Top Tips for Florence (Italy)

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Top Tips for Florence (Italy)

Avatar for Cormac
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Hey guys,

I’m planning a short trip over to Florence in a couple of weeks (the one in Italy, not the one in the US). I’ve got four days to fill and am planning to spend one of them in Rome.

I’ve never been to Italy so am happy to do all of the standard touristy stuff, but if there are things off the beaten track I should be checking out, I’d like to know about those too. So, besides the obligatory gelato and pizza overload, what should I be checking out for the other three days?

Any tips for Rome in a day would be appreciated too…

Ta grin

     
Avatar for Will
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Hey Cormac,

I haven’t been to Florence but did spend a few days in Rome last year - about as amazing as you might expect, and if you’re even remotely into history it’s the most fascinating city in the world (in my humble opinion).

If you only have a day in Rome and it’s your first time, you can’t really miss the Ancient Centre (Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum). You can get a joint ticket for all three, I think it’s less than €20. I’d recommend getting to the C early to avoid the crowds and queues - P.H and F aren’t as bad when busy because they’re spread out over such a wide area.

In terms of food, when I went to Rome, what with it being the capital of arguably the most successful culinary nation on the planet, I reasoned I couldn’t really go wrong. Turns out you definitely can. I ate overpriced crap for a couple of days before finally succumbing to Trip Advisor. Definitely do this - don’t go on appearances. Some of the most lovely looking restaurants serve truly dreadful food. Obviously there are some fantastic places, you just need to know where to go.

Lastly, if you have a night there, check out the Pantheon in the evening and listen to the operatic buskers - no atmosphere quite like it. And avoid the Spanish Steps - overrated.

     
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Cormac! Florence is a beautiful City in Italy. It offers a wide variety of attractions including; frescoes, statues, churches, palaces, and other monuments. I will recommend you to don’t miss to visit Florence Cathedral, Piazza Della Signoria, San Miniato al Monte, Boboli Gardens and historic centre of Florence during your Florence tour. To get further details about Florence tourism visit these links:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Florence
http://www.urbantravelblog.com/guide/florence

     
Avatar for Cormac
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Thanks guys.

OK, so let’s throw it out there… any recommendations for pizza parlours and gelato houses (is that a thing?) in Florence?

p.s. Is any truth in the rumour that - because the huge number of tourists reducing the need for businesses to be competitive - the pizza in Rome is generally pretty crappy?

     
Avatar for Cormac
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Hey guys!

Thanks again for your tips.

The Florence trip was amazing; a beautiful city which I instantly fell in love with! I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone considering going! grin

[Thought I’d include my own Florence smiley - since I could]

So, within a few hours we were totally overwhelmed by how much there was to do. So much so, that we quickly made a decision to spend all of our time in Italy in and around Florence, and come back to do Rome separately, at a later date.

Even with 4 jam-packed days, we didn’t even manage to do half of the things most tourists do. We didn’t see Michelangelo’s David at the Uffizi or climb the Duomo (for example), though we did visit the Galileo Museum and the Specola, both of which were amazing!

The Specola is home to a collection of 18th century medical waxworks, which were a surprising highlight of the trip! Dark as anything, but works of art in their own right.

Anyway, after spending a week eating an insane amount of incredible food and being overwhelmed by beautiful art on every street corner, I basically wanted to say “If you haven’t been to Florence, it’s definitely worth considering!”

I also took a stupid amount of photos (as I basically always do) and have included the trip highlights in this little photoblog if anyone is interested:

Things to See and Do in Florence, Italy

Next stop Rome… wink

Grazie Amici

     
Avatar for AnthonyJameson
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Yeah I was blown away by the food too! The pizza was particularly amazing as you say. And reliably so! I went too a place called Gusta Pizza 4 or 5 times, during my stay. Would definitely recommend it!

Oh, and please tell me you got a sandwich at All’antico Vinaio? TripAdvisor pretty much always ranks it in the top 3 places to eat in Florence. You go in thinking “yeah I could go a sandwich” but it’s a sandwich like no other. It’s that typical Italian food thing where when you break down the parts, it all seems so simple, yet somehow it tastes unbelievable. My god it’s good!

If you missed it, I’d recommend going back especially! A few pics of what you may have missed out on below (though they don’t do it justice at all)! wink

Now I’m ‘hungry’ to go back! raspberry

     
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AnthonyJameson - 07 August 2014 12:34 PM

Yeah I was blown away by the food too! The pizza was particularly amazing as you say. And reliably so! I went too a place called Gusta Pizza 4 or 5 times, during my stay. Would definitely recommend it!

Oh, and please tell me you got a sandwich at All’antico Vinaio? TripAdvisor pretty much always ranks it in the top 3 places to eat in Florence. You go in thinking “yeah I could go a sandwich” but it’s a sandwich like no other. It’s that typical Italian food thing where when you break down the parts, it all seems so simple, yet somehow it tastes unbelievable. My god it’s good!

Jesus! Were you actually stalking me! I went to both of those places! Very random! big surprise

That sandwich shop is something else isn’t it! The first thing I did was check out TripAdvisor on my phone (love that the city provides free wi-fi to everyone cheese) and it was listed as the #1 restaurant at the time. My first thought was “How is a sandwich shop the best place to eat in Florence?” followed shortly by “When are we going there then?”

I guess it’s not that much of a coincidence actually, as it’s no secret that it’s good. The street was literally packed with people looking to try it out.

After about a 40 minute wait I had an enourmous dripping sandwich made with freshly baked bread, and stuffed with parma ham, aubergine, peppered egg, mozzerella, goat’s cheese and olive oil. Fortunately the food was every bit as epic as the queue. It’s hard to recommend waiting 40 minutes for a sandwich, but you’re right Anthony, it is absolutely worth it!

As for that pizza parlour, we went a couple of times as well, as it’s right near the Specola. The calzone is immense!

I went to an amazing little restaurant that did the best lasagne I’ve ever tasted as well. I can’t remember the name of it at the moment, but I’ll be sure to share if I remember! raspberry

     
Avatar for Damien Brickwood
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This thread and the blog has totally inspired me to check out Florence! grin