Florence Hotels Articles

July 28, 2010

Discover the Amazing Florence – One of Italy’s Most Beautiful Towns

Being a frequent visitor of Italy I can say with some level of authority that if you are planning to take vacations in Italy, then you might want to add a trip to Florence to your itinerary. I’m a big fan of Italy, and indeed Florence is the pride of that country. Three things come to my mind when I think of Florence. These are the beautiful museum complexes, the Duomo and of course the Italian wines, especially the Tuscany wine.

Florence is situated on the banks of Arno river and is walled in by hills in the south and the foothills of the Apennines in the north. These natural boundaries are key determinants of its climate. Florence is a gastronomical paradise for travelers of all budget ranges – low to high. Having visited and traveled deep down into Italy (and Florence by extension) more than a dozen times, I can confidently guide you through Florence with ease and efficiency. The best time to visit Florence is in what they call the low season, April to June and in September to October, when the climate is generally pleasant and would cost lower to travel. Also early winter in December can also be surprisingly pleasant.

Once in Florence, there are some places that you cannot afford to miss.

The first one is the Palazza Pitti, a 32,000 square meters of artistic splendor is a must visit for every museum lover and others alike. It is also the entrance to the Boboli Gardens, which is a relaxing place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is filled with many beautiful fountains and statues and if you can make it all the way to the top of the hill, you could get some wonderful views of city of Florence.

Then there is Palazzo della Signoria – a lively square that has lots of restaurants, bars and ice cream parlors and is a great place to grab a bite as you take a stop from your travel for the day. History has it that this square has been the political epicenter of Florence for many centuries and is dominated by the Palazzo Vecchio with a copy of the statue of David by Michelangelo in front of the palace. Right next to the Piazza della Signoria is the promenade Via dei Calzaiuoli, a lively shopping street, connecting with the Duomo of Florence – a popular place in the evenings with locals and visitors alike. If you are smitten with Italian food and have planned for some space in bags with Italian cookbooks, save some more room for the goodies that you could buy in here: everything you need for that Italian kitchen of yours, from polenta-stirring spoons to artisan ceramics.

Also do go for a carriage ride through Florence starting from Piazza della Signoria. It is absolutely romantic during the summer. The Duomo – Florence’s cathedral is easy to spot with its huge terracotta colored dome. It is one of Florence’s most distinctive sights and is the result of years of work spanning six centuries. Arrive early to miss the crowds and if you have the energy you can climb the 463 steps to the top of the cupola, you would be rewarded by a fantastic view of the city. Alternatively climb the 414 steps up to the top of the bell tower for a slightly different view.

And finally taking a stroll along the Arno River is a great way to end your day of sightseeing. The Ponte Vecchio crosses the River Arno and the area houses many goldsmiths, jeweler’s shops and medieval workshops that overhang the bridge. The sunset is the best time to view the bridge. Take a walk along the bridge after dusk, when the lights on the bridge reflect on the Arno River and everything there seems absolutely magical.

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