Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance and the capital of Tuscany, is one of the icons of Italy: you can’t imagine to spend your holidays in the bel paese without visiting Florence.
The city is surprisingly little, romantic and unique, and offers an incomparable concentration of art and history, with no match in the whole world.
You could easily walk across the city centre from one end to the other in a couple of hours, but even spending several days in town you wouldn’t be able to see all the things you should.
What to see
The variety of museums and historic buildings can confuse you if it’s your first time in Florence. The secret is choosing wisely your itinerary: there are some must-sees though you cannot miss.
The city is smaller than one would imagine, but the density of art and architectural masterpieces is overwhelming. The first thing you should do is taking a walk across the streets of the city centre, stopping by a few iconic buildings such as Palazzo Vecchio, the heart of the old Florence, the seat of the government during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and the cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, the church with the most famous dome of all times.
Plan your visits to museums accurately, especially to the neverending Uffizi Gallery, and keep some spare time to explore the area around the church of Santa Maria Novella, the district of San Marco and the Oltrarno.
Take a look at our suggestions and choose the stops of your tour:
Save on museum tickets. To save some of the money you’ll surely spend for museum tickets get the new Firenze Card. For 50€ you’ll have access to 50 museums (the main ones included), gardens and parks. You can buy the card at any tourist information point or at Uffizi Gallery. (More details on www.firenzecard.it).
Dodge the queues. Florence is always crowded with tourists, and queues to get inside museums can be neverending. To avoid long waits you can book your tickets in advance calling a dedicated number, the +39 0552654321.
Where to eat
The culinary tradition of Tuscany is famous all over the world. Florence in particular is well known for a few specialties you have to try at least once. One of them is the lampredotto, the fourth stomach of the cows, cooked and served in a sandwich, and of course the most celebrated T-bone steak of the world, called Fiorentina after the name of the city. There are a lot more to be discovered though, the best way is getting inside a traditional osteria and let the host give you some advice on what to try.
Da Vinattieri (Via Santa Margherita 44). This is one of the traditional trippai of the city. Trippa is the italian word for “entrails”, and here you’ll taste the most delicoius lampredotto sandwich of Florence. You’ll find it hidden in a little alley right behind the church of Santa Margherita.
Le Mossacce (Via del Proconsolo 55). Just a few steps away from Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza della Signoria you’ll find this authentic osteria: they serve all the typical Tuscan dishes. No reservation required, or even allowed, you shouldn’t wait too long to get a seat anyway.
Trattoria Mario (Via Rosina 2r). This crowded and charming osteria is a true legend: today the restaurant is run by Fabio, Mario’s son, who kept intact the original spirit of this place. On Monday and Thursday they serve the trippa; fish on Friday. Try their T-bone steak: this is where you’ll find the true “Fiorentina”! No reservation or credit cards allowed.
Osteria dei Centopoveri (Via Palazzuolo 31r). A modern restaurant that offers a perfect combination between tradition and innovation: this is Osteria dei Centopoveri, the right choice if you are looking for something different and not just the typical Tuscan trattoria.