The place that we loved more than anywhere else on our mini European tour was Florence. We only spent a day and a half here, and sorely regret not staying longer. There was so much more to explore.
As I may have mentioned before, D and I are not great fans of art galleries, so we decided not to go and see the original statue of David at the Accademia Gallery. But this replica stands outside the Palazzo Vecchio, in the Piazza della Signoria; in the spot the original David once stood.
The 95m tall tower of Palazzo Vecchio gives the most amazing birds-eye view over the Piazza della Signoria. It was so interesting to watch all the people going about their business.
Made out of three different types of marble – red, white and green, the exterior of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) is gorgeous. We spent a good chunk of our time in Florence admiring the Duomo whilst eating creamy gelato.
Although climbing the dome of the duomo was amazing (and hard work), we were a bit underwhelmed by the otherwise very plain interior of the cathedral considering how ornate the outside is. The crypt under the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore was really fascinating. Built on top of the site of a fifth century cathedral, renovations between 1965 and 1974 uncovered the ancient foundations.
The Boboli Gardens are the other side of the river, and so much bigger than I’d anticipated! We tried to sandwich Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli gardens in between visiting the cathedral and climbing the Duomo tower – which really was not enough time. We were tired after racing around and didn’t have enough water to counteract the blazing sun. Plus there are hills. So. Many. Hills. It’s a great place to visit, just make sure you give it the time it deserves.
Walking along the River Arno at night was one of my favourite bits about the short time we spent in Florence. It was so romantic. The view down the river in the daytime was just as spectacular.
Veggie Rating: 4/5
Central Florence has many great vegetarian restaurants, but our absolute favourite was Libreria Brac. The restaurant was hidden down a side street and looked like a small coffee shop. The seating area is out the back, through a courtyard. The menu came in a magazine and we had the fantastic value piatto unico, a kind of taste of a variety of dishes, all on one plate.