I will arrive in Florence and check into my hotel, Hotel Davanzati which is located in the historical center of the city near all major attractions. Also it is located only 200 meters from the central station. The staff is friendly and helpful, glad to assist in in giving advice regarding places to visit and travel. This hotel has all the modern comforts yet the structure is an ancient Florentine building, an excellent marriage of history and modernity. For more information on the hotel:
The first thing I will do once I'm settled in is explore my surroundings, namely the nearby Piazza della Signoria. The Piazza della Signoria is the heart of the historic center and boasts a free open air sculpture gallery. I will spend the eveing getting lost in exploring these sculptures, such as a replica of Michelangelo's David.
While at the Piazza I will visit the Palazzo Vecchio, a medieval building that is Florence's town hall. The Palzzo Vecchio is elaborately decorated.
As I get hungry I will go eat dinner. There are many places to eat in and near the Piazza, the first night I will eat at the Trattoria Ponte Vecchio. This restaurant is right in the piazza and serves typical Florentine food and wine.
After my dinner I will stroll the piazza a bit more before calling it a night and heading to my hotel.
I will start my second day with breakfast at my hotel's cafateria then head out
After that I will make my way to Il Duomo or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Il Duomo is iconic of Florence and a must see. After perusing the inside and marveling at Brunelleschi's Dome which is a masterpiece of construction, I will go to Mass there. After Mass I will buy a ticket to climb it's 463 steps to the top. From there I will get a stunning view of the city such as this one.
After my time spent at Il Duomo, I will go get something to eat for lunch at the
Il Caminetto Di Alessandra Aiazzone & C. S.A.S. The food there doesn't look too heavy so it won't weigh me down as I continue on my day and appears to be of hight quality. It has authentic local food.
After lunch I will visit the Baptistery of John the Baptist, from the 11th century, which is one of Florence's oldest buildings. Its exterior is made of green and white marble and has three sets of amazing bronze doors though they are reproductions - the originals are in the Duomo Museum which I would have seen this morning when I was at Il Duomo. Michelangelo called the original doors "The Doors of Paradise" Inside there are beautiful mosaics and a marble pavement of the zodiac.
After my time at the Baptistry I will head to the Ristorante Gustavino wine bar Enoteca for dinner. This restaruant boasts fresh, authentic Tuscan cuisine and a well stocked cellar of over 800 different wines. If I'm lucky I may arrive on a wine tasting night!
After my eventful first full day in Florence I will call it a night and rest up for my next big day.
After a good nights sleep and eating breakfast at the hotel I will vistit the Campinile or the Bell Tower located in the Piazza del Duomo. The first story, commonly called Giotto's Campinile, was designed by the famous artist Giotto who really ushered in Renaissance art. Clearly besides being and excellent painter he was an accomplished architect, a true Renaissance man! Since there is no life I will buy a ticket and climb the 414 stairs for great views of the Cathedral and its dome and the city of Florence and surroundings. Looks like I'm going to be getting lots of excercise climbing all these stairs!
After my adventure at the Bell Tower I will eat lunch at Osteria Dell ' Olio Srl.
Telling from the music that plays right when you open their webpage I can tell this is going to be a hoppin place! This restaurant is know for it's fusion of traditional tuscan food and innovation. The staff is very friendly and personable from what I have read. Should be in for a treat!
After lunch I will go check out Ponte Vecchio, Florence's famous bridge.
The original bridge probably dates back to Roman times and is the oldest bridge across the Arno river. It was reconstructed in 1345 after a flood, and changed from defensive to public. As a result of this change rows of shops were added to the bridge. In Renaissance Florence this bridge became the hotspot for buying and selling gold and other precious metals. I will spend my afternoon persuing the shops and perhaps people watching and sketching. After all that climbing stairs I need to give my feet a bit of a break.
For dinner I will eat at L'Osteria Di Giovanni Snc Di Latini Giovannicarolechiarac. Reviewers say that the service at this restaurante is superb. The owner and hosts are warm and generous one reviewer wrote. The same reviewer noted that this restaurant was recommended to them by an Italian friend. It's a good indication if the locals believe the food is good!
After dinner I will make my way back to my hotel and rest up for my final day in Florence.
On my last day in Florence I will rise and after eating breakfast at the hotel will head out to the Galleria degli Uffizi. As an artist this is a must see because it is the world's most important collection of Renaissance art. It boasts work by artists such as Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, and Raphael. The museum is crowded so I will be sure to have had bought tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines.
After my time at the Galleria delgi Uffizi I will eat lunch at the Ristorante Il Latini.
The man who established this restaurant in 1950 as a cheap place for locals to eat, though now it gets as many tourists as locals. Narcisso who is now in his mid-90s, still stops by to lend a hand, maybe I'll be able to see him! Again, it's a good sign when a restaurant is popular with the locals.
After lunch I will head to another great place to see art, the Galleria dell' Academia which houses important works of art from the 13th though 16th centuries inluding Michelangelo's David. Also this place has a great collection of musical instruments begun by the Medici family.
After seeing the replica the first day I at least get to see the real David!
Thus concludes my time in Florence. After I'm done with the Galleria dell' Academia I will head to my hotel and check out. Then I'll on my way to my next destination.