We stayed at Hotel City. The location was good, hotel clean, staff nice and breakfast good. Nothing truly notable but at the time, the price was right.
Admittedly, we did not do a lot of research on where to eat in Florence. Rather, we had an agenda to eat lots of pizza and that’s exactly what we did. I have to say, everything we ate was delicious and typically the house wine suited our pallets.
Things we did
Basilica of Santa Croce – This is where Galileo and Michaelangeo’s tomb rests. Be sure to wear appropriate clothes (legs/shoulders covered) or risk having to wear a “kimono”…
Climb Duomo in morning when there’s no line. Otherwise, you will risk standing in a long wrap-around line later in the day. Further, this isn’t something for people who get easily claustrophobic or who are afraid of heights. The top gets very tight and you will find yourselves crouched over under the low ceilings while climbing steps. I can’t imagine doing this with a lot of people…
the Baptistry at the Duomo
Uffizi Gallery – Aside from the obvious that you can find in any guide book, there’s a great view of the Ponte Vecchio from this Gallery. They are very close to each other so when planning your day, hit up the two together. DO buy tickets ahead of time or risk standing half the day in line! Open Tuesday to Sunday 8.15 am – 6.50 pm. Closed Monday, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.
Ponte Vecchio – There are a lot of jewelry stores here. I’m under the impression that they’re tourist traps; hence, we didn’t buy. It was still fun to window shop though!
Accademia to see the Statue of David – Don’t be fooled by all the statues of David around town, they’re copies. The real statue of David is in The Academia. You can’t take photos but if you’re stealthy, you can probably sneak one or five… DO buy tickets ahead of time or risk standing half the day in line! Open Tuesday to Sunday 8.15 am – 6.50 pm. Closed Monday, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.
Buy some leather goods….you will pay 4x the amount in the US for what you can get in Florence. Don’t snub your nose to the leather stands either; there are some gems to be found! Check out this article for tips on buying leather in Italy!
Medici Palace – I’m a sucker for palaces and this one didn’t disappoint
Piazza della Signoria – We ate dinner one evening in the Piazza and watched a parade go by. It’s a great place for people watching.