Florence, Florence, Florence. Beautiful Florence. It has been one of my dreams to visit Florence and so I made sure that I gave myself a day to explore some of Florence during this North Italy trip. I know that one day in Florence isn’t enough, and I most definitely want to return to stroll around Florence and the greater Tuscany for a week. The day before, Venice treated us with cold weather; and then Florence treated us to sunny 13 degree weather! It was like a dream, honestly.
So, here’s what we did for the 6 hours that we had in Florence.
As soon we arrived in Florence at the main station, the first place we walked to was the Duomo. The architecture and façade of the Duomo looks almost fake at first sight; the exterior is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white.
Entrance in the Duomo is free, there is an obvious queue to join which is usually quite long but moves extremely quickly. It’s the most iconic landmark, and its construction took almost 150 years! It is possible to climb the tower and dome, and tickets are valid for 48 hours. We wanted to buy tickets but figured we didn’t want to spend half the day climbing 460-something steps. The sky was clear and a perfect day for high views, so I regret not climbing it.
Roaming The Streets Of Florence
Sometimes it’s good not to have an itinerary. I get find myself getting so bogged down with following a specific itinerary that I forget to soak in the moment and enjoy random sights. We decided to spend a few hours walking around in Florence, enjoying the winding streets and random sights. I really enjoyed this, and want to implement it more in future travels.
San Lorenzo Church
This was the first Basilica in Florence! It’s an amazing and historic place you must visit. This church was one of the ones we pinpointed to visit and it was truly a delight. The grounds were huge, and there is also a museum inside.
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence. It is thought that a bridge pre-existed here during the Roman times and the Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge in Florence that survived the Second World War unscathed. There have been shops on Ponte Vecchio since the 13th century.
Initially, there were all types of shops, including butchers and fishmongers and, later, tanners, whose “industrial waste” caused a pretty rank stench in the area. Since 1593, only goldsmiths and jewellers were allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the wellbeing of all. It’s such a pretty bridge with spectacular views over the city. I wish I was there for a sunset/sunrise; I have seen some stunning pictures and hopefully wish to return one day and experience it.
Florence -> Bologna
To travel to and from Bologna we used the high speed train to get to Florence (which took 35 mins), and to return, we caught the FLiXBUS. The bus journey back took almost 3 hours but was much cheaper than the return train. The journey was pretty smooth, and the views along the motorway was actually pretty spectacular. FLiXBUS seats were spacious, comfortable and surprisingly the WiFi was actually fast!
I know I missed out so many things in Florence! What other places would you recommend me to visit.
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