Spotlight Destination: Florence

Florence, Italy is renowned for its rich history, incredible art, and stunning architecture. Visiting Florence is an exceptional experience. 

Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is home to some of the most famous works of art in the entire world. Keep an eye out for masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli. There are so many incredible pieces for you to see up close! 

Florence also boasts magnificent architecture throughout the city, reflecting its historical significance - you’ll view domes, palaces, gardens, and grandeur. Just imagine seeing stunning palaces like Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti, showcasing the opulence of the Medici family. The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is incredible to explore on foot. 

Foodie alert! Don’t forget the delicious Italian cuisine. Florence offers cuisine that highlights traditional Tuscan flavors, paired with perfect Italian wines. It’s truly a foodie’s paradise. Florence is also perfect for a shopping spree! You will find the high-quality leather goods that Florence is famous for throughout the city in beautiful leather products, handmade jewelry, and Italian fashion brands. 

Florence is a dream. Immerse yourself in the romance of Italian culture and the timeless atmosphere.

5 Things To Do

  1. The Florence Cathedral (Duomo): Be sure to visit the Florence Cathedral. Also known as the Duomo di Firenze, this massive red dome is a true Italian landmark and one of the most recognizable cathedrals in the world. Take the time to see its stunning architecture. You can even climb to the top of the cathedral for incredible panoramic views of the city -highly recommend this!

  2. The Historic Florence Center: Be sure to stroll through Florence's historic center. Marked as a UNESCO World Heritage site, you can casually wander through history as you enjoy stunning Italian architecture, the Piazza della Signoria, the impressive Palazzo Vecchio, and the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge over the Arno River.

  3. Uffizi Gallery: Art lovers will adore a trip to the Uffizi Gallery. This gallery is one of the most impressive galleries in the world. Its impressive collection of Renaissance art includes masterpieces like "The Birth of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli, "Annunciation" by Leonardo da Vinci, and more. It is a must-see!

  4. Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens: Take an afternoon stroll around Pitti Palace. The palace was once the home of the powerful Medici family. Now it is a museum that has wonderful displays of art, historical clothing, and more. Just next to the palace, enjoy a peaceful escape as you relax and wander around the stunning Boboli Gardens.  There you will see beautiful pretty fountains, sculptures, and views of the city.

  5. The Galleria dell'Accademia: This museum is famous for being the home of David - Michelangelo's world-famous sculpture. There are also other incredible works by Michelangelo on view and a wide variety of Renaissance art. It is a truly wonderful experience. 

5 Hidden Gems

  1. Buchette del Vino: Have you heard of the "wine windows" of Florence? Buchette del vino are small openings in the walls of some of the ancient palaces in Florence. They were used years ago to sell wine to people as they strolled by the palaces, without paying the taxes of opening a shop. It's pretty unique - see if you can find them! Most of them can be found in the Santo Spirito neighborhood and in the city center.

  2. Opera del Duomo Museum: Opera fan? Right near the magnificent dome of Brunelleschi, you will find the Opera del Duomo museum. A less-traveled tourist spot, it houses one of the world's largest collections of Medieval and Renaissance sculptures. It is a must-see if you enjoy art!

  3. Villa Demidoff: There is nothing as lovely as an Italian garden for a perfect afternoon of relaxation. Enjoy a delightful garden retreat near the historical city center. The Villa Demidoff is a truly stunning garden. Be sure to spot the large 16th C statue Colosso dell’Appennino by artist Giambologna.

  4. San Marco Museum: If you are looking for a less crowded museum, try the San Marco. It is located inside of a Dominican monastery. There you will see beautiful art from the 16th century, including pieces by Beato Angelico.

  5. Arnolfo Tower: The Arnolfo Tower is a massive hidden gem - in plain sight. It is part of the Palazzo Vecchio. You can climb all the way to the top of it to see panoramic views of Florence and beyond.

5 Foods to Try

  1. Gelato: Who doesn’t love Gelato?! Your visit to Florence will only be complete by enjoying the best gelato in the world. Florence has famous gelaterias all over the city where you can enjoy a variety of rich and creamy flavors, including pistachio, stracciatella (a creamy base with chocolate shavings mixed in), Fragola (strawberry), and cioccolato (chocolate). 

  2. Bistecca alla Fiorentina: This dish is for steak lovers! In Florence, a large T-bone steak of aged beef is grilled, left rare on the inside, and seasoned to perfection with salt, pepper, and olive oil. It is usually served with potatoes, spinach, and beans, with Tuscan bread for dipping. Pair it with a glass of red wine and you have a meal you’ll never forget.

  3. Lampredotto: Lampredotto is a famous street food in Florence. This beloved Italian sandwich consists of boiled tripe that is seasoned with onion and parsley, with a green sauce, served on a delicious and crusty roll.

  4. Ribollita: Ribollita is a traditional Tuscan soup that is hearty and delicious. It is made with beans, some bread, a variety of vegetables, and more. It's a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect after long walks around Florence. 

  5. Crostini Neri: Looking for a mid-day snack? Crostini neri is chicken liver pate that is served on crispy bread. It can also be a light meal. 

Enjoy beautiful Florence!

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