What to do in Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy -- "Firenze" in Italian -- was the center of the Italian Renaissance, and home to many famous artists, including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Today it's brimming with art and culture, and is a fascinating city to visit!
Top places to go in Florence
Florence is simply steeped in history. It's truly amazing how such a concentration of the world's great thinkers collected in this small city in the 14th century, and the Renaissance that started here spread throughout Europe. Art, science, literature, and politics -- revolutionary advances in all these fields were happening, and Florence was the center of this thinker's hotbed.
- The Ponte Vecchio (Italian for "old bridge"), does indeed live up to its name, and more. Spanning the Arno River, this this medieval bridge has rows of shops hanging off the side of the bridge. In the old days, these were butchers and fishmongers. Now they house premiere goldsmiths and jewelers, with merchandise worth ogling.
- The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (commonly referred to as "The Duomo") is the cathedral of Florence, and its dome towers over the rest of the Florentine skyline. The exterior has clean, elegant patterns of white, pink and green marble. Engineering such an enormous dome was a feat unknown elsewhere at that time -- another development in science from the Renaissance days.
- Michelangelo's David is one of his greatest works of art, and one of the best-known statues in the world. "The David" is a powerful marble sculpture of the young David from the biblical conflict with Goliath. It is now viewed as a symbol of youthful human beauty and strength.
- Florence is the primary city of Tuscany, a region of Italy famous for beautiful scenery,medieval hill towns, and Chianti wine. If you've got the time, it well worth doing a little exploring. Check out Siena (Florence's arch-rival city during the Renaissance), or Pisa(home of the famous leaning tower). Both are easy to do by train from Florence as a day trip.
- The Uffizi Museum is a must for art-lovers -- arguably the finest collection of Italian Renaissance art in the world. You'll find a large collection with paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, Masaccio, and many more. Buy museum tickets online to avoid long lines.
Top things to do in Florence
- Shopping, anyone? Florence has a wealth of shops selling top-quality (and some not-so-top quality, so beware) goods. You'll find designer fashions with well-known names like Gucci, Prada, and Roberto Cavalli. The city is home to the famous Salvatore Ferragamo. You'll find fabulous Italian shoes, elegant leather goods, colorful silks, and amazing jewelry.
- If you're blowing your wad on the trip itself, not the designer duds once you get here, Florence is also a great city for buying souvenirs, and gifts for the folks back home. Check out the street markets, where you could find a bargain. With colorful stalls displaying a huge variety of products, you'll want your camera with you, too.
- When you have shopped 'till you're ready to drop, where better to take the weight off your feet than just across the Ponte Vecchio, in the area known as Oltrarno. You'll find numerous restaurants and wine bars in this back street area of the city. It's not quite the normal tourist path, and there's a feeling of authenticity here.
- After returning to your hotel for a quick freshen-up, why not take in Florence by night? You could have dinner at a trattoria (tavern), then check out one of the city's clubs or live music venues. As an alternative, you could do what the Italians do -- go from bar to bar, enjoying a drink and some snacks at each. Keep your eyes open for posters in public areas about what events are taking place while you're here.
- Italy Vacation: 10 Favorite Things to See and Do in Italy
- Italy Vacations: 5 Useful Tips for a Great Trip
- Italy Vacations: When is the best time to go?
- Tuscany - Fabulous Hill Towns of Tuscany, Italy
- Italian cities to see before you die
- Michelangelo, the Sculptor
- Siena, Italy - Favorite Things to Do in Siena
Explore Florence, Italy
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