Red brick roofs, ornate churches and snail-paced tourists flooding the streets like ants: we didn’t have to say the name, but you knew exactly where we were talking about. Florence, the capital city of the region of Tuscany in Italy, has always had the ability to completely change one’s perspective of what Italy is about and the dolce vita lifestyle that revolves around quality food and the importance of family.
Florence is smaller than its southern tourist mecca cousin, Rome, and allows visitors to garner an intimate feel for the city that is home to priceless pieces of art, globally-sought vineyards and a countryside peacefulness – not unlike that portrayed in the aptly titled American film, Under a Tuscan Sun. Cobblestones pepper the streets and warm-toned buildings fill the skies alongside ancient monuments and encroaching green vines.
A city to be walked, Florence was handily planned in a way that allows for most of the iconic monuments and landmarks to be within walking distance of one another. Piazza Signorina leads to the Uffizi Gallery, which leads to the Ponte Vecchio, which, after a short walk, leads to the Boboli Gardens. The list can go on of intricately linked footpaths connecting the romantic city from one picturesque location to another.
Trattoria La Madia, 14 Via del Giglio
Here you will find typical Italian cuisine alongside both Mediterranean and vegetarian dishes.
The Boboli Gardens, 1 Piazza Pitti
Linking onto the back of the Pitti Palace and sprawling upwards in an abundance of lush greenery, the Boboli Gardens offers both a quiet place to sit in a bustling city and a horticultural experience unlike the typical.
For the sweeping views of the city as previously seen on Instagram throughout the European summer, Piazzale Michaelangelo is the place to be. It’s a bit of a hike to reach the top however the pathways upwards are lined with flowers, plenty of shade and local artists working live in the flesh.
Galleria Degli Uffizi, 6 Piazzale degli Uffizi
The Birth of Venus, works of Leonardo da Vinci and The Ara Pacis Augustae are all housed at the Uffizi Gallery alongside a plethora of priceless art and artefacts. A definite must visit when in the medieval city.
TICKETS: We recommend pre-booking a ticket into the Uffizi gallery to avoid a two-hour line. This can be completed online at the Uffizi website or in person at the gallery a day before the intended visit. For more information, visit: www.uffizi.it/en.
The Gucci Garden, 10 Piazza della Signorina
A visit to the Gucci Garden in Piazza della Signorina is to be adored by both those who covet the works of the fashion house and those culturally immersing themselves in Florence’s offerings. The treble-storey affair features work from almost every creative director in the history of Gucci and includes both a Gucci boutique on the ground floor and a garden gift shop selling items exclusive to the garden only.
TICKETS: Free entry for students and $16AUD for general public.
Photography by Sonia Blair.