Things to do in Florence Italy for 1 Day

Monday, August 21, 2017


#WalkwithChaMikeinFlorence


The city of the Renaissance, Florence is one of Europe's greatest art cities. From the art works displayed at the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell'Accademia to the exquisite architecture of Duomo and its neighboring houses of red brick roofs. Visiting this city would make you feel as if you've traveled back in time. Mike and I together with good friends, Neal and April, went on a 1 full day adventure in Florence - enjoying museums, climbing the Giotto Campanile, eating Italian cuisine and gelato, and shopping for genuine Italian leather plus Mike role playing as an assassin parkouring around the city.

Visit Duomo Cathedral and climb the Bell Tower
The Duomo Cathedral or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the main church of Florence, Italy. The cathedral complex is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site making it a major tourist attraction in Florence. It is one of Italy's largest cathedral and it remains to be the largest brick dome ever constructed. 

Duomo Cathedral
How to go:
A short walk from Florence main train station SM Novella. You will be walking around the vicinity because the piazza is exclusive for pedestrians only.

Opening Time:
Mondays - Saturdays | 10:00 am
Sundays | 1:00 pm

Ticket Fee:
Entry to the cathedral is free
The very exquisite architecture 
My Assassin's Creed 
A pedestrian zone square
Giotto Campanile
If you want a magnificent panoramic view of Florence, the best way is to climb the Giotto tower. Here you can see a stunning view of the city with the best angle of Duomo. You have to climb 414 step though (yes climb, no elevators available!) but the view is worth it!

Giotