Florence – one of the most beautiful cities in the world (in my opinion anyway!). Famous for being the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ and for its monuments, churches and buildings. Situated towards the north of Italy, Florence is submerged around beautiful green mountains and countryside, whilst still trending a chic modern city centre, with a wide variety of things to see and do!
Be prepared to spend your days eating amazingly tasty cuisine, enjoying Tuscan ‘Chianti’ wine, climbing to the top of the Bell Tower (Giotto’s Campanile), visiting numerous art galleries and museums, with some of the most finest pieces of art on the planet, shopping until you drop around Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica, and excurting to the other side of the city to see Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the whole city. Sound good? Florence has something for everyone for sure!
The weather in Florence is pleasant most of the year. I visited in October and still enjoyed some hot autumn sunshine, but temperatures can still reach 25 C+ (77 F+) in the summer months, so be prepared for some hot Mediterranean heat.
The main airport is Florence International Airport (FLR/LIRQ) and is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the second-busiest Tuscan airport in terms of passengers after Pisa International Airport. Inflight catering for flights departing from Florence International Airport is available through the Air Culinaire Worldwide Network. If you are flying into other airports that are very close to Florence (Siena-Ampugano Airport, or Pisa International Airport), inflight catering is also available at these locations through the Air Culinaire Worldwide Network.
Head over to Piazza del Duomo where you will find the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence. Dating back to 1296, you cannot visit Florence without catching a photo of this iconic building. You can explore inside as well, and if you fancy, climb to the top of the ‘cupola’. From Piazza del Duomo, you are in the heart of the city, with a short walk away to the other main squares (Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica). Here you will be spoilt with endless cafes and restaurants, offering the finest of dining experiences, (Italians are known for the drama and elegance of eating in a restaurant, and the waiters and waitresses will be sure to take care of you!). If you are in the mood for people watching, relaxing with a coffee, mixing with the locals and treating yourself to some delicious gourmet chocolates, visit Rivoire, an 18th-century chocolatier. Of course, you must visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art galleries in the world, and home to the Renaissance Period. Be overwhelmed by some of the greats from Botticelli, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Da Vinci. Visit Galeria de Academia to see the original David statue from the world-famous Michelangelo.
Florence is also home to traditional Goldsmiths and jewellery makers. Along Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge), you will find various jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. Walk along the medieval steps as you venture to the other side of Florence – San Niccolo. When you get to Piazzale Michelangelo, take some time to reflect on this amazing city with a view to kill at the top. Find a café or restaurant to pop into for a pit-stop (you may need it after hiking up several steps to reach the top of the park). Listen as local musicians play romantic melodies, whilst birds tweet in the trees. Don’t forget that similar to Spain and other countries in the Mediterranean, most shops close between 13:00 pm and 15:30 pm, with some restaurants closing about 14:30 pm and re-opening for dinner around 19:30 pm. Florence is so easy to explore by foot, I would recommend this for the best way to see the city. You can take a taxi, but compared to larger cities such as Rome, everything you need is within walking distance or just the next Piazza along.
The local people in Florence are glamorous, traditional and very friendly. They are very hospitable in shops, cafes and restaurant, and will make sure you have everything you need. Most people in Florence follow the Catholic religion, so it is recommended that when you visit the churches and basilicas in particular, that you cover your shoulders and knees. The local currency is the Euro, with one USD equating to around 0.95 EU.
As always, fly safe, enjoy the sights, and take in the wonders of one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
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