing we did in Florence was go to the Uffizi gallery. Since it’s one of the most famous art museums in the world, the line up can get pretty crazy…which was why we tried going as early as possible, but we still ended waiting about an hour to get in. Luckily, there’s this amazing sandwich shop nearby and the bf got us some sandwiches while we waited.
The shop is called All’Antico Vinaio and and the sandwiches are so large and delicious! The best part is that they’re only 5 euros as well. We both don’t exactly know what’s in our sandwiches actually, but the one with the eggplant is heavenly.
The Uffizi gallery (once you finally make it inside) is full of impressive works. The most famous, and my absolute favourite is Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (that’s one painting I didn’t fall asleep looking at in art history class!) Unfortunately, no photography is allowed so instead here’s a picture of my postcard (yes, that’s quite sad)
Also while you’re there…make sure to look up! The ceiling is pretty amazing too.
One place we also checked out was the San Lorenzo market, which was really hyped up about all the leather goods you can buy there, at really cheap prices. Most of their products are made of leather and made in Italy. Considering the prices (the bf got a cute leather pouch for his mom for just 7 euros) most things are a pretty great deal considering how Prada bags cost a few thousand dollars, and they’re not even made in Italy anymore. Overall though, the stands got a bit repetitive and sold the same things but if you’re in Florence, it may be worth a visit!
For an amazing view of the city, I recommend going up to the Michelangelo Square. The square itself is kind of ugly since most of it consists of parking lot space, and the other half consisted of people trying to sell you posters (ok I admit I bought one), but the view is great!
The Duomo (cathedral) is easy to spot from afar and definitley worth a visit up close.
As well as the Basilica of Santa Croce (which to be honest, I found prettier than the Duomo). It’s also the burial place of lots of famous Italians like Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Pretty cool, right?!
Also if you’re hungry, check out Gusta Pizza! They reviews were so amazing we had to check it out for ourselves, and it does not disappoint. Apparently it’s owned by brothers from Naples who brought the Naples style pizza to Florence…so if you’re looking for authentic Italian style pizza outside of Naples, here’s the place. Plus the pizzas start at 5 euros and they’re huge!
(Although I would’ve loved more cheese on the pizzas even though that’s not the Naples way. I LOVEEE cheesy gooey pizza).
For those hungry and daring, something authentically Florentine (and goes back 1000 years!) is lampredotto, which is a tripe sandwich…in other words, cow stomach. It sounds pretty gross, but it’s actually quite tasty! You can find them being sold by street vendors for about 3,50 each.
Oh and did you know that the writer of Pinocchio Carlo Collodi is also from Florence?
Have you guys been to Florence? What are some of your favourites about the city?