Let’s be honest: the food in Florence is good, very good. The city is full of gourmet restaurants which are sometimes too expensive, but there are also cool bars and street food trucks where you can buy excellent Tuscan food for a few euros. When you move away from the town it will be hard to survive without these Florence classics: bistecca alla fiorentina, schiacciata, pappa al pomodoro, and lampredotto.
Because of its heavy traffic, the best thing to do in Florence is to buy a bike and use it to cross the city. Even on a rainy day the best choice is to ride your bike to avoid pileups. The good news is that Florence is a small town, so you can move from one side to the other in few minutes by bike. You can’t do this easily in a big city and if you are leaving Florence for a metropolis, we guarantee you’ll miss this flexibility the most.
To be honest, Florentines speak the real Italian. If you are a bit addicted to Italy you’ll know that every region speaks a different dialect, such as Neapolitan, Sicilian, Venetian, and so on. Well, in Tuscany there is no dialect, people here speak the Italian taught in the schools. Florentines have a lovely accent and everyone loves the way they sound some words.
Everyone knows that Italy is one of the most important country’s in the fashion industry, and Florence (tied with Milan) is home to many famous designers known worldwide. Florence is the birthplace of the prestigious Made in Italy, and the first fashion show (as we know it) took place here. Florence also hosts the biannual fashion trade show Pitti, a must for everyone in love with fashion and design.
Florence is known not only for its terrific food but also for the wine. The Chianti Region (located between Florence and Siena) is where it is produced but it is also sold in Florence. The traditional trattorias and tavernas offer excellent (and expensive) wines but you can always ask for house wine which is less pricy and can be enjoyed by everyone no matter what their budget.
In Florence it’s never difficult finding somewhere new to eat every week. The town has plenty of cool restaurants and bars so finding ways to fill your free time is easy. Our suggestion is to avoid the touristic places and go to Oltrarno, the neighbourhood on the left bank of the Arno River, which is mostly frequented by locals.
Most people think that in Florence there is only one museum – the Uffizi Gallery. But the town has lots of interesting museums and art galleries that are worth a visit. From the Accademia (home of the real David), to contemporary art museum Museo del Novecento; Galleria del Costume, a fashion gallery; and Specola, the oldest natural history museum in Italy, Florence is home to some of the most spectacular museums in Europe.
Florence has some of the world’s most important pieces of architecture, monuments, ancient sites and art that are lauded worldwide. From the Duomo del Brunelleschi and Palazzo della Signoria, to the Uffizi Gallery and the Church of Santa Croce, Florence is full of stunning cultural heritage everywhere you turn.
Situated in the centre of Italy, Florence is the perfect base to do day trips and see several cities which can be reached in only a few hours. It only takes one hour to get both Pisa and Siena, two hours to reach Cinque Terre, and an hour and a half to get to Rome. The form of transport is the train that you can take from the Central Station, Stazione di Santa Maria Novella, in the middle of the city.
If you don’t love riding a bike you can always walk through the city. It is undoubtedly the cheapest way to get about! Florence’s city centre is very small so you’ll be able to do shopping, go to the markets and do what you want, using your legs.
Italian food is famous worldwide for being simple and delicious. To prepare Florentine dishes using local, seasonal ingredients, the best thing to do is to go to the vegetable and fruit markets located in the city (not necessarily in the centre). For instance, a simple pasta with pomarola (tomato sauce), is made only with the freshest tomatoes when they are in season.
With so many architectural gems, bridges and belvederes to watch the sunset, Florence is one of the most romantic towns in Italy. Don’t take these views for granted because when you’ll move away from this amazing town you’ll sorely miss them.