2.5 hrs from the farmhouse center for the arts, birthplace of the Renaissance, heart of Tuscany and my personal favorite big city in Italy. Really not a day trip from the farmhouse but could be done, you really should go there before or after your stay with us and spend some time. Hop on Hop off bus is the best way to see a city for the first time we think. Here are some must see sites:
The Academia houses Michelangelo's legendary "David." Avoid the long lines buy a ticket online , and once inside, take your time enjoying the many other pieces of the museum before hurrying to the main attraction. Notice Michelangelo's "Slaves" lining the hallway leading to David, demonstrating the pure rawness and power of his skill as compared to the chiseled, calm exterior of his nearby David. Beautiful marble sculptures dating back to Roman times reside in a room to the left of David's light-bathed cupola. And of course, David is the center of attention, towering high above the heads of his admirers. Take the opportunity to observe him from every angle and notice his beautifully proportioned limbs and muscles.
Loggia dei Lanzi this sanctuary of statues within Piazza della Signoria adjoins the Uffizi Gallery. A prime spot for budding artists and students to spend a leisurely afternoon sketching, these statues are emotive, full of motion and beauty, and deserve a long observation. Sit on the long stone benches as you look, and listen to the music of guitar-strumming artists from the square.
Uffizi Gallery Online Tickets features offerings dotting history - from Medieval tapestries and one-dimensional Madonnas to a room resplendent with Botticelli's greatest masterpieces from his mysterious Venus to his austere Virgin. Observe the long hallway of sculptures and the intricate ceilings; take time to view the Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, and da Vinci works. The Uffizi is paradise for the Renaissance lover, from the nostalgic Roman remakes of Greek originals to the wealth of works by famous Renaissance painters - and what better place to discover these artists than in the birthplace of the Renaissance? Beyond Italian artists, be sure to find the works by Goya, Ruben, El Greco, and Rembrandt.
Palazzo Vecchio online tickets Enter this Palazzo, looking to the left at the model of David (the original stood here before being moved to its current residence in the Academia) and observing the vivid blue frontispiece of the building, which features two petite lions on either side. Points of interest of the "Old Palace" include the stately, dark Salone dei Cinquecento - the walls of which are lined with scenes and battles of history, the death mask of Dante - housed in a hallway in front of a rich red backdrop and cased in a wooden box, and the hall of maps decorated with 53 maps created in oil paint. Be sure to keep your eyes directed to the ceiling throughout your tour - the complicatedly decorated ceilings vary from deep bluesand rich golds to lovely frescoed paintings. For a touch of intrigue on your tour, book tickets ahead of time to tour the Vasari Corridor, the passageway utilised by the Medici family to cross from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti without needing to go down onto the streets with commoners or risk murder attempts.
Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens This fortress of a palazzo rests on the southern bank of the Arno, across the Ponte Vecchio. Like almost every other part of Florence, the Medici family touched the Pitti Palace, purchasing it in the sixteenth century and making it home to their art collection. Spend some time walking through the galleries of the palace, take in the lovely frescoes and works of art by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Caravaggio. Then, take your tour outside into the Boboli Gardens, which lie behind the Pitti Palace and are home to long green stretches of grass, unique fountains, and beautiful sculptures. Focal points include an Egyptian obelisk and the Fountain of Neptune.
Museo Galileo For the science lover and history lover alike, this museum showcases Galileo's life, inventions, and ideas as well as other revolutionary inventions of the time. Highlights include Galileo's gnarled middle finger and teeth and scientific instruments from the Medici and later Lorraine dynasties. This is a great museum for both children and adults and the gift store offers books to explain Galileo's life, times, and work.
Listen to Music Along the Ponte Vecchio To me, a quintessential part of visiting Florence is walking along the Ponte Vecchio and stopping to listen to the talented musicians there.
Palazzo Medici Riccardi This classic Renaissance building deep in the city of
Florence housed the Medici family in their heyday. A beautifully ornate building that has been passed from the Medici to the Riccardi to the State, the Palazzo Medici Riccardi gives its visitors a riveting look back in history at the most powerful Renaissance family of Florence's power and influence.
Mangia! Eat! One of our favourite memories was an Easter Day spent here in
front of the Duomo in the rain watching the fire works and then trying to find a
restaurant that was not loaded with tourists. To our surprise right to the left of the Duomo is Buca San Giovanni’s, we loved the food the service, everything about it. Venture into the bustling markets - indoor and outdoor - for a taste of the fresh ingredients that make Florentine cooking so delicious!
Our favorite place to stay is a lovely Bed & Breakfast,
run by our friend Ulrike. It is set right in the historic section near all the major
sites. She lived in the US for many years so you can speak to
her and she will be able to guide you to all the services you might need while
in the city. You can reach here direclty at firstname.lastname@example.org tell her
we said Ciao.
Or if you would rather have me help you plan your entire
stay while in Florence, all of Italy or actually anywhere in
the world. Let me know and I can do that for you as well.
Agency where you can see samples of what we offer. We have travelled to 46 countries and lived in 4 different ones
including Italy for 6 years. So we are experts at what you
should see while visiting Italy.
Enjoy the journey!
Check out more exciting Florence options below: