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neon9nine Florence - A travel report by Cris
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Florence,  Italy - flag Italy -  Toscana
5213 readers

neon9nine's travel reports

4 days in Florence

  20 votes
There is hardly a better place to spend a few days in Western Europe, in my opinion. From the food to the museums to the shopping to the beautiful Tuscan countryside, Florence is a winner.

Piazza della Signoria from the Loggia
Piazza della Signoria from the Loggia
The city is totally walkable and appeared to be very safe. Stay near the Duomo, or perhaps the Oltrarno for the best 'ambiance' and to be in the middle of it all. Italy has more UNESCO sites than any other country and the city itself has more art, history and just plain atmosphere than anyplace I've ever been. The food was amazing, and our B&B, the Relais Il Campanile, was great and the manager was charming, jovial and recommended great places to eat and made reservations for us at local museums (a MUST). The shopping at the markets was interesting, and there were many fancy stores between the Duomo and the river for those that prefer fancy name brands. The only thing is stay away from hawkers selling stuff from their hands or cardboard or on a sheet. These are of course fakes and if you watch them long enough, you'll see them pick up everything and move when the cops show up. Buying from these people just hurts the artesians left in Florence and Italy, and puts you at risk of arrest. Nicely enough, most people speak English although learning at least some polite Italian words first will be appriciated. I recommend flying into Pisa, seeing the Piazza dei Miracoli, and taking the hour train ride to Florence. Just take the underground passageway (mall) away from the train station so you don't have to cross the busy street! Florentines seem to be very friendly and even if you get lost for a bit on the windy roads you're more than likely to end up somewhere special or at least see some interesting things on the way. Don't worry, you can't get too lost :-)

Favourite spots:
The Duomo
The Duomo
First of all, the restaurant Za-Za was amazing and so were the others recommended to us-sorry I can't remember many. A trendy place called Moyo (I think) was good and not expensive considering the style (it's near the exit to the Uffizi) Go where there's a crowd and you usually can't go wrong. The Duomo is amazing and it's also worth the walk to the top...if nothing else to get good views of the frescos on the ceiling. Make the walk across the Arno and head up to Piazza Michelangelo. The view is amazing and there is a bar not far behind the copy of David if you get thirsty on the way up. You also get a good view of the city wall, which you should walk along. The entrace fee to the Boboli Gardens is also well worth it. The Uffizi and the Accedemia are also well worth the price of admission, but make reservations in advance. It's worth the few extra euros. There are so many things to see, make sure you rub the boar's nose which should bring you the luck to come back again!

What's really great:
David-although you aren't really supposed to take photos
David-although you aren't really supposed to take photos
The whole atmosphere of the city and it's people were amazing. However, I could do without the huge tour groups. Just move opposite them in the streets and museums and if you want, pick up a bit on their knowledge by standing nearby at times (maybe the Accademia?) The food was hands down wonderful everywhere. And make sure you have some gelato-it's hard to get and not near as good anywhere else. The art, even the public art, is absolutely amazing. The Arno is as brown as the Mississippi in NOLA, but it's still a nice river and the Ponte Vecchio is worth at least one walk across-check out the locks on the fence in the middle (symbols of undying love). There was this one Irish bar (Irish only in name, I think Angie's Pub?) we visited, the bartender helped us with our Italian and we got to see people go out into the streets for a paper airplane compt. - loser bought shots!

Overview of city from Piaz. Michelangelo
Overview of city from Piaz. Michelangelo
The Duomo, the Uffizi and Accademia, the Piazza della Signoria, the Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the town, all the churches, and the Boboli Gardens (it's worth the admission). Plus the Ponte Vecchio is worth a walk across!

Relais Il Campanile

Angie's Pub (?)

Za-Za's Restaurant
Za-Za's Restaurant
Za-Za's (northeast of Mercado Central); another place on the southeast corner of Piazza San Marco, and a place (4 Leoni?) down Sprone in a 5 point piazza intersection just infront of and north of the Pitti Palace. The wonderful Albanian waiter we had was great and explained everything on the menu to us. It's a little hidden but worth the look-food's great and the house red is 6 Euro's a liter!

Other recommendations:
You almost can't go wrong just wandering around. It's a great city with generally great people. More to do than you could fit in a 2 week trip, and that's just sightseeing...peoplewatching is a sport of it's own.

Published on Sunday October 23th, 2005

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Tue, Nov 01 2005 - 10:05 PM rating by italian-link

Loved your report on Florence, as it is also one of my favorite cities...a definite must for those that are going to Italy! And you are right about the people watching, as it is a fashion capital.


Mon, Oct 24 2005 - 06:42 AM rating by davidx

Excellent. I really must get there some time.

Mon, Oct 24 2005 - 01:57 AM rating by downundergal

Great report - It's a wonderful city and I still dream of the Pistachio gelato that I ate in the lighting in the overview of the city of Piaz.

Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 04:04 PM rating by rangutan

Great! I love reports written with enthusiasm, makes pleasant reading....

Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 02:44 PM rating by mistybleu


Florence seems magical; nice report

Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 01:59 PM rating by toribio


Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 01:56 PM rating by mortimer

great report about a great place... I need to go back there soon!

Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 12:51 PM rating by isaacmolina

Very wonderful report!
Next year I want to visit Ufficci museum with my school friends

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