making the most of your trip to florence
If you are headed to Florence anytime soon, let me first say that I am so jealous of you! Florence is one of my favorite cities in the world. It has art, history, amazing food, shopping, and not to mention beautiful people. The first time I went to Florence I felt like a left a piece of my heart there and promised I would return. Of course I did and here are some of my tips to help you make the most of your time in Florence.
1) Get a Firenze Card.
If you are in Florence only for a short period of time and would like to see many of its great sites, the Firenze Card is an incredible solution. My sister and I decided to get the card and it was SUCH a great deal. First of all you get to skip all the lines which saves so much time. Additionally, we visited so many more sights than we otherwise would have because we just could without having to worry about the small fees paying up. Having the card just made us more inclined to visit sites and utilize what it provided for us! Firenze Cards are good for 72 hours by the time you activate them and they let you see SO much!
2) Study up on a few sites before you visit them. Learning about things beforehand will make your visit much more memorable. It is just so cool to learn about something and then actually see it in real life. Of course if you have a guide book to learn as you go, that is great too! All that matters is that you are learning.
3) For best sandwich of your life go to All'Antico Vinaio. Literally this sandwich will change your life because it is so good. There will be a massive line but that is when you know it's good.
4) For best pizza of your life go to Santarpia. LITERALLY SO GOOD. You will cry when its gone. Open for dinner only. Located near the Santa Croce.
5) For a delicious traditional Tuscan meal go to Trattoria Marione or Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo. Both are incredible for a good Tuscan meal and will not disappoint.
6) Get gelato at La Carraia. It is definitely my favorite gelato in Florence and a cup is only 1.50 euro! You really cannot beat that. Plus--it's open fairly late so you can get your late night sweet tooth on if you'd like.
7) As a general rule of thumb, eat at places where there are a lot of people. Avoid the tourist traps! Of course this seems obvious, but just like number 3 said, the best food will be where all the people are. Try your best to find the restaurants with all the Italians: that's where the best food is!
my favorite sites:
San Minato al Monte: A monastery located slightly above Piazzale Michelangelo where you can see monks in action! I was so amazed on my first visit to this monastery because I had never seen a real life Monk before. My first trip to Florence, I saw some monks washing a car which I found to be so funny and on my most recent trip I was able to listen to the Monks chanting Gregorian Chants! Such a cool experience. Also, the best views of Florence are from the top of the Monastery. (FREE ADMISSION)
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella: This beautiful church is filled with amazing frescos, incredible architecture, history, and just jaw dropping beauty. I was shocked to see how massive the church was from standing at the back entrance and was just in awe during my visit.
Medici Chapel (Chapel of the Princes): This chapel is unlike any other chapel I have visited before! It's unique style is quite stunning and will leave you speechless. This is definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Florence.
Sunset at Piazzale Michaelangelo: This free activity is a great way to spend your evening in Florence. Watching the sun set over the city will leave you in a daydream that will just make your heart melt for Florence.
Of course you must visit the Duomo, Baptistry, and Uffizi Gallery while in Florence as well so don't miss out on those! There are so many things to do in Florence so no matter what you choose to do with your time--whether it be visiting cathedrals, museums, or daydreaming--you will surly not be disappointed.