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Florence - A travel report by Lizzie
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Florence,  Italy - flag Italy -  Toscana
2764 readers

lizziefane's travel reports

The magnificent city of Firenze.

  11 votes
Florence is just the most incredible city. Artistic and historical; it's absolutely captivating. I would like nothing more than to live there - which is exactly what I shall be doing for a year from September!

Michelangelo's David
Michelangelo's David
There are so many famous buildings in Florence that you will almost always recognise something from films or advertisements. The Ponte Vecchio is spectacular, joined to the magnificent Uffizzi Gallery which is filled with Botticellis, Caravaggios and Titians. As you continue northwards along the cobbled streets, you encounter the enormous Cathedral right in the centre of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore, with Brunelleschi's dome. There's also the Galleria dell'Accademia with Michelangelo's sculpture of David - don't be fooled by the smaller copy in the sculpture court of the Piazza della Signoria. Florence has a fascinating artistic and political history which is definitely worth reading up on before you go so you can really picture what went on exactly where you're standing, but 500 years before. There's an amazing tradition at Easter where a fuse is lit at the altar of the cathedral and leads outside to a huge pile of fireworks by the steps. If all goes well and they explode, then it will be a good year in Florence. Definitely worth watching as you feel like you're part of the history of the place.

Favourite spots:
The Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio
Vivoli's Gelateria has the finest selection of ice creams in Italy. More than 100 DIFFERENT FLAVOURS! It's great. I also love going around all the art galleries and the famous old buildings like the Medici Palace. The San Lorenzo market is brilliant, as is the modern jewellery shop, Vala, which is 'Oltrarno' - near the Piazza Santo Spirito.

What's really great:
The Arno
The Arno
I'd have to say that my answer here would be pretty much the same as my 'Favourite Spots' answer. I love the atmosphere in Florence, despite all the tourists. It's NOT great in deepest summer - a bit hot and stuffy, and as all the Italians are on holiday for most of August, there are ONLY foreigners left! It's really worth hunting around the back streets for interesting shops, as they're never chain stores, and you can find some amazing deals and truly Italian things to buy.

Il Duomo
Il Duomo
Climb to the top of the Cathedral dome as soon as it opens at 10am - it's exhausting, but worth it for the incredible view. Get a good guide book and go EVERYWHERE.

I think you just need to walk around and have a look when it comes to choosing where to eat, I'm afraid. I was never disappointed and I was eating out at different places every night.

Other recommendations:
View from Piazzale Michelangiolo.
View from Piazzale Michelangiolo.
If you're interested in learning to speak Italian, then go to the British Institute in Florence. You can do courses there from beginner to advanced or A-level revision and there's a huge splash of culture included for anyone interested. They also do History of Art classes.
[2, Piazza Strozzi, 50123 Florence. Open Monday-Friday from 09:00–17:00 (one hour ahead of GMT) tel: +39 055 2677 8200]

Published on Friday March 3th, 2006

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Sat, Mar 04 2006 - 11:39 AM rating by christianj.

Hi Lizzie,

that's a nice first report with great pictures! Would be nice if add some more details and, of course, insider tips after living there some months. I wish you a great time there....

Regards, Christian

Sat, Mar 04 2006 - 06:21 AM rating by marianne

You are lucky! Living in Florence must be a true dream. Maybe you can add some more detail after you have lived there for some time.

Sat, Mar 04 2006 - 12:46 AM rating by eirekay

Any place with 100 flavors of Gelato is good in my book ;). You have some stunning photos! A little more detail would make this *****.

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