10 Things to do in Florence
After our trip to Montpellier, we headed over to Florence. Our mode of transportation: bus (not thrilled about the 10 hour bus ride, but hey it was cheap). The ride was also overnight so we mostly just slept through it. We did stop a couple of times twice at gas stations, and once we got stopped by border patrol to check for drugs (they obviously did not find any). We arrived in Florence and headed to our AirBnB and its was just a bus ride away from the city center. That night we planned out our way into the city for the next day. We did some good old sightseeing and took a crazy amount of pictures.
Looking back at our Florence adventures though I will recommend people visiting to do things slightly different. For starters buy the FirenzeCard especially if you are going to be visiting museums and the Famous Duomo. This card lets you access 72 museums and churches and lets you cut the line. It also includes a bus/tram pass for 3 days. Needless to say we got our money's worth with this card. In addition, my advice: do not forget to validate your ticket! The police will fine you! Okay now that we established some basics lets go to the good stuff: 10 things not to miss when you visit Florence.
10. Uffizi- Birth of the Venus by Botticelli
Go to the Uffizi to check out all the amazing works of art by that included and are not limited to the great masterminds of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Botticelli. The highlight of the exhibition has to be the Birth of Venus by Botticelli. People crowd around it to look at this beauty. To me (and I am not art expert) I like how asymmetric it is and the colors used in the painting. Often missed and just across the Birth of Venus is La Primavera also by Botticelli. This Paintings seemed to me a little bit darker than the Venus. Do not miss out on experiencing the rest of this Gallery. With the FirenzeCard we pretty much walked in, however without it the line seemed to be long and not moving.
9. Take a stroll through the Boboli Gardens at Palazzo Pitti
A beautiful garden part of the Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli garden is definitely not to be missed. There are many points to look out for in the garden such as the amphitheater and the statue of neptune. The entrance to this garden is part of the entrance to the Palazzo Pitti, which also includes a costume museum, and the royal apartments. This Palazzo was the residence of the Medici Family.
8. Palazzo di Medici- Procession of the Magi
Yet another palace occupied by the Medici Family, the Palazzo had a small chapel where we can see the Procession of the Magi. This painting covers all four walls of the chapel and should not be missed. The museum also includes a detailed, interactive explanation of the occurrences in the painting.
7. Be a tourist and walk through Ponte Vecchio
Go to the bridge and actually walk through it. Admire all the jewelry that you will probably not buy, spend some actual money on some gelato and just roam the street. The view from the bridge is just as beautiful as the view of the bridge so make the trip to stroll through it.
6. Visit Santa Maria di Novella and check out the Triumph of the Christian Doctrine
This painting is inside one of the rooms of the chapel and it depicts the triumph of Christianity over science and evil. Definitely a fun sight to see (especially since I myself am a scientist).
5. Basilica di S. Croce
Super crowded church but with good reason! It was many sections of beautiful art and sculptures as well as being the final resting site of notable figures such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo.
4. Palazzo Ponte Vecchio
This amazing structure is located right next to the Uffizi and has stunning artwork including a room full of world maps. There is also a nice view from the top of the tower which you can climb all the way to the top.
3. Visit David
Go visit David, or at least his statue, at the Galleria dell'Academia. Here you can find David in all of his glory as hundreds of tourist gawk and take pictures. Of course there are other interesting sculptures, but well David looks amazing just standing there.
2. Go to the Duomo and climb the cupola
You cannot miss the Duomo in Florence. It is one of the most recognizable structures in the city and its truly breathtaking. Possibly one of my favorite vies of Florence is from the top of the cupola. The climb is upwards of 400 steps and when you reach the top you are completely out of breath both from the stairs and from the view.
1. Visit the Piazza di Michelangelo at night
A popular destination for couples, this romantic view of Florence is not to be missed. You can go early and watch the sunset and city of Florence light up as the night starts up. Bring something to drink and a small snack and you could just watch in awe the beautiful sights of Florence. There is also a replica of David here that lights up at night.
And so our Florence trip ended but our Europe adventures were just starting. On to the next one as they say!