Bits of Florence,  EUROPE,  Love Notes from Italy,  Travel

ULTIMATE List of Things to Do in Florence – Florence Travel Tips!

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  1. One of the Best things to do in Florence- A Guided Walking Tour

    Whenever I travel to a new city, one of the first things I do it take a guided walking tour.  It is a great way to get an idea of the history of the city, the important sights, and get the lay of the land. Since Florence is such a walkable city – this is a great way to figure everything out!  Viator has some amazing guided walking tours available!

    CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR
    FLORENCE WALKING TOUR

  2. Climb the Duomo & the Bell Tower.

    One of the most outstanding sights in Florence, you can’t miss the Duomo.  It’s absolutely MASSIVE and right in the heart of the historic center.  Free to visit on the first Sunday of every month.
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  3. Do aperitivo, and love every amazing second of it.

    fullsizerender-7Check out my Florence City Guide to learn more about where to get aperitivo in Firenze.

  4. Accept that you may wear out your favorite pair of shoes on the cobblestone streets.

    If there is one thing in life I have slowly learned to accept, its that you’ve got to wear good shoes in Italy, and those good shoes may die while you’re there.  Arch support is key.  Fashion is also important…so what do you wear!?!? The answer, my friends, are BIRDIES. These are literally my go-to shoes for every occasion, but especially for travel in Europe and particularly Italy.  Flats, sandals, slides, loafers, you name it, I’m buying Birdies.  With 7 layers of comfort, and a memory foam sole…how could you not?

    Birdies Women's Flats

  5. Eat an entire pizza to yourself (bonus points when it’s from Gusta Pizza!)

    It wouldn’t be a vacation to Italy if you didn’t stuff yourself full with pizza, now would it?

  6. Watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo.

    If you somehow miss going to Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset during your stay in Florence, you have truly missed out on a once in a lifetime experience.  Musicians everywhere, people drinking wine and eating bread on the steps, and a view of Florence unlike any other, this is what life in Italy is all about.
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  7. Take a cooking class.

    One of the most fun things to do in Italy is to take a cooking class!  It’s really incredible to be the one to hand-make your own ravioli you will be eating for dinner!  And while I don’t plan on handcrafting ravioli often in my future, I did learn a few new tricks to add to my kitchen routine!

    CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONE OF THE TOP RATED COOKING CLASSES IN FLORENCE

     

     

    cooking class in Florence italyOK, can we just take a second and talk about how young I am in this photo!?!? I am literally a BABY – I was only 20 years old the first time I went to Italy.
  8. Visit the Boboli Gardens.

    On the oltrarno (other side of the Arno) – is the famous Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.  Home to the Medici, Hapsburg, and Savoy families.  This beautiful palace is worth the visit and you could wander the Gardens for an entire day if you so wished.
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  9. See the inside of the Santa Croce (Dante’s Tomb!)

    If you haven’t exhausted your church visits during your time in Italy, Santa Croce is definitely worth going into.  For a small entrance fee you can go inside and see some beautiful architecture (and I think a dead pope? – don’t quote me on that).  This church is also the decorative front piece for the infamous Calcio Storico Fiorentino that takes place every year in the front courtyard.

  10. Calcio Storico Fiorentino

    Speaking of Calcio Storico Fiorentino, if you are in town during early June is it well worth it to book tickets to this incredible event.  What is it? It is a mix of football, soccer, rugby, and wrestling, all played by beautiful beefy Italian men in historical costume (usually also shirtless).  Sound like fun?  I thought so.  Visit Florence gives up to date information on the current Calcio Storico events, so keep checking back there for official dates and tickets!  Calcio Storico is definitely one of the most “Florentine” things to do in Florence!

  11. Hike up to Fiesole.

    A short bus ride and small walk away is the beautiful hillside town of Fiesole (fee-eh-so-lay).  Well worth it for the overlooking view of Florence.  Worth it for a cute little morning stroll!

