Trip made in April 2016
Day 1: Architecture from below
In the afternoon, I headed to the Piazza del Duomo, famous for the magnificent Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, with all its pastel colors, and its bell tower and baptistery. On the way, I also visited the Ponte Vecchio, one of the oldest bridges in the city, and certainly one of the most unique I had ever seen; it is home to several jewelry shops. Finally, nothing better than a slice of Italian pizza to end the day. Italy is definitely home to the best pizzas!
Day 2: In the heights
Back to the Piazza del Duomo, this time to climb the 400 and some steps of Giotto’s Campanile, the cathedral’s bell tower. I paused at several landings to fully enjoy the magnificent view of the city and its surroundings. Far away, we could make out the cypress and olive trees of the Tuscan countryside. In the afternoon, I continued my visit of the city and its monuments: the baptistery of the Piazza del Duomo, Officina profumo farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (an ancient perfume store), Palazzo Vecchio, Pitti palace… I felt like my head was spinning! Apparently, it’s pretty common among tourists visiting Florence 😉
Day 3: Must-see museums
I started with the National Museum of Bargello, dedicated to sculpture. There aren’t many tourists and yet, this museum is home to some real wonders. I especially loved the statue of a little fisherman and his fish. Florence has so many masterpieces all over the city, a map is hardly necessary: here’s your proof, I happened upon the Basilica di Santa Croce by accident. I finally reached the Sant’Ambrogio market. Here, there aren’t any tourists, just the locals. I somehow managed to order a focaccia sandwich with prosciutto and cheese that I polished off at the sundrenched Piazza Santa Croce, in front of the Palazzo dell’Antella.
The whole afternoon was spent at one of the most renowned museums in Florence: the Uffizi Gallery. The masterpieces are abundant: The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, the famous diptych by Piero della Francesca, Titian’s Venus of Urbino, da Vinci’s The Annunciation, Musician Angel by Rosso Fiorentino. The museum is dense, it’s impossible to linger around every piece of art. Before it was a museum, it was the home of the Medicis, the well-known family that ruled over Florence from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Day 4: Visit of the Galleria dell’ Accademia
My favorite museum, especially since it’s home to the beautiful David by Michelangelo. I couldn’t help going back several times to admire it. A treasure for the eyes! It’s finally time to go. This short trip to Florence was full of discoveries!
I loved: all the different kinds of sculpture and the Florentine stationary, which now decorates the space just above my chimney.
I recommend: Eataly, so you can come back with your bags full of delicious Italian goods and for their delicious pizzas, to go or in the restaurant, and Mangia, Via Lambertesca for incredible pizzas at insanely low prices. For convenience, the Firenze card offers unlimited access for 3 days to the museums and monuments of Florence.
I was surprised by: the artistic wealth of the city, despite its reputation!
From left to right and top to bottom: Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella / Uffizi Gallery / Little fisherman and his fish from the National Museum of Bargello /Giotto’s Campanile / Facade of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore / Ponte Vecchio / David in the Galleria dell’Accademia / Pizza from Mangia Pizza Firenze / View from the Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery