The capital city of Tuscany, Florence is a must- see if you are taking a trip to Italy. Our Airbnb was in a great location, just outside the city walls. A quick 15-20 minute stroll took us into the heart of the bustling city. Florence is known as the birthplace of The Renaissance, and within a few minutes of strolling around and feasting our eyes on the many beautiful buildings, waterfall features and abundance of intricate statues, we could see why.
Here are some of the highlights from our three day trip.
Florence’s cathedral is one of the most awe inducing buildings I have ever laid eyes on. It is massive and the patterns on the structure are very distinct. It took 140 years to build Il Duomo. Sounds about right when you see the scale of the buildings.
The photos don’t really do the scope of this phenomenon justice. The video might do a better job.
We didn’t go in as the lines were huge, but we did grab an evening glass of wine for me and an ice cream for the kids at one of the nearby outdoor cafes.
The next morning we got up early and made the hike up to the square known as Piazzale Michelangelo. It is perched atop a hill overlooking the city, which makes it the ideal place to soak in the panoramic views of the red terracotta skyline of Florence. It was overcast the morning we made the trek which suited us fine and gave us some relief from the sweltering heat on the way up.
Of course, once we made it to the top everyone indulged in a well deserved ice cream.
There’s also a replica of Michelangelo’s famous statue, the David. Even though I really wanted to see the real statue, this is the closest I came to seeing good old David as the queues for the real thing were insane.
We took a different route down and were greeted by some more gorgeous views, cool waterfalls and old Renaissance era buildings.
Ponte Vecchio is a very famous and old bridge with stores and markets spanning it’s length. It’s built across the river Arno.
We saw it from afar and we walked through it on our return journey to our lodging. No pics were snapped while we were on the busy bridge though.
Piazza della Signoria
We also stumbled upon Palazzo Vecchio on our exploration of the city.
This castle like building is the town hall and overlooks Piazza della Signori- a square full of ancient statues, clock towers and a famous fountain of Neptune.
The Basilica of Santa Crose
There are churches and religious buildings dotted all over this city. We got to wander the Piazza di Sante Croce as the bells of the basilica rang out.
This building also homes the tombs of many Renaissance artists including Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli.
And the Highlight of the Florence Trip For Our Kids….
As we were wandering the Florentine streets, we happened to come upon a carousel. Of course, the pleading for a ride began. The easy answer was Yes. Of Course.
Mercato Centrale Food Court
We had heard that there was an excellent indoor food court upstairs at the Mercato Centrale. It was so busy, we could not find a place to sit. We ended up going across the road to a little hole in the wall pizzeria, having an excellent meal and watching a massive thunder storm roll by.
We topped off our Florence trip by finding a small Irish bar and watching the US women’s soccer team win the World Cup!