Tuscany is one of the most popular European Destinations in Italy with Florence (Firenze) at its capital. It is home to the best gelato in the world and famous for renaissance art with incredible structures like the Duomo. During our recent Tuscany Adventures, we made a point of adding Florence to the itinerary. Our hope was to find all the best kept secrets in Florence as well as the main tourist attractions.
Our Tuscany adventures had started a few days before, we flew in Pisa airport and rode a train to Carrara. It would be in the Ortonovo region of Casano where we would find our accommodation thanks to Casale Amati. Our itinerary was one that needed to be adjusted to account for the distance between Casano and Florence. But fear not, there is a good bus and train system to get you into Pisa before advancing to Florence. The entire journey takes just under 2 hours and costs a little over 18 euros per person.
FLORENCE ITALY – THE PERFECT ITINERARY FOR FIRST-TIMERS
All of us on the trip had never been to Florence before so we were all a little eager if not too much. We left Casano at the crack of dawn to make it into Florence for 10 in the morning. Using the Rome2Rio app, it was easy to navigate our way around the Tuscany region and catch the right buses and train. If you’re heading to Florence for the first time, here are some things to note;
- The most popular tourist attractions – Duomo is only a short walk from the train station.
- Tourist office is just outside the train station
- Public transport is very frequent and accessible
- To make most of your visit, grab the hop on hop off bus around the city
- Check out the various alleyways close to the Duomo for the best gelato
- Be careful of pocket pickers, its a popular city and therefore a playing ground for thieves.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to business of exploring Florence Italy. I must iterate that Florence can be quite an expensive city and often can leave a dent in your budget. But fret not, there are a lot of things one can do for free in Florence.
The weather in #florence wasn’t exactly friendly but it did not stop many people queuing up to enter the #duomo⛪️ we opted to skip it and just enjoy the view from the outside. .. .. .. #florenceitaly #firenze #piazzaduomo #piazzadelduomo #loveitaly #travel #travelling #traveling #traveller #travelgram #travels #instatravel #traveldiaries #travelblogger #travelblog #traveladdict #igtravel #neverstopexploring #wanderlust #liveauthentic #lifeofadventure #natgeotravel #welltravelled #iamtb #searchfinddiscover #inspiringtravelpics
Florence, Italy City Break
Regular readers know I am a sucker for a good city break, often I can be found neck down scouring for deals. It’s not uncommon for me to score really cheap flights to loads of European Destinations. Once I do I often head onto Pinterest to search for things to do in that city and write down an itinerary. The city break to Florence was no exception, we looked at what we wanted to see during our visit. Here is a couple of places we managed to explore whilst in Florence, Italy.
- Piazzale Liberta
- Piazzale Becaria
- Piazzale Gallileo
- The Cathedral Of Santa Maria del Fiore
Whilst the weather was not the most friendly, we were dressed warmly enough, after all it was still winter. But I appreciate not everyone would have chance to explore all of Florence which is fine. It just means you have to return and explore this incredible Tuscany capital a little more.
Recommended by Bloggers – Florence
Ever since I became a blogger, I have found myself trusting fellow bloggers more and often ask for their opinion. In preparation for sharing this article, I decided to crowd-source with my fellow bloggers. I wanted to know what they loved about Florence and plays they would recommend visiting. I got a missed bag of recommendations which I really loved as variety is a spice of life.
- Anna of Anna International blog recommends Piazzale Michelangelo up above the city just before sunset. Having lived in the city of Florence, she used to take her friends to Piazzale Michelangelo for the sunset. She says ‘we would grab a beer from the truck on the left hand side of the Piazza and watch the sun go down from the steps there (much better view of the sunset from the left side). The sunsets are usually spectacular and the city looks amazing as it gets dark, because only the three main buildings which stand high above the streets (Duomo, Santa Croce church and Palazzo Vecchio) and along the River Arno are really lit up, the rest of the city looks dark. Then wander down the hill into the Oltrarno for an aperitivo. Perfect end to a day of exploring‘. She has written all about her Top Eating Experiences and where to grab the best Gelato.
- Jess of Enjoy the Adventure recommends shares how she ‘loved the views from Piazzale Michelangelo, I mean who doesnt? She also mentioned how she ‘stopped at the Garden of Cascine which was really beautiful, a good place to relax.’ She has written a lovely account of where to go in Florence for a weekend, love it.
- Fran of Get Jaunty has been a couple of times to Florence and recommends seeing Michaelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. It really is a stunning piece of artwork and a brilliant bit of Italian history. She has written about what to do in Florence, such a great read.
- Joanna of the World In my Pocket recommends a cooking class in Florence, I mean I love so so yes please. Most of us love Italian foods and would be awesome to learn how to cook some of them outside Pasta.
- Amanda of the International Foodie also opted to recommends incredible foods you can enjoy in Florence. I love that she has covered those of us on a budget as well and give some yummy options.
Recommended by Bloggers – Florence Alternatives;
Florence is an incredible city to visit, but if you’re on a budget or fancy something different, we have you covered. There are times when I too want to escape the busyness of the big cities for much quieter ones. These lovely bloggers have shared alternation recommendations to Florence.
- Gemma of Fat Frocks recommends heading to Lucca for a break from the crowds in Florence. Easy to reach by train, sipping cocktails on the terrace of Caffetteria San Colombano. Hire a bike to cycle along the historic city walls are a great way to spend the day. Check out her post on Lucca, Italy.
- Hannah of Last Stop Lunar echos the cries of many a budget traveler and opted for Pisa instead of Florence. She admits ‘I enjoyed the views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo but that’s all I did really. There’s lots of shopping which is great when you have spending money, but not great for a budget traveller like myself.’
- Joy of Pinkoddy recommends skipping Florence for the glorious city of Siena. Her favourite part is the church where Catherine’s head is kept. Read all about her history of Siena post for more inspiration.