Tag Archives: Florence

5 Days in Italy – Day 5

Day 2 Florence

Today with snacks in hand from the market you head across the river to the Pitti Palace for more relics and art. This great palace has been home to many of Florence’s great families and still boasts a beautiful and well maintained façade!

After the Pitti Palace head west to see Piazza Santo Spirito before heading back over the river toward the pig market otherwise known as Mercato Nuovo. Locals call this market Il Porcellino (little pig) because of the boar statue that stands at the end of the market. This market, like San Lorenzo Market is frequented by both locals and tourists alike and offers leather goods, jewelry, scarves, souvenirs and more. Take a gander about and start to consider how much room you have in your suitcase and whether you may need to buy an extra! 

As promised I am taking it easy on you in Florence. I have hit the top ten attractions in Florence and then some so now…shop! Shop until you can carry no more! Shop at the pig market, San Lorenzo Market, Santa Croce, the Ponte Vecchio and Mercato Centrale. For great shoes check out the shops at the east end of San Lorenzo Market and piazza! Some of the best places are in basements and around small alley corners. Never fear, just venture in – the shop owners are always happy to great and help tourists and locals alike!

Once you have shopped ‘til you dropped – if you have extra time you can always go back and explore some of the bigger attractions you feel you may have been rushed through before!

Food in Florence – This is the best food in Italy I swear!!! I prescribe gelato twice daily at minimum for positive mood enhancement and sugary sweet energy!

One restaurant (Il trattoria) in particular is off of Piazza della Signoria and near the Ponte Vecchio. On your way to the Ponte Vecchio find the B&B della Signoria (one street in), go down that street/alley (it will seem like nothing is there- keep going) you will see the small trattoria. Make reservations around lunch for dinner (or you won’t get in) this is the best restaurant and has amazing ravioli di noci! 

Okay – off you go, have entirely too much fun!

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5 Days in Italy – Day 4

Florence Day 1:

Okay, here’s the scoop, Florence is a lot smaller than Rome in terms of mileage so you can
literally see all the major sites on a quick walk about in a single day. HOWEVER, if you really want to see things in depth it is going to take a bit longer! Because I know shopping is a must I am leaving Florence a little more open than Rome (because the shopping is awesome here!) so….here goes.

Once again start off the day with a good hearty breakfast so you can really go, go, go.
First on the tour today is the Uffizi Gallery! Because this books up so quickly, and they only
allow a set number of patrons in at a time, jump online before you head to Italy and pre-book your tickets for the Uffizi and Academia. Then all you have to do is go to customer service and pick up tickets for your respective time slots!

The Uffizi Gallery is a show case of great Italian art and Florentine patrons. Although many
of the paintings and sculptures are portraits and busts this is definitely a must! The detailing in some of the portraits is so lifelike you can almost feel the fur collars and the beaded tapestries in the backgrounds!

After your tour through the gallery take your time wondering through the courtyard and then through the attached Piazza Signoria to admire the many statues they have on display as well as the many pieces of art the locals have for sale!

Next stop is across town to Academia to see the David. Although he towers above you, his life like features and the way the veining in the marble seem to somehow line up with where real veins and arteries would be will truly amaze! Walk around and get a good look from every angle before heading into the hall of busts and then back out onto the streets of Florence.

With the two major museums under your belt head east toward Piazza Santa Croce for lunch and shopping. This area has some of the most lovely leather purses and coats of all fashions and sizes! While there don’t forget to take a stroll through the church as well before heading off for the next adventure.

After lunch head back west along the Arno river toward the Ponte Vecchio (the bridge of gold) to see the shops before they close for the day. Also take the opportunity to admire the other goods being offered by street vendors along either side of the bridge. BUT don’t get your bags too full yet, you haven’t been to San Lorenzo or the Pig Market/The Straw Market (which has anything but live stock :- ) !

Next we head North back through the city to see the Duomo. Wander in through the main doors and admire the various shades of marble and the stunning carved doors as you do so! Once inside light a candle and then walk through this vast space to admire the grandeur of the frescos – especially those at the top of the dome! Once again don’t forget to look down. The floor of this beauty is just as impressive as the walls!

If you dare take the stairs up to the top of the dome to get a closer look at the fresco and then wander outside to get a striking view of the whole city below you. From here you can see Santa Croce, the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, etc. Although it is high up – I highly recommend this!!!!!

Then wonder back out of the Duomo and take a tour through the bell tower and baptistery. The gift shops here have some fun things to look at and keep in mind if you can’t find them from a street vendor for less!

Back out on the street head north toward the San Lorenzo Market. If the shop vendors are still out feel free to take your time wondering from canopy to canopy, but don’t wait too long to head inside to the food market for some dinner at the Spagittarian. This amazing market has meats, cheeses, fruits, wines, olive oil, lemon cello, and ready to eat meals! It’s a great time to grab snacks for tomorrow too!

Now wander back through the streets, bellies full and admire the city at night as you find your way back to your hotel for some sleep.


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