Florence is one of the best-known art cities in the world. Called the cradle of the Renaissance, it offers a chance to admire monuments, palaces, museums and art galleries like few other cities in Italy.
When people talk about Florence, everyone thinks of the Uffizi, the Ponte Vecchio and Michelangelo’s David; but the Florentine capital actually offers so many other masterpieces and great little museums.
Few, in fact, know of the Bargello, near Piazza San Firenze, where there are masterpieces by Florentine painters: Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Bacchus and Tondo Pitti , Gianbologna’s Mercury and some frescoes by Giotto. Or the Horne Museum on Via de’ Benci, named after the famous English collector who lived in Florence in the early 1900s and amassed so many works of art.
Or the beautiful Palazzo Davanzati (Museum of Old Florentine House) just a stone’s throw from Piazza Repubblica and Ponte Vecchio. One of the few examples of medieval tower houses (it spans four floors), it dates back to the 14th century Florentine period, with furnishings and everyday objects from the 11th to 17th centuries: tapestries with Davanzati family exploits, period furniture, ceramics and chests. Some rooms have been reconstructed according to the 14th-century customs of Florence. Unfortunately, this museum is often closed.
One can console oneself by visiting the Topographical Historical Museum Florence as it was, which documents the evolutions and changes of Florence throughout history. The Museum collects plans, topographical maps, prints and drawings of the city in various eras. It is located on Via dell’Oriuolo, a narrow street that comes out behind Florence Cathedral.
And after a full day of touring museums, galleries and monuments comes the best moment: trying one of Florence’s typical trattorias . You can taste the tasty dishes of Florentine cuisine: ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, crespelle alla fiorentina, chicken livers, and the famous Fiorentina steak, which after all the uproar of the mad cow disease, has finally returned to Italian tables. And you can’t miss a good wine: whether it’s a Chianti Classico or a Morellino di Scansano, or a Brunello di Montalcino… the important thing is that the wine is red!
What about after dinner? Florence also offers a decent nightlife: new clubs and pubs pop up every year for both foreigners and Florentines.
Generally in the historic center, venues are mostly for tourists; Florentines prefer to hang out on the lungarni, where it is easier to park, such as the San Niccolò area below Piazzale Michelangelo, which is full of small restaurants and nightclubs. Or they opt for a disco in the Cascine area. In addition, in such an artistic city there are often events, fairs, exhibitions, concerts…to keep abreast of what to do in the evening, both in summer and winter, it pays to look at sites about Florence or some blogs.
At the end of such a busy day, it is inevitable to collapse from exhaustion and look forward to going back to the hotel to get some sleep. Hotels in Florence are quite expensive, but fortunately in low season there are many special and last minute offers. In addition, for the past few years, many bed and breakfasts and room rentals have also popped up both in the historic center and in the hills around Florence, offering a double room with bathroom at a much lower rate.
Any season is good for visiting Florence, but to avoid the great heat of the summer months, it is best to plan your vacation in the spring (May by far is the best month for a visit to Florence) or fall months.
If you are looking for an apartment to rent in Florence, go to the section on Florence rentals.
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