ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Week in Italy: Florence

Updated on February 14, 2013

One of the Many Bakeries in Florence

Traveling From Rome to Florence

From the Termini station, we took a regional train to Florence's Santa Maria Novella station. The ticket costs 17.35 Euros and there is no seat reservation. Luckily, end November is not a peak period and we did not have to worry about standing throughout the train ride. The train was also on-time and we reached Florence, or known locally as Firenze, in about 3 hours.

Art Tuesdays: Free Entrance to Pitti Palace and Uffizi Gallery

As we had reached Florence on the last Tuesday on November, we took advantage of the "Art Tuesdays" opening of museums. This meant that we could enter many renowned museums for free from 7pm onwards. After dinner, we crossed the Arno river via the beautiful Ponte Vecchio (Ponte means bridge) in order to reach the Pitti Palace. The bridge is brightly lit and has shop after shop selling jewellery. We stopped a while to take pictures from the bridge and to admire the beautiful scenery. Then, we went ahead to Pitti Palace which was the former home of the Medici family. The palace itself is huge and you can view wonderful paintings and furniture such as tables, clocks and so on.

Our next stop for the night was the Uffizi Gallery. Here, you have to go through a scanner and no water is allowed in. So, before you head in, finish up. Due to the free entry, there was a queue and we waited for about 15 minutes before entering. The gallery itself is filled to the brim with paintings after paintings and in one section, sculptures after sculptures! Indeed, it is here that I finally understood why Florence is so popular for its art museums.....After the 2 visits, we were tired out so we did not manage to visit the Accademia.

The Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy

Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, Mercato Centrale and San Lorenzo market

Early next morning, we took the train for a day trip to Pisa and you can read about our adventures in Pisa here. After coming back from Pisa, we stopped by the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. The strong and fragrant scents hit you from the moment you step into the pharmacy. All sorts of remedies can be found here ranging from anti-aging, to increasing one's metabolism rate to lowering cholesterol. A must visit especially if you are passing by the train station area.

On our last day in Florence, we walked towards our first stop: Mercato Centrale, which is an indoor food market. Contrary to our expectations, the market was clean and well decorated. In fact, there are food stalls inside too including the famous Nerbonne which serves really good beef-based foods. While we were in Mercato Centrale, a lady selling German food also very generously offered us huge samples of goulash (beef soup with potatoes). It was delicious! Just outside of the market you can shop for leather goods at the San Lorenzo market.

The Duomo

The Duomo: Santa Maria del Fiore Church

From here, we took a short detour to Via Faenza (Via means street) to visit the Cenacolo del Fuligno. Entrance is free but on the day that we were there, the entrance was guarded by an old man who didn't speak English. After some miscommunication, we realised that we had to sign the visitor's book before entering. We then proceeded to enter and enjoyed the art in the small museum. Next, we visited the city's most well-known church, the Santa Maria del Fiore church, also just known as the Duomo. Entrance is also free but you will have to pay if you wish to visit the crypt, dome, campanile or baptistery. Take your time in the church and you can even sit down as you study the hard work that went into designing this church.

A must visit: The Uffizi Gallery

Art, art and more art in Florence

After lunch, we then headed to the Uffizi Gallery again. Before coming to Italy, I had learnt that there are free visits to the Contini Bonacossi Collection on Thursdays. Note that the explanation by the museum staff are entirely in Italian. The collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and furnishing was definitely interesting. However, as we were not allowed to venture freely but had to stick to the larger group, it got boring after a while as we did not understand Italian. After the 45 minutes tour of the collection had ended, we headed out to the Piazza della Signoria where the Palazzo Vecchio is situated too. Here, you can take pictures of a fake David if like me, you did not have the chance to visit the Accademia to see Michelangelo's masterpiece.

Leather at Santa Croce

Slightly farther away from the centre of Florence is the Santa Croce area. Here, you can stop by the Leather School of Santa Croce, the Scuola del Cuoio, where you can see the actual process of making leather products and shop for some too! You will also notice the Basilica of Santa Croce here too. This was our last stop in Florence before we headed to Venice by train early next day. However, I am sure that if given the opportunity to visit Italy again, I will make another visit to Florence again! Just walking around the Unesco World Heritage city centre is enough to lift my spirits. And indeed, many of the buildings here would be a great backdrop for wedding photos! But that is another story for another time....

Pinocchio-Themed Shop in Florence

Map of Florence

Santa Maria Novella station:
Santa Maria Novella, 50123 Florence, Italy

get directions

Ponte Vecchio:
Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Florence, Italy

get directions

Pitti Palace:
Palazzo Pitti, Piazza de' Pitti, 1, 50125 Florence, Italy

get directions

Uffizi Gallery:
Florence Gallery, 50122 Florence, Italy

get directions

Mercato Centrale:
Mercato Centrale, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell'Ariento, 87-r, 50123 Florence, Italy

get directions

Santa Maria del Fiore Church:
Florence Cathedral, Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Florence, Italy

get directions

Cenacolo del Fuligno:
Via Faenza, 50123 Florence, Italy

get directions

Piazza della Signoria:
Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Florence, Italy

get directions

Santa Croce:
Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Florence, Italy

get directions


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)