The world is bigger than we could possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. I am inspired by each of your stories, just waiting to be told.Florence is my favorite city in Italy. When we were there it was like we took a step back in time and witnessed the Renaissance through all of our senses. This city is magical! Florence, Italy was the home of one of Italy’s most influential families, the Medici. It is also the birthplace of the Renaissance. When strolling down its cobblestone streets there is art and history around every corner. Best of all, you can experience some of its historic sites for free!
No visit to Florence, Italy is complete without stopping by Florence Duomo! Florence Duomo sits at the heart of Florence’s city center and is walk-able if coming from the Stazione di Santa Maria Novella – Florence’s train station. The dome itself is spectacular! For a really good view of it, I suggest climbing up to Piazzale
Michelangelo or San Miniato al Monte (the higher up, the better) for a panoramic view of Florence and its duomo’s cupola dominating the skyline. The dome was built by Filippo Brunelleschi – a goldsmith and clockmaker. It was finished in 1436 which later, a crowning lantern was added to the dome. The crown was sculpted by Andrea del Verrocchio, whom at the time had young Leonardo da Vinci as an apprentice in his workshop. You can climb your way to the top (for a fee) and get a view of the city. The duomo also includes a bell tower known as Giotto’s Campanile (Tower) and a baptistry.
San Miniato al Monte
San Miniato al Monte is a monastery that sits high on a hill. Many tourists stop at Piazzale Michelangelo for a panoramic view of Florence but to get an off the beaten path experience, walk higher uphill to visit San Miniato al Monte. If you’re unable to climb, there is a bus you can take to Piazzale Michelangelo where the monastery is within a few minutes’ walk. The monastery has a beautiful cemetery and you can visit the interior of the church free of charge. If the timing is good, you can hear the monks’ prayer chants in the church. Also, the view of Florence from the top is amazing!
Ponte Vecchio & The Arno
The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a Medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno River, inFlorence, Italy. Butchers occupied itin the past, now itis filled with shops such as jewelers, art dealers and souvenirs for the browsing tourists.The river is the lifeblood of Florence. Located inthe Tuscany region it begins at Mount Falterona flowing south then turns west at Arezzo passing through Florence, Empoli & Pisa before flowing out into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Piazza della Signoria
This is one of Florence’s most popular squares. It was also the meeting place for Florentines in the past and still to this day (including many tourists!) There are numerous statues in the plaza –including a couple of my favorites such as a replica of Michelangelo’s David and Cellini’s Perseus With the Head of Medusa. The real David statue can be seen at Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze which you need to purchase tickets to visit, but it is so worth it! I promise you will be impressed with this massive masterpiece.
You could also get to Galleria degli Uffizi and see my other favorite artist’s work, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Primavera. It’s also very popular with tourist groups (we had to wait about 10 minutes before getting a good view of it ourselves.) There are other works there including some by Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Michelangelo and Rembrandt.Florence is enchanting and filled with history, you could spend at least a week or more exploring every corner of the city. If you are looking for a day trip from Rome, you can get to Florence by train in 1 ½ hours. I suggest taking a fast, early morning train and return to Rome after dinner in Florence!
A travel and culture enthusiast, JaMeka Ramnath is a mom and wife who loves to explore and learn about cultures and places around the globe with her husband, Meshach, who is also their photographer. Whether it’s attending cultural festivals, trying different foods, music, learning languages, traveling abroad or local, she loves to do it all! When she isn’t working at her full-time job as a Senior Producer for television, she manages their blog, Got The Travel Bug Too. Find her on instagram, twitter and facebook!
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