Prepare for some serious neck-ache. There isn’t a sight, street, statue or building that doesn’t want to make you look up in Florence. The city is truly mesmerizing, and is considered by many to be the jewel in Italy’s crown. Much like many other European colonial hubs, it occupies a wealth of outstanding art, captivating museums and exquisite architecture, but the addition of a near year-round perfect climate and unparalleled cuisine gives this renaissance city a distinctive edge that others lack.Sounds about time to sort out your vacation apartments in Florence, right? Here are five things not to be missed if you make the trip:
One: Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
Referred to simply as ‘Duomo’ (cathedral), this masterfully constructed edifice dominates the Florentine skyline and is teeming with gawping tourists all day long. It certainly isn’t where you’d go for some peace and quiet but to leave this one out would be sacrilege. Its exterior is made up of an impressive array of green, pink and white marble and Brunelleschi’s Dome on the inside is just incredible. Admission ifs free but you’ll have to pay €8 to get a closer look at the dome.
Two: Galleria dell’Accademia
It’s a no-brainer really. If you’re going to come to Florence, you’re going to visit the Galleria dell’Accademia. And let’s face it, you’re probably going to go for just one reason: Dave. Dave’s been turning vast numbers of heads on a daily basis ever since he was masterfully crafted by Michelangelo over 500 years ago. He is probably the most famous sculpture in the world, and if you are inclined to disagree then perhaps you’ll think again when you take one look at the absurdly long queue snaking round the block. There are plenty of other brilliant artworks on display here too, including the unfinished Pietá Palestrina and a fascinating collection of old musical instruments. Book in advance.
Three: Eat lots of Ice-cream
This is of paramount importance. You will notice almost immediately upon arrival the massive amount of Gelato Ice-cream parlours, but don’t dive in ill-prepared, or else you may wind up disappointed. Ask around for recommendations first. You couldn’t dream up some of the flavours in some places, and you most certainly won’t have had nor will ever have a better ice-cream before/again.
Four: Galleria degli Uffizi
The enormity and pure grandeur of this infamous Renaissance art gallery is slightly overwhelming when you set foot inside for the first time; the walls are teeming with the works of some of the World’s most illustrious artists; Michelangelo, Giotto, Da Vinci and Botticelli to name but a few examples. Queues and crowds can be avoided by arriving at least half an hour before the gallery opens at lunchtime, but it’s probably best to buy a ticket in advance.
Five: Ponte Vecchio Bridge
This twinkling viaduct was the first to be built over the city’s Arno River, and the only one to survive through the devastation of World War II. Now, the old bridge is never without gaggles of ambling tourists, so don’t expect an easy route through if you intend to pay a visit. Head down to Ponte Santa Trinita after dark to secure those essential snapshots.
Drawing up a list of prospective candidates for Florence’s top 5 must-sees is, as those in the know will no doubt agree, a virtually impossible task. So please do bear in mind that the abovementioned suggestions are but five chosen from an extensive list!