Florence, Italy


Florence presents culture at its best, and is known as the art capital of Italy with a proliferation of museums, churches and palaces. Florence is where history breathes in every nook and corner - the Duomo towers over the city and many churches and museums are filled with the legacy of the Renaissance. Michael Angelo's Statue of David reigns and is truly divine. Architecture abounds, wine flows, leather goods are in demand and Florentines are fashionastas, given that Florence is home to some world class designers. History juxtaposed with modernity, museums with wall art and you lo and behold - you have a city that enthralls.Come see for yourself!

DON'T MISS

The imposing and lifelike Statue of David at the Accademia Gallery - only 4 feet tall and created by Michael Angelo, it attracts thousands of visitors from across the world. Be sure to buy your tickets online for entrance to the Accademia Gallery or you will have to stand in serpentine queues. By the way, there are many David replicas all over the city, and the one at Accademia is the real McCoy!

THINGS TO DO AND SEE

  • Visit the Uffizi Gallery to view masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and other illustrious artists. Buy tickets in advance!
  • Make a trip to Santa Croce, a splendid church with frescoes and an astounding assortment of tombs. This phenomenal church is the final resting place for Galileo Galilee, Machiavelli and Michelangelo
  • Enjoy the gardens of Boboli - see the profusion of flowers and the intricate sculptures from the 16-18th century
  • At the Duomo Square, climb up the Duomo to get fantastic views of the city and do get to see the Last Judgement painting
  • For a postcard view of Florence with the Duomo in the background, take a bus up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks the city from its perch in the hills above the Oltrarno

GRAB A BITE

Florence and gelato go hand in hand. Stop by at Gelateria La Carraia. Located just off Ponte alla Carraia on the Oltrarno side, they serve the creamiest, softest gelato at just € 2.50 a pop!
And if you stop by at a cafe for a cup of coffee (and you should, considering coffee drinking had its origins in Italy) do remember that you should stand and have your coffee at the bar or counter - if you want to rest your weary feet and sit down, be prepared to pay at least three times more for that cup of coffee. Don't say we didn't warn you!!

SHOPPING

How can you come to Florence and not buy some great leather products? Head to San Lorenzo market or the square round Santa Croce to buy a leather jacket, boots or belt. Be aware that you can bargain here - check the product for authenticity and definitely try to bring down the ticketed price!
Shop for souvenirs at the famed Ponte Vecchio - and if you are looking to buy small pieces of gold jewelry this is the place for it!

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES

May sees temps in the 75°F/25°C range so it's pleasant and balmy weather. July and August tend to get hot at 91°F/32°C and it turns chilly as winter approaches in November.

LOCAL CURRENCY

The Euro is the currency in use in Italy, and major credit cards are accepted most everywhere.

Fun Quotient

Roaming the streets of Florence and think you are lost? In all probability you are not - remember that Florence streets can be one name at one end of the street and another name at the other end!