I was so excited when my boyfriend and I booked our summer holiday and Florence would be one of our stops! The last time I walked on the cobble stone streets of this magical city I was on a bestie trip, and we instantly fell in love with this place. Florence is a city that should be on everyone’s list. Here you’ll find rich history, gelato at every corner, delicious food, and views for days. My favorite way to explore Florence is by foot. On the first day in Florence we did a walking tour, we were able to explore a different part of the city and I learned I shouldn’t be the one holding the map, lol. Coming to Florence, make sure you have more than one day for this charming city.
Things to Know
Book timed entry tickets for Academia Gallery or you will be waiting in line for a very long time to see David by Michelangelo! For an extra 4 Euros you are guaranteed to get in without having to wait more than 10-15 minutes. This can be done online or right across the street from the museum. The lines are absolutely awful do yourself a favor and pre-book your tickets.
2. Don’t forget comfortable shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking in the museums, on the cobble stone streets, and while climbing all 463 steps to the top of the Duomo.
3. Reservation is mandatory in order to climb the Duomo so make sure to reserve a time slot and don’t be late. My recommendation would be to book it online if you’re going in the summer time because it books up pretty quickly.
4. You are forbidden to enter churches with naked shoulders, shorts, or short dresses. They don’t care if you’ve been in line for 40 minutes, they will turn you away.
5. The majority of shops and restaurants are closed on Monday’s in Italy.
6. In the US we tip our waiters but in Italy it’s not obligatory. If you do, 10% is standard.
7. You can’t call taxis on the street. If you need a taxi back to your hotel ask the host to call you a taxi or give you direction to the nearest taxi stand.
Things to Do
1. Climbing The Duomo– This is easily the most iconic attraction in Florence. The climb is steep and narrow- it isn’t easy but I promise it’s worth it. The views of the city are stunning and if you have a tour guide you’ll learn about Brunelleschi and the process that went into building the Duomo. Also, I highly suggest you make your way over to the Duomo Museum. You’ll find original sculptures, artwork, the engineering utilized in the construction of the Duomo, and the original blueprint of the cupola.
2. Sunset at PIazzale Michelangelo– It is a must to see the sun setting over the city while enjoying a glass of wine or gelato (it’s so romantic). Make sure to get there early, it’s free and it gets crowded but you’ll get panoramic views of the city. We were staying by the Duomo and it was about a 15-minute walk up to the PIazzale Michelangelo.
3. Eat All The Gelato– I had gelato every single day! Not all gelato is created equal my friends and my favorite gelato shop is still Perche’ No!. It’s fresh, not too sweet, creamy, and so delicious.
4. Visit A Rooftop Bar– Who doesn’t love a cold beer or cocktail after walking around on a hot summer day. You can get away from the crowds and take in the gorgeous views or catch the sunset. We recommend: La Terrazza Rooftop Bar the views here are incredible and the service was great.
5. Shop til you drop– you’ll find some amazing leather handbags, designer bags and clothes. If you spend more than 155 euros you are eligible for tax refund!
6. Visit Ponte Vecchio (the oldest bridge)- On this bridge you’ll only find jewelers and goldsmiths. Our tour guide explained that this was the only bridge that Adolf Hitler didn’t destroy during World War II.
7. Enjoy a Latte or Cappuccino- You can’t visit Florence and not try one of their delicious lattes or espresso. We suggest going to Scudieri and order it at the bar. Btw, I was told you don’t order a cappuccino after breakfast or after 11 am.
8. Visit Boboli Garden- it’s behind the Pitti Palace, a beautiful and sprawling garden. It’s a quiet and beautiful retreat when you want to escape the crowds or simply slow down.