Florence (Firenze) is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. It was the birthplace of Renaissance which had a significant impact on society. The city of Florence is about culture and art with many historical buildings. Florence is not big, so it is best to walk around the city by foot and be amazed by the impressive architecture… It is also a good idea to visit Pisa from Florence which takes only an hour by train.
The city of Florence
I joined the free Renaissance walking tour in Florence. The starting point was at Santa Maria Novella Church. This is a nice church!
The tour was informative but I found it quite boring, perhaps I am not too good in appreciating arts & history… Personally, I hope the tour covers more on general knowledge about the city, not just focus on history.
The architecture of Florence is quite different from other places. Pretty and interesting… Very artistic feel~
My tour guide said the classic Renaissance architecture has three floors and look like this:
Porcellino: Put a coin into the bronze boar’s jaws for good luck.
Not to forget to have a coffee in Florence. Italian coffee is so good~~!! I had a cappuccino at Ditta Artigianale Café (their speciality) and it was excellent.
Caffe’ La Terrazza: Pampered myself once in a while! Like this restaurant in Florence. This is a rooftop restaurant with a panoramic view of Florence city. The Tiramisu was so delicious – probably the best tiramisu that I have had so far.
I got one of the best tables and had a beautiful view. The only downside was that too many people wanted to take the photo from my table. A woman who took the picture in front of me and then she laughed, said to me “you must be in everyone’s photo!! 😂
Piazza Della Signoria
I like this place. Piazza Della Signoria is a big square in Florence displaying many beautiful sculptures. Most importantly it is free and easy to access to this place.
This is the very famous David sculpture made by Michelangelo, but this is a just a replica. The real sculpture is displayed safely in the Accademia Gallery in Florence.
Beautiful works. I don’t know but I feel sad when I look at the sculpture below…
Bridge – Ponte Vecchio
This is a nice bridge with many shops. They are not cheap and mainly target tourist.
Just a small story – A white-painted woman wanted to shake my hand out of a sudden, so I ran away immediately… And then I googled it: they may be beggars or pickpockets… Anyway, why do I always become a target?? 😩
Piazzale Michelangelo is a big square with a panoramic view of Florence. The view is stunning from the top and it is free to visit!
However, it takes some time to walk from the city (about 30-40 minutes for one way). Also, you need to walk uphill and many steps which are strenuous for many people.
The square in front of the Palazzo Pitti museum
I did not visit the museum but I spent a lot of time sitting down in the big square in front of the museum. It was a nice spot with a spacious space. Many people sit down and rest here.
It was interesting to observe the people around me. On my left-hand side was a warm and happy family, with a cute little girl playing with their dog. On my right-hand side was a hot couple, hugging and kissing in front of the public. 😨
A day trip to Pisa
Thanks to the suggestion of a friend that I met in Venice, I have done a day trip from Florence to Pisa.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is stunning. It is really impressive!!
I paid €18 to climb up the tower. Everyone told me that I should reserve the ticket online, otherwise I will spend more than an hour waiting in queue… but I didn’t. I arrived in Pisa at 4 pm on Wednesday (5 Oct), and surprisingly there was no queue at all! Not even one person! Maybe I was just lucky as I came at the right time.
You can’t carry your bag up to the tower, so you have to leave your belongings there. It is quick, free and easy.
As the tower is leaning, it is easy to lose your balance when climbing the tower. I felt a bit weird and uncomfortable when I reached the top; I felt like I wasn’t standing straight. Nevertheless, it was a good experience!
The marble steps to the top were scary and slippery. I took a long time to walk down. Not quite good for people who are afraid of height!
Pisa is a not big town, so you can comfortably spend about 2-3 hours here seeing the major attractions. This is a useful guide on how to take public transpiration from Pisa Central to Leaning Tower of Pisa.
A good destination, but not a must-visit for me
Florence is an interesting destination, but to be honest it is not a must-visit for me.
Perhaps the art cell was never fully developed in my body, so I am not too good in appreciating this artistic city. If you are interested in art & culture, you will love Florence. Personally, I prefer Venice and Rome in Italy.
I stayed three nights in Florence which is perfect for me; this included a day trip to Pisa.