Known as a beautiful Renaissance city, Florence doesn’t only serve thought-provoking and amazing Renaissance art and architecture, but also peace. I like it better than Rome. It’s a bit crowded but not hustle-bustle. It made me relaxed in a different way. My three-night stay in Florence is a chance to know the city better. According to my experience, these are the best things to do in Florence:
1. Eat as many cups or cones of gelato as you want
Who can avoid to not eating gelato when in Italy? I bet no one can. Florence is the birthplace of gelato, so one of the best gelaterias are in Florence. Some gelaterias have long lines but it’s always worth the wait for a fresh and handmade gelato. The variety of the flavor and the authenticity are the ones you can’t get in other countries. I’ve tried 6 flavors and my favorite is salted caramel in a gelateria in Mercato di San Lorenzo. The price is also various but it costs less than 5 euros.
2. Taste Venchi, fine Italian chocolate
I was interested when I saw the long line in Venchi chocolate Firenze Via dei Calzaiuoli, Piazza del Duomo. I ordered crepes with its signature chocolate mixed with hazelnut gelato. I still remember its great taste. This is definitely recommended for chocolate lovers.
3. Visit the city’s icon, The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fior
Florence is well-known by its typical Italian Gothic building of The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It is actually one of the largest churches in the world. When I visited this cathedral, I was amazed by its magnificent architecture. The exterior is absolutely the one that gives good first impression to the tourist. I love the color combination which are pink, white, and green marble. If you read some articles about it, most of the writers will suggest you to climb the dome. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do it due to the limited time and saving-money excuse. It’s free if you only visit the duomo (Italian cathedral) but you have to buy a ticket to access to climb the dome and the bell tower. Another thing that paid my attention is the Pazzi Conspiracy which is the mystery of Florence’s cathedral dome. I can’t give you the detailed story. You’d better google it 😀
4. Relax by the river in Ponte Vecchio while waiting for sunset
This is another top-tourist destination in Florence. According to www.visittuscany.com, Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge in Florence that survived World War II. Isn’t it cool? I think this bridge is the most romantic spot in Florence with its nice view over the Arno river. Perfectly perfect to visit in sunset time.
5. Shop at the local market
Shopping is one of the least things to do in Italy. Any market in Florence is a great stop for shopping unique souvenirs. You can get postcards, jewellery, and leather goods there. My tip is try to bargain with the seller and always pay attention to your purse because pickpockets’ target are the distracted tourists.
6. If you have much money, visit Uffizi Gallery
I didn’t visit the gallery because it’s so pricy for a backpacker like me. To be honest, not able to getting up close to the Michelangelo masterpieces in this gallery is such a disappointment to me. If you have much money and want to know more about the Renaissance artworks, you should get into this gallery. But if you don’t, you still can witness some Italian artworks created by non-notable art workers in front of the gallery. It’s free to enjoy.