Florence was one of my MUST VISIT places since like ever…
As a history lover, and as someone who was always crazy about the Renaissance, visiting Firenze was a big dream coming true.
In March 2018, after spending my birthday in Rome, I planned a trip up to Florence and Bologna.
As I’m trying to travel on a bus as much as possible, as always, I went with FlixBus. Three hours are not that horrible, and I had at least some time to sleep.
When I arrived, I had to walk all the way down to Santa Maria in Fiore Basilica in the rain. Guess it’s no need to say, that this wasn’t my best welcome experience in the Renaissance city… However, I was way too excited to care!
Epic holiday experience as always…
It took about 15 minutes to get to the cathedral. And as soon as I’ve seen it, it was love at first sight! I couldn’t move, I was just looking at this beautiful piece of architecture, and forgot the world around me.
Standing there in the rain, I started to feel that my coat is getting soaked, so I left the breathtaking view behind and went to my accommodation. After arriving at the Hotel de Lanzi, I was almost running to my room, because I was hoping I’ve got one with the view on the cathedral.
And yes, I got lucky, and the view from my room was right on the campanile of Santa Maria in Fiore cathedral.
I can highly recommend Hotel de Lanzi to everyone planning to visit Florence! The rooms are beautiful and clean and the staff is very helpful and nice.
My room for 1 night in March cost me €60. I think this price was pretty great, considering the location and the services! And that view from my room was worth every cent!
Into the Renaissance
One hour later, when I was almost ready to start my Florence discovering tour, I realized something… I left my tripod on the bus!!! And the bus at that time was halfway to Milan. Good job, Helga…
I was really fed up with the rain, the cold and that I was super tired, so I just didn’t want to deal with that tripod too… So I just got ready and left.
A few minutes after leaving the hotel, the rain stopped, so I closed my umbrella and I went to buy a ham & cheese panini (sandwich) and some typical Tuscan sweets.
While I wandered around again the area of the cathedral, time was passing so fast I didn’t realize it’s 5 pm! This means in Italy: Happy Hour!!!
I straight away stopped at the first terrazza where they had an offer on Aperol Spritz and some sides. As soon as I was done with my aperitivo, I headed to Piazza della Signoria.
I walked around the square and analyzed the Palazzo Vecchio from every side. Then I checked the beautiful statues and sculptures around the square. I went to see the Uffizi Palace and then I walked along the Piazza degli Uffizzi. Hopefully, nobody noticed, but I was analyzing everything I’ve seen like I’m some kind of quality controller…
Especially on Piazza degli Uffizzi. As you’re walking along it, on both sides you’ll see at the sides of the columns the statues of greats sons of Florence. You’ll see here everyone from Da Vinci to Michelangelo, Dante and many more. My Renaissance heaven!
The riverside of the Arno, is on the south side of the piazza.
If you go to the left, you can go to Michelangelo square which is on a hill near the river. On the right-hand side, you’ll find the beautiful Ponte Vecchio bridge.
I really wanted to see the city from Michelangelo square (Piazzale Michelangelo) so that was my next stop. I’ve seen so many pictures taken from this place, that I needed to see it for myself.
It takes about 15 minutes of walk, and a short hike at the end to get to the viewpoint. Honestly, my friends, that view is priceless! Do not miss it!
After the hill, the Ponte Vecchio had to be the next stop. I couldn’t wait to arrive and walk over it.
Before dinner, I spent at least one hour just wandering around on those beautiful narrow streets, and then I went to a restaurant I found on Piazza della Signoria.
Not being a steak fan, I didn’t go with the famous bistecca Fiorentina, but instead, I tried another Tuscan speciality, truffles. To be exact, Ravioli with Truffles.
Picking your dish with truffles
Truffles are really popular in the area, and you can find endless products and dishes with this rare mushroom. It’s however important to keep in mind, that usually the sliced truffles aren’t the best quality.
My ravioli was however still delicious! No complaints here!
While I was sitting there, waiting for my dinner, I remembered my lost tripod and I got pissed again. The next minute I realized something else…
I LOST MY UMBRELLA TOO!!!
I knew I must have left it at the bar I had my afternoon spritz, so I went back there. The staff saved it and put it away for me, so at least, my umbrella got back to me.
By 9 pm I was so exhausted, I gave up on my nightlife discovery fantasies quickly. Sometimes the bed, and a hot shower is just better!
I woke up still being exhausted, shaking, freezing. I took the longest shower of my life, and I went to have breakfast in the hopes of getting back some of my strength.
Obviously, I made sure to properly feed myself and enjoy my cappuccino for a very long time, so I slowly got ready for another day of walks and discoveries.
After I left my luggage at the reception I dived into Florence again. I had just 4 hours to find all the sights I wanted to see, so I needed to move fast.
My first stop was again the Palazzo Vecchio, but this time I went to visit the museum as well. I got lost between the walls of the part of the history I love the most. Again, acting as a quality controller!
There was one thing I really wanted to see, and that was Dante’s death mask. I happened to watch the Inferno movie just a few months before my trip to Florence, so no need to say that I was obsessed!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit the Uffizzi gallery so this is on my bucket list for my next trip to Florence. Instead, I went to the Santa Croce Basilica and checked the surrounding streets, as well as the Vasari Corridor, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge again, the Palazzo Pitti, and I visited the Santa Maria in Fiore basilica from the inside too.
After all this, I stopped again on the Piazza della Signoria for one last cappuccino, to properly say goodbye to this amazing city.
As I have mentioned at the beginning, my next stop was Bologna. About my 24 hour experience in Bologna, you can read here!
Also for those who are planning a visit to Florence: here are my 10 things to do in the renaissance city!
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