Things To Do in Florence

FlorenceCalled by the locals as Firenze, Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy. It is a fantastically beautiful city, sparkling with cultural, artistic, and architectural gems.

The city was the center of the Italian Renaissance-home of the famous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Dante, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo-and remains one of the world’s top attractions for art lovers. If you are planning to travel to Florence, here are some reminders that you may find handy.

Visit its many museums

It is expected from a city that lived on art that it offers so much museums and galleries, varying from the Renaissance art, to more ancient Etruscan art as well as Contemporary art. The most famous of them all is the Galleria degle Uffizi, containing an immesr popuation of Renaissance paintings and sculptures. However, in visiting Uffzi, expect to wait under long lines. If you do not like to wait in line, try the city’s other museums such as Bargello and Accademia.

Make a reservation before visiting some museums

Calling the museum for a reservation or buying reservation tickets at the door are some of the best suggestions in order to beat the long lines usually associated with Florentine museums.

See David in his full glory

Visit the Accademia where Michelangelo’s David is housed. This immense scultpture defining the human male anatomy has been a subject of controversy since its creation.

See Florence’s other sites

Aside from its numerous museums and galleries, the city boasts of various places that tourists can frequent. For instance, Americans can visit the American Cemetery of Florence, where about 6,000 US WWII soldiers were laid to rest. It is a 20-minute ride from the Sita Station. Another recommended site is the Santa Maria del Fiore, a beautiful cathedral and symbol of the city. Created by Brunelleschi, it is famous for its "Duomo" (dome), which was an engineering feat of the Rennaisance.

See Florence from above

Adjacent to the Duomo, you can climb Giotto’s Tower for a magnificent 360-degree view of the dome and the city. You need to pay 6 euros as entrance fee, but you need the tenacity of climbing its 414 steps. Also, the Piazzale Michelangelo located on a hilltop south of the Arno can also be a great vantage point to see the whole of the city.

See the tombs of the masters

The Santa Croce Church contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavell, Dante, and many other notables in addition to artistic decorations.

Walk along the gardens

The Boboli Gardens is elaborate landscaped and has several interesting sculptures. It is located behind the Pitti Palace. This is a great located to relax and even do some "people watching."

Marvel at the frescoes

Florence has several frescoes-paintings usually done on wet plaster-that are admired by many tourists, such as "Adam and Eve Banished from the Garden" by Masaccio located in Santa Maria del Carmine, and those of Pontormo, probably the weirdest Mannerist painter, located in Santa Trinita. Both churches are located south of the Arno.

Go out to the Tuscan countryside

Get a bike and get out of Firenze, as there are several magnificent places to ride around the city. However, most of those places are usually hilly or mountainous so you need a little more stamina when reaching them. Best destinations are in the Chianti area, as well as in Vallombrosa.

Learn Italian

What better way to learn the language than to study it where it is spoken. The Cultural Center for Foreigners at the University of Florence offers 5 to 10 week courses in Italian language and culture. This preparatory course is suitable for people who have no previous knowledge of Italian. Do note that the courses are taught entirely in Italian.

Buy loads of souvenirs

Florence has a lot of souvenir shops related to art and the city’s sights. Among the city’s wares include books, leather goods, art handcrafted journals, frames, and pencils. It is recommended to buy far from the city center where the goods are sold cheaper.

Do not buy fakes

Several street vendors offer knock-off versions of designer brand items such as Gucci sunglasses, Rolex watches, and Prada purses. Please be advised not to buy such items because if the police catches you red-handed, you can be fined up to 10,000 euros. When buying from a street vendor, make sure that the items are "unbranded."

Beware of the Stendhal Syndrome

Do you know that there is such a sickness that you get just by getting too overwhelmed by Florence’s fantastic art? It is called the Stendhal Syndrome, named after a 19th-Century French author who suffered from it during his stay in Florence. Its symptoms include dizziness, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and even hallucinations. If you get overwhelmed, rest your eyes and legs, and try get some food like gelato as you rest the whole day.

 
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.