Top 5 Things to Do Florence Italy
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I spent Valentines Day this year in the romantic city of Florence, Italy, alone.
I know. I know. You kind of feel bad for me that I was alone but then again I was in Florence right?
I decided I would make the best of it so instead of feeling lonely, I happily chose pizza as my Valentine!
As a destination wedding planner and travel influencer I often have to travel alone and sometimes it falls on holidays.
It’s not my first choice, as you know how much I love to celebrate holidays, but I did eventually get to celebrate Valentine’s with my love in Rome over the weekend so it wasn’t too bad.
Today I am sharing my top 5 favorite things to do in Florence.
I was only in Florence for one day and let me start with one day in Florence is just not enough. It is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. If you can spend a little extra time here I would highly recommend it.
The Florence Cathedral, or the Duomo di Firenze in Italian is a gothic structure that stands tall in the center of the city with a magnificent Renaissance dome. I didn’t have time to go inside and there was a very very long line to get in so I just admired from the outside but this is a beautiful cathedral. It almost feels like it’s not real. Did you know that it is the 4th largest in the world right after St. Peter’s in Rome, St. Paul’s in London and the Duomo in Milan.
I doubled majored in Art + Business in college and had to take one too many Art History classes to not go see the famous sculpture of David in person. I have heard mixed reviews about whether seeing the David is a “must” do but I am so glad I went. It was breathtaking and much larger than I expected. I didn’t explore the other parts of the museum but if you like art and history there are plenty of other things to see.
Thoughtful Travel Tip: Pre book by phone. When you arrive, if the regular line is short, just join line. If it is long, then join reserved line and you can pay the extra 4 euros to skip.
Before I travel anywhere, I always put together a detailed itinerary of where I am going, how to get there and of course what I will be eating. Yes, I base my travel around food. It’s the best way in my opinion! The food in Italy is special. My mouth waters when I think about all the delicious meals I have enjoyed while in Italy. I can’t pin point exactly what it is about the food but it is just ohh so good. I love to do food tours when I travel. I didn’t get the opportunity to do one here in Florence but it is on my list to do the next time I am there for a longer period of time. Besides embracing the beautiful history, my absolute favorite thing to do in Italy is get lost in the city, wander the streets, and eat lots of yummy food. If you don’t do anything else while you are in Florence, do this. Florence is a great city to get lost in and just enjoy the stroll. Here are a few of my recommendations:
- II Porcospino / 12 R Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini 11
- Geletaria de Carria / Gelato
- II Santo Bevitore / Wine Bar + Salami + Cheeses
- 4 Leoni / Pear Pasta / Via de’ Vellutini, 1r, 50125
- Caffe Rivoire / Cornetti alla Marmelata + Hot Chocolate / Piazza della Signori
- Vestri / Hot Chocolate + Chocolates + Gelato (Made Fresh Daily) / Borgo degli Albizi
If you are like me and love to try foods that are tradition in the area you are traveling to, here are a few Florentine Cuisine items you need to try!
- Bistecca all Florentina (Florentine Steak)
- Ribollita (Tuscan Soup)
- Lampredotto (Sandwich)
- Tuscan Style Crostini
This bridge is a sight to see! I was able to view it from afar while driving into the main square from my hotel a few times but I didn’t get a chance to go visit. It will be on my agenda on my next trip to Florence for sure. Ponte Vecchio means “old bridge” and truly it is. The first bridge can be documented back to 966 and even the reconstruction after a flood can be dated back to 1345. I took this standing in the St. Michelangelo Square.
St Michelangelo Square
The view from this square is one of the best unobstructed views over the city and absolutely stunning. I was told to go at sunset or sunrise and didn’t make either, but before I left for the train station I asked my taxi driver to stop so I could take a few photos. He kindly obliged and drove me up the hill. Friends have walked to St Michelangelo but in my opinion it would be a serious hike and I was really glad I took the taxi.
Thoughtful Travel Tip: Be aware of your surroundings at all times. While I was here I was approached by two men. One came on the left side of me and the other on the right. One was trying to talk to me and the other was pretending to take photos. I felt the Spirit tell me to leave so I did. When I got in the cab I could see the two men talking and then they approached another woman the same way. I fear that they were either trying to steal something or were targeting solo female travelers. Always listen to the Spirit and your gut when you are in unfamiliar areas.
I had been traveling and working for a few days so when I got to Florence I planned to slow down and enjoy a relaxing day before hitting the streets of Rome. I thoroughly enjoyed spending most of my time in one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed at.
Villa Cora would be an ideal location for a Destination Wedding or the perfect stay for a romantic getaway. Every ornate detail is so thoughtful. My room wasn’t ready when I arrived and the host graciously invited me to enjoy a lovely breakfast while I waited. I may or may not have felt a little like a princess eating in a castle. The meal, the staff and ambiance were spectacular.
After breakfast I was given a private tour of the property and all I could think about as we walked the grounds was how I couldn’t wait to get back here and plan a wedding. During the summer months they have a champagne bar on the roof top. I could have spent hours up here just enjoying the view. It was tranquil and filled with beauty. The view of the rolling hills, large countryside villas and the duomo was incredible. Here is a short video I took with my phone but it doesn’t come close to how I remember feeling.
Spending the day in Florence made me long to visit again. Besides the trash, there is trash everywhere along all the store fronts which is so unfortunate, Florence is a lovely city that I wish I could have explored more. I will certainly be back. Ciao!