We arrived on Sunday morning at Pisa airport. Florence has its own airport as well but not many flights from Belgium are arriving there. At Pisa Airport you can arrange a bus ticket, the bus ride to Florence took about an hour. From the train station in Florence you can take a cab or bus to your hotel.
We stayed at hotel Il Granduca. This hotel is situated in the midclass price range and was definitely worth every penny (or euro). We were welcomed by the charming receptionist with some free drinks. The hotel is a bit outdated but clean and cosy which is very important for me. We got a nice room with our own small garden. The rooms were very clean as well, perfect wifi and airco.
The receptionist from this hotel is the number one reason why you should go there. She helped us out with arranging taxis,... We also got a free breakfast and the city centre was only a 15 minutes' walk on foot.
This was my second time in Florence and I absolutely love the city. It's so gorgeous and upon arrival you immediately feel like you're transported to another time. Although so many tourists pass through the city each day, it's so clean. Of course Italian food is another reason why I love going to Florence.
Tavernette del Battistero
Right after having arrived at the hotel, Kevin and I hit the city centre. But first we had lunch on a side street of the Duomo. The pizza's in Italy are to die for. They are not even comparable to freezed pizza's you buy in your local store. The pizza in Florence are freshly made with the most delicious ingredients. A lot of people asked me whether eating in Florence is expensive but it's not all. Most meals are about 8 or 10 euro which is the same price you would pay overhere.
From basically every point in the city, the Duomo is visible. So how you can you not be drawn to this building!? I definitely love the design on front which is neo gothic. This is quite unusual for cathedrals. The Duomo is literally the centre of the city so you will pass by it a dozen times while you are in Florence.
Each time I'm going abroad, eating at the local Hardrock café is a must. The vibe is always amazing at these restaurants. We started the evening with a cocktail, the list of cocktails to choose from is endless. Afterwards I ate a spicy hamburger and some onion rings. If you still have some room left, which you probably won't btw, there are still some delicious desserts to choose from.
Shopping in Florence isn't exactly cheap. Sure they offer H&M and Zara as well but most stores are either Italian brands from the mid class price range such as Liu Jo or luxurious designer stores. You can't leave without a Gucci item since the brand was founded in Florence.La Rinascente, a huge shopping mall, is also a must-go although the range is remarkably smaller than the shop in Milan. While you are at La Rinascente, make sure you go all the way to the roof where you can have drinks with the most amazing view over Florence.
For over a year I have been dreaming about eating a personalised Magnum and finally the Magnum Store in Florence made my dream come true. The store is located on the Piazza del Duomo.
Climb the cupola
As mentioned before, I visited Florence last year as well. I wanted to climb the cupola from the Duomo so badly but it was so hot that day and the queue seemed endless. So this time around climbing the cupola was a must-do. You can buy a ticket at the ticket shop on Piazza del Duomo, which is € 10. With this ticket you can climb the Bell tower as well and visit the Baptistery, which I did last year. I went very early to avoid long queues and I'm glad I did the extra effort of getting up early. It saves you a lot of time later on and I enjoyed the view so much.
Caffé Donnini 1894
Situated on Piazza della Republica, Caffé Donnini is perfectly located for a nice lunch with a view. The terrace is semi-covered which gives you some relief from the sun. The pizza was freshly made and once again super delicious.
Ponte Vecchio is one of the most famous bridges in the world covered with shops which sell very exclusive jewellery. The stores remind me kind of Harry Potter which is super cute. All day long this bridge is extremely crowded but if you want a nice view on Ponte Vecchio, walk down next to the river up until the next bridge. This will give you a gorgeous view on the outside of the shops.
Farina 00 was very close to our hotel and again a great place to eat. I looked up this restaurant on Foursquare and so far Foursquare hasn't disappointed me yet with their suggestions. The menu is rather small and the kitchen offers a lot of daily menus. Again I opted for pizza and cheesecake as dessert, which was to die for.
Q: Did you enjoy reading this? Have you ever been to Florence? Which is your must-see?