It seems like everyone I know is going to Italy right now and I can’t say that I’m impressed. Not because I think there are better places to go, but because those people that I thought were my friends have the nerve not to take me with them! First I find a few friends just came back from there (I found out through Facebook), then I hear from another friend that she’s going to end up there at the end of her European jaunt; the worst though is reserved for my own mother who is going to be in Italy quite soon and didn’t invite her only loving son along too. I mean, I didn’t take her when I went a few years ago, but that’s besides the point.
When asked where to go, aside from telling them everywhere, I was sure to mention they had to check out Florence because as understated as it is in comparison to Rome and Venice, Florence is for many the very definition of Italian culture. Birthplace of the Renaissance, you can tell as soon as you enter that this is a city of inspiration that still calls out to all who visit. It’s a city you can just lose yourself in without doing anything too taxing and never be bored.
When you want to see the sights, Florence tours will give you a stunning view of the city. Are you on a budget? Then here are a few suggestions of things to see and do in Florence that won’t cost you a dime (or whatever the Euro equivalent to dime is):
Wander the Streets and Leather Shops
Florence has some great streets to explore on foot, as is true of many European destinations, but it’s the hidden gems you find along the way that make it a distinctly Florentine endeavour. Heading down any given street can bring you face to face with a delicious looking deli, gelato stand or historic site related to some of the famous inhabitants. On top of all that, Florence is known for its leatherwork with many of the artists still selling their wares in the piazzas or shops; it’s free to look, but not to buy!
Florence’s main religious site is unlike almost any other building you will ever encounter and it stands out dramatically from the rest of the architecture. If you choose to climb the dome and check out the view of the city it will cost you money but just entering and gazing at the incredible images is a great way to spend a day without costing you too much.
Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo
Without a doubt, this is the best spot in all of Florence and if you are there for more than one day (and why wouldn’t you be!), you will come up here every night – it’s that amazing. The view is amazing on its own but pair it with a sun that seems to dip just perfectly, colouring the city in the warmest of hues and you’ll have the perfect setting to any day. Grab a cheap bottle of wine from a store or some gelato from a nearby stand and just sit back and take it all in.
Needless to say, Florence is a must see destination for anyone in Italy or who loves to travel in general and obviously there is more to it than just the things I have mentioned. For more information, check out this handy guide that will point you in the right direction and give you inspiration to make your trip to Florence one that will inspire others to do so as well.