There are many cities we have visited: London, New York, Buenos Aires, Casablanca … In these destinations we have always found tourists in love with these cities. But there is also some traveler dissatisfied with the city, who has not seen their expectations fulfilled or who has not had a satisfactory journey. In Florence this has not happened to us. All the travelers fascinated account their experience in this unique city. Florence is active day and night, unlike other places like Venice, thanks to tourists, artists and students.
And is that rightly Stendhal syndrome is also known as Florence syndrome. A psychosomatic illness that causes the traveler to have, among other symptoms, palpitations, a high heart rate, vertigo or confusion. Particularly when you are in front of the majestic works of art that the city shares in every corner and in each square.
This time our trip was made by plane from Spain to Pisa, landing at the posh Galileo Galilei airport. We take the opportunity to visit the famous tower. Very close to the airport, and we started from that moment to enjoy the Italian food. After the first pizza, a train would take us to our destination: Florence. This is a highly recommended means of transportation to tour Italy. Códomo and puntual, can be cheap if we buy tickets in advance through the company’s website, Trenitalia. Remember to validate your ticket before boarding the train. The system is different from that of our country. But if you have doubts, you can ask the staff of the station, who will kindly help you.
Staying in Florence
As in all major cities, the offer of accommodation is very broad. We chose to stay in a Bed & Breakfast, Le Ghiacciaie, located just 5 minutes from Santa Maria Novella Central Station. On our trip through Italy we have stayed in different types of establishments. As in the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, a 5-star hotel on the canals of Venice, whose treatment turned out to be much colder than the one received at Le Ghiacciaie. Owner Filippo Tarchi made us feel at home, starting the mornings with a delicious cooked breakfast at the moment. This Bed & Breakfast is very close to the city center and is a very interesting option if you want to travel to Florence.
The Duomo, symbol of Florence
One of the most impressive buildings is undoubtedly the Duomo, the cathedral of Florence, known as Santa Maria del Fiore. It is worth traveling only to Florence to see this construction. The renaissance is displayed in the cathedral in all its splendor, captivating the tourist for its details, its materials and its structure. The walls of white marble of Cararra, are mixed with the red of Siena and the green of Patro.
On its sides we can see sculptures by multiple artists, including Donatello. But if there is an element that stands out from all, even above the city itself, it is the dome of Brunelleschi. With more than 100 meters in height and more than 45 in diameter. You can climb to the top and enjoy fantastic views of Florence. Next to the Duomo is the, and the baptistery of San Juan, with its famous bronze doors of Ghiberti.
Discover Italian Ice Cream
Strolling along the sides of the Duomo, we find Edoardo, an ice cream parlor with natural products whose flavor you will not forget. Not only the ice cream is natural but the cone itself is prepared in front of the public. That combination of crispy biscuit and ice cream without artificial products will make the first visit to Edoardo not the only one during your visit to the city.
The gastronomic offer is very varied and can be anything expensive or economical that the traveler wants. We enjoy from the popular pizzas to the cut and other variants of pasta, that the traditional establishments offer of cheap form to the travelers until food for budgets higher. We had dinner in the gardens of the Palazzo Gaddi restaurant, located in the Hotel Boscolo Astoria. With this choice we agree with Joh Milton, who stayed at this hotel in 1938. Here we enjoy the Italian high cuisine in its maximum splendor. Among its dishes, pasta with seafood is one of those that you can not fail to try. After dinner, a coffee from the rooftop, is a magical moments. With the backdrop of a Florence night, of which the Duomo with its white stone stands out at night.
Speaking of coffee, remember that in Italy the cafes are mostly espresso and you will not find any Starbucks coffee shop, the customs with the coffee are also different from ours.
The Piazza della Signoria
In the center of the city we find the Piazza della Signoria. Here we can visit the Palazzo Vecchio, closely related to the Medici family. Again, time stands still in the Renaissance.
The Piazza della Signoria
In the center of the city we find the Piazza della Signoria. Here we can visit the Palazzo Vecchio, closely related to the Medici family. Again, time stands still in rebirth. We are surrounded by impressive buildings that testify to the times of the patrons who brought light to the Middle Ages. This square is an incomparable setting where concerts and other shows are held. It is very important to be informed of the cultural offer during your stay in the city so you do not miss any.
In the square we find a series of statues, among them the famous David of Miguel Angel. But make no mistake. It is a replica, the authentic one can visit it very close, in the Galleria dell’Accademia. The good organization within the museum is surprising. Where away from the bustle of others, this limits the number of visitors that are inside at the same time. We can enjoy all the works that it houses, without having to elude us with other tourists and being able to take our problems with our self with David.
This control of the visits has its negative side, and are the long queues that are formed in the exterior. But this mishap is easily solved by acquiring online tickets that will give us quick access, which is undoubtedly worth it. Florence offers too many attractions to the tourist to waste time in queues.
The city has a multitude of museums, such as the Galleria degli Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti. We visit the latter and enjoy their endless works. Among hundreds of paintings that we could contemplate we find works by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Rubens and Pietro da Cortona, among many others. This building and its gardens, which must go, have a long history. For example having been used by Napoleon I as a military base during his wars. Or to have been donated by Victor Manuel III to the Italian people during the beginning of the 20th century.
Walking around Ponte Vecchio
Another emblematic place is the well-known Ponte Vecchio. On the river Armo that crosses the city, it is one of its icons, with its jewels occupying its sides and the tourists traveling incessantly from one side to the other. During World War II this was the only bridge that was not destroyed. According to the legend, at the express request of Hitler. During the night it becomes a magical space that is etched in the memory of all travelers. And on the outskirts of the city, on a hill, is the Piazzale Michelangelo.
You can walk, we did, but if you go with elderly people or with little desire to move on foot steep slopes that take us to the top of the square, you can opt for a comfortable bus trip. The views of the city, especially at sunset, are breathtaking, Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo … you can not forget your camera. During our visit we met several couples who were doing their wedding reportage. It is difficult to find a better background for a wedding or tourist photograph. There is a magical moment, when the sun is hidden behind the silhouette of the city of Tuscany.