Florence is Italy’s third most visited place next to Rome and Venice. The Tuscany’s capital Florence’s eating scene is much talked about and reviewed subject online.
If you are a proud gastronome, Florence will be your first choice to go to in Italy. Rome can wait, so too the Vatican, Venice, Milan, Siena, Pisa, and Nice. Yes, Italy has that many attractions and more if you consider its most picturesque islands.
Next only to Rome, Florence is the city to admire the awesome Renaissance period architecture and fine arts.
Here is the example.
Incredible building! The countless spires and the grandeur is truly imposing to look at.
Just to capture your attention, I am uploading this video of the city. I am 100% sure; you will not press the ‘fast forward’ button due to impatience.
Now, I will tell you about some of the sightseeing attractions in Florence, share details about hotels and resorts choices and briefly take you on a culinary tour of Florence.
Sightseeing attractions in Florence:
Wherever you go in Italy, your eyes would instantly stay riveted on buildings of architectural beauty such as churches, basilicas, museums, and theaters. These historical monuments would take your breath away with their beauty and towering appearance. Therefore, your first stop in Florence would be:
Santa Trinità Basilica, Florence
Ah, the Trinity church as it is also called looks rock solid even after nearly 1200 years of existence. It is located centrally in the Piazza Trinity, close to the Santa Trinita bridge built over the Arno River. The painting on the inside walls of this Catholic Church has withstood the vagaries of a millennium. Once inside the church, you will feel as if you are in the previous millennium and there would be a sense of pride for having stepped into this extraordinary beauty and of immense importance in the world of Italian monuments.
Palatine Gallery, Florence
What comes to your mind instantly? Your guess is right; it is a palace that now serves a gallery of exquisite works of fine art collected over several centuries. Each painting would force you to stay rooted in front of it, gazing at it for a long time, making you feel ashamed sometimes because you don’t possess that enviable skill.
There are a few more museums of exhibits in Florence and this one is highly spoken about in travel blogs.
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
It’s a bridge, a very old one built over the Arno river. In my opinion, there is nothing attractive about it but it is included as an important sightseeing landmark in brochures of guided Florence tour operators.
The unique aspect of this bridge is the shops and other buildings all along it. I have never seen a river bridge with shops! I read these shops in Ponte Vecchio sell jewels and curios. If that is the case, the bridge certainly warrants being in the list of important sightseeing attractions in Florence.
Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence
The Duomo as it is also called can be seen from anywhere in Florence, towering over every other structure.
There is a bell tower that allows the visitors to go up and have an aerial view of the city. There will be long queues in front of it; so try to go there as early as possible in the morning.
What to eat in Florence.
Florentine Steak should be your first choice of Florence food. Forget about the famed Italian Pizza for the time being. Even the Italian coffee should be pushed till you complete your hot and spicy plate of Bistecca Alla Fiorentina as it is locally found on the menu card.
Your Florence gourmet experience would be incomplete without tasting the Gelato. Look for Edoardo Gelateria on your Florence map to taste for this Florence specialty.
Gelato is nothing but the Italian ice cream that has now migrated to all parts of the world including India and SriLanka.
I am sure your Florence tour guide will stop the bus in front of Gelateria Edoardo ice cream parlor as it is the highly recommended place to taste the Gelato. It is located prominently right in the vicinity of Piazza del Duomo. The shop opens at 10.30 am.
Finally, the famous Italian Pizza which the locals call Pizzeria. The best Pizzeria served at Pizzeria Riva D’Arno that is located at Lungarno Soderini, on the banks of River Arno.
Ask for the mouthwatering Neapolitan pizza and also drink a class of Italian Margarita, the cocktail made basically from Tequila. A shot of lemon juice and orange squash added and the rim of the glass is rubbed with salt.
It’s sounding almost similar to the Bloody Mary-eh?
This is Tuscany bread and it is devoid of salt. It is a staple in this part of Italy.
Ribollita and Pappa al Pomodoro
Quite a long name for a soup that is made from tomato basically! Breadcrumbs are added in it along with seasonal vegetables and Italian herbs.
The addition of bread makes the soup semi-solid but it still is a soup.
Where to stay in Florence
The choice of staying in Florence is quite big with hotels and resorts lining up the Arno River. Lodging can be expensive in this city as the city receives wealthy tourists from all over the world and that too throughout the year.
Some of the recommended hotels to stay in Florence are:
- Four Seasons Firenze. You have to pay through your nose if you decide to stay in this high-end hotel.
- Brunelleschi Hotel-located near the busy Domo.
- J.K. Place Firenze-the hotel with a view of Piazza.
- Casa Botticelli-conveniently located near the Historic Centre and just half a kilometer from Pitti Palace.
Great photographs of tourist spots and food. I heard like real Chinese food, authentic Italian dish is not as exciting as the variants we see world over, including in India! Is it true?