  12. Visit the Academia and see the David.

    Must I even explain?  You can’t go to Florence and not visit Il Davide!  Did you know there are actually 3 Davids in Florence?  The true David sculpted by Michelangelo resides in Academia.  The two other dupes are in Piazza della Signoria and at the top of Piazzale Michelangelo.  The entrance is free the first Sunday of the month and is also free for women on International Women’s Day!
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  13. Take a photo on the triangle sides of the Ponte Trinita looking at the Ponte Vecchio.

    If you’re looking for the perfect spot to get a ‘ gram shot of the Ponte Vecchio, this is it.  head to Ponte Trinita and take the jump over the wall to get out on these little triangles for a spectacular view of the bridge.  Be wary though, the jump is kinda far and I have definitely bruised my feet making the leap!
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  14. Eat as much gelato as possible.

    If there is one thing in Italy you MUST indulge in, make it Gelato.  Marco Ottaviano is one of my favorite gelaterias in Firenze and there is a good reason why!  It’s important to note a few things about picking out your gelato.

    Gelato is NOT ice cream. It’s not made in the same way.
    True gelato that is homemade will be inside little silver tins within the gelateria
    The big beautiful displays of gelato you see in the window, while stunning, are probably not the best gelato out there.  They want it to look pleasing and inviting, but to keep that display looking fresh for so long requires preservatives.  This means it’s probably not made in house.
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  15. Walk across the Ponte Vecchio & do some window shopping (or real shopping)

    The Ponte Vecchio has always been a location where goods were sold and purchased.  Originally it was a meat marketplace, but one of the di Medici family members disliked the smell, so they banned all meat sales on the bridge and made it a place for gold and silversmiths only.  Today, the Ponte Vecchio is still a great destination to find beautiful handcrafted gold and silver in Florence.
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  16. Have dinner in Santo Spirito.

    Another part of the Oltrarno, Santo Spirito is a great place to get away from the crowded tourist section of town.  With tons of adorable little restaurants and little bakeries, you should definitely make an attempt to get dinner over here at least one night while you are in Firenze.

  17. Check out the artwork in the Uffizi.

    The second most famous museum in Florence, the Uffizi is a MUST while you are visiting this renaissance city.  With thousands of pieces of artwork, you could spend hours getting lost in this museum of masterpieces.  My favorite? The Birth of Venus.

  18. Marvel at all the sculptures and statues in Piazza Della Signoria.

  19. Eat Bistecca Alla Fiorentina.img_5062

  20. Eat as many panini as possible.

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  21. Visit Dante’s house.

  22. Buy leather.

  23. Deal with the Florence post office.

  24. Have a full four-course meal with antipasti, primi piatti, secondi piatti, and dolce, paired with several bottles of wine, the first being prosecco.  Then end the evening with a café and grappa or limoncello.960

  25. Meet the locals.  Like the actual Florentines, not just people who live here.

  26.  Tour the Palazzo Vecchio.fullsizerender-5

  27. Visit San Miniato al Monte.

  28. Struggle through not having a split check, and accepting that it will all work out by the end of your stay here.

  29. Visit Giardino Bardini, another beautiful area on the oltrarno.

  30. Rub the nose of the Porcellino.

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  31. Go to the pool in Cascine Park. (They also do food truck rallies here throughout the year and they’re AMAZING)

  32. Figure out what your favorite pasta is through lots of sampling (aka eating pasta every other night).11351287_10203091245601997_1760948864856914527_n

  33. Stop worrying about the time- everyone is going to be late anyway.

  34. See the tomb of Galileo

  35. Ride the carousel in Piazza Repubblica.riding the carousel in Piazza Repubblica is one of the best things to do in florence

  36. Check out the latest exhibition going on at Palazzo Strozzi

  37. Watch a movie at the Odeon.

  38. Have a cappuccino at News Café.

    news cafe is one of the best places to get a cappuccino in Florence

  39. Get really lost in the spiderwebbing streets.

  40. Soak it all in!fullsizerender-4

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