Top Five things to see in Florence

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Florence, home of the Renaissance, is packed full of museums, culture, art, food and more. Florence planted the I want to move to Europe seed in me. I fell in love on my first arrival and we have since returned many times. It is a city we will never tire of.

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How to arrive?

Santa Maria Novella is the main train station. We have arrived in Florence by train. Like most European train stations it is very central. The Frecciarossa is fast, comfortable and convenient.

Driving in Florence isn’t as nerve racking as driving in Naples, but with that said, you are still driving it Italy. It’s crowded and rules are meant to be broken. You might even find two marked lanes with 4 lanes of traffic on them. This can all happen before you reach the city center, which is why I wouldn’t recommend driving into the city.  If you must drive, the parking in Florence is better than many large Italian cites. Park on the outskirts of the city center and walk, bus, or taxi into the city center. I have found this site useful for locating parking in Florence.

The Florence airport is a few miles northwest of Florence. You can hop on a bus or grab a taxi to the city center. The train does not connect with the airport but there are many bus connections to the station.

Where to stay in Florence?

I think it depends on your travel situation. If you are traveling through for a few nights I would recommend staying in the city center to make the most of your time.  We have always had good luck finding accommodations on booking.

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But if you are staying in Tuscany for a few weeks, I would recommend staying in an agriturismo. We have stayed outside of Florence for a few weeks and enjoyed coming into Florence when we weren’t relaxing by the pool.

A must see? Our TOP 5 Picks

Our list of what to see is long but the following are the top 5 things I would not miss:

1.Uffizi Gallery, amazing collection of Italian art. I’d recommend making reservations before.

2.Accademia,  Michelangelo’s David is here.  Make reservations, it pays to think ahead.

3.Duomo, The Famous Gothic Cathedral in Florence

*Don’t forget to climb to the top of the Duomo – the lines are usually long. Our best luck has been arriving early to wait in line, before it opens at 8:30.

4.Pitti Palace,  There are 3  Museums inside a beautiful Palace.  I would recommend viewing the outside gardens, they are breathtaking.

5.Ponte Vecchio, The famous bridge in Florence lined with shops

This is just a start. Every time we visit I feel like there is always something new to see/stumble upon.

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I’ll end with a review on a restaurant called Il Latini. I must say we have been a few times but our first experience was our favorite. The restaurant is still very good but more tourists have found out about this hidden gem.

On our first visit, years ago, the crowd started to gather right before the opening, at 9 pm. Inside you could see the employees enjoying a huge feast (Great staff motivation if you ask me).  Once their meal was finished, they opened the door and started yelling off names from the reservation list. We yelled our name out, while waving our arms (yes it was that crazy),they grabbed my hand and pulled us in.  There was no menu, all you can drink table wine, and food fit for a king.  Give it a try if you find yourself in Florence.

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