We had mentioned in our previous post about our trip to Venice that back in September we also went to Florence as part of the trip. As you may know Florence is mostly known as a city of the Renaissance, with beautiful historic buildings, art, gardens and statues and also not forgetting a city with excellent food! We spent three days in Florence as our last day was spent in Venice, so we have put together our experience of the city and also include any tips below that can be helpful on your trip to this wonderful place.
We flew into Pisa from Dublin as there are no direct flights from Dublin to Florence and made our journey by train from Pisa. It took about an hour and thirty minutes to get to Florence but the train station is right in the middle of the city and when you step outside you can even see the Duomo.
Our hotel was only a ten minute walk from the train station and was also situated on a street right beside the Duomo itself so we stayed quite central. The Hotel Spadai was absolutely amazing with high ceiling rooms, plush décor and our room also had a little balcony. One feature we loved was the winding stairs that leads up to the observation deck where you have a perfect view of the Duomo itself, this is great for photo opportunities as its never crowded.
On our first day, we decided to walk around the city a little to get our bearings and explore a little. For food that evening we stopped off at a place called Caffe Concerto Paszkowski in Piazza della Repubblica. They have a nice outdoor seating area where you can have food and drinks. The service and the food were great and it was nice to sit out in the evening sunshine watching the life of the piazza unfold.
On our second day, we decided to go to the top of the Duomo! We did a guided tour of the church itself, the tombs, the museum and then also the Florence Baptistery beside the Duomo, at the end of the tour you get to go in and climb all the way to the top and we also got to break for ice cream. We both climbed all 463 steps and were very tired after but the view was definitely worth it. See pictures below:
We then went to Piazza della Repubblica for some lunch and stopped off at Giubbe Rosse. I opted for one of their pasta dishes and again we sat in the outdoor terrace. The food was delicious and afterwards we made our way to the Ponte Vecchio. The area around the Ponte Vecchio has a great atmosphere, with street artists, lively restaurants and bars as well as a great atmosphere. We highly recommend heading down here while in Florence. We also took a stroll through the winding streets around Piazza della Signoria and near Pizza della Repubblica which are filled with designer boutiques.
On day three we had a very busy day. We headed to the Pitti Palace to walk around the wonderful gardens and also take in an amazing view of the city. It was very hot on our third day so we didn’t stay in the gardens for long. We then went to the Gucci Museum back on Pizza della Signoria. As a fashion lover it was a must on my list as Gucci originated in Florence. The museum was very interesting and had many Gucci Treasures and even a Gucci Car! After lunch, we headed back towards the Ponte Vecchio so I could buy a beautiful painting from one of the talented street artists, it something I always get if I can when I am away. We then headed to the Palazzo Vecchio which overlooks Piazza della Signoria. Palazzo Vecchio contains many sculptures, courtyards and paintings however we just went up to the Tower which has excellent views of Florence. We ended our day in the Hard Rock Café with some great food and drinks (I love their cocktails). The next day we were off to Venice so our time in Florence came to an end. We had a wonderful time in Florence and would highly recommend a trip there. The city is full of history, is very clean and picturesque. We had a great experience and would definitely return.
- If you have the time try take a guided tour of the Duomo and surroundings as we did, you get to skip the queues and also get great information on the history of the buildings and city.
- If you are climbing the Duomo take a bottle of water with you! I didn’t and before I got to the top I got very dizzy and wasn’t sure if I could go on, trust me it will help you reach the top for the amazing views of the city.
- Be aware that the bread bowls put on your table for lunch and dinner are not free, you will most likely have to pay extra for them.
- We found the service in some restaurants to be quite slow especially during busy periods, just keep this in mind on your trip and enjoy watching the city go by as you wait.
If you have any questions about our trip or are looking for any recommendation please do contact us via the contact tab, we would be happy to answer your questions if we can on your upcoming trip to the city.
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