Hello, friends! Oh, Florence. This city is epic. It’s the home of the Renaissance, chock-full of art, history, and oh so much Italian culture. One of my favorite things about this city is that when you’re walking the streets or eating in restaurants, you’re in the same spots where the Renaissance masters once were. The door handle you just used may have been around in Michelangelo’s time. A morning stroll by the Arno River may have been experienced by Dante Aligheri. Florence is swimming in culture and there’s so much to do here.
Some of my favorite attractions in Florence include the Medici Chapel, for the gorgeous Michelangelo statues; the Uffizi, for Botticelli’s Primavera; and the leather market, just for funzies. I will warn you though-because of all of the attractions in Florence, it draws a lot of tourists, so be prepared for crowds. When wetraveled in Florence, we hit all of our favorite restaurants, as well as visiting La Academia (The David, anyone?), Santa Croce (The church where the Renaissance masters are buried), and the leather market.
If you’re looking for a good place to shop in Italy, Florence is the place! It has a huge leather industry that consumes the markets along the streets. My favorite bags and purses have all come from Florence, but not without being bartered for a good deal! If leather isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of shopping by the Ponte Vecchio. Just follow the signs and the mass groups of people.
As for restaurant recommendations, our study abroad group always does a group lunch at Pennello’s, which is just around the corner from Dante Aligheri’s house. The people there are friendly and the food is to die for. My absolutely favorite dish that I get every time I’m at Pennello’s is Scallopine al Crema Tartufo, which is veal with a truffle cream sauce. It’s to die for. I also love this restaurant called “Za-Za’s”, located close to the Medici Chapel and the leather market. Za-Za’s is super trendy and delivers a wide variety of Italian dishes. This is also one of my favorite places to get an after meal cappuccino, as theirs are beautifully decorated and delicious.
Florence is definitely a big tourist site, but for good reason. Just being there makes you feel like you’re going back in time to the Renaissance. However, it’s such a fun city that really makes you appreciate history, art, and how it affects us now.