Florence, Italy

Arriving in Florence at night with the buildings illuminated is a sight to behold.  Most of the streets are paved with cobblestones and dotted with cafes, so I recommend heading out for a glass Chianti upon arrival.

With so much to see and do in Florence, it takes a little forethought and planning to be sure you see it all. During the summer the crowds are out in full force so you may find yourself spending a little extra time in queues. This especially holds true at the Academia, the home of Michelangelo’s statue of David. If queues aren’t your thing head down to the water for a walk along the river Arno and across Ponte Vecchio. Ponte Vecchio is a bridge with many stores built on top.  Originally it was a place to buy meats, but thanks to the Medici family, it is now famous for gold jewellers. You can spend hours here just people watching or gazing across the river.

The Medici family palace is also not to be missed, housing an incredible collection of paintings and statues.  A highlight is climbing to the top of the tower here and taking in the breathtaking views of Florence rooftops and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. From here the large domed roof of the Duomo can be seen and makes navigating there a little easier. That said, there are worse things you could be doing than getting lost in the streets of Florence.

No trip to Florence is complete without also exploring the surrounding areas.  Sienna is just a train ride away and you can be there and back in a day.  Travelling by train through the many sunflower fields alone makes the trip worthwhile. Florence is definitely a city that once you leave, you know you’ll return someday.   

Written by Joel Mein for The Essential Destination

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