It’s hard to believe that I almost crossed of Florence from my travel bucketlist for no other reason than there are more exciting parts of Italy to be visited. I would have regretted it and missed so much of a quaint, charming open art gallery that is Florence, the scenic Tuscan landscapes, and of course, Florentine dishes that still makes my mouth water as I write this post, and comb through the hundreds of pictures I took.
Florence makes you feel like you’re back in the 14th century, if you discount all the mopeds, cars, and motorcycles. As I was walking along the Arno river and the Ponte Vecchio, I could almost imagine townfolks in medieval garb and scrolls walking by. Lonely Planet says this city’s landscape has hardly changed since the Renaissance and I couldn’t agree more. Florence is small and compact, making every point of the city very much of a walking distance, including the world famous galleries of Accademia, home of Michaelangelo’s David and Uffizi.
Read More: Layover City Guide | Rome.
Standing at the top of the Piazzale Michaelangelo during sunset gives you the most breathtaking view of the city. My favourite time of day is just as before the sun fully sets, when all the lights beside the Arno is lit up, giving that stunning glow across the entire city and over the Arno River. Just beyond the city, feast your eyes in the stunning views of the Tuscan hills and landscapes.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, I can only say that Florence is home to the best gelato in all of Italy. Not only do they taste better, but they are much cheaper than the ones you’ll find in Rome. As I like to say when I’m in Italy – a gelato a day, keeps the doctor away.
Stepping off the train at Santa Maria Novella station, you are immediately greeted by the majestic sight of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. In the evening, once you’ve feasted your eyes on the stunning sights of the city just before sunset, make your way to the Market of San Lorenzo, and delle Pulci for trinkets and local goods that you can bring home. If you’re hungry, stop by the Mercato Centrale for delicious meals (at the top floor) or produce (lower level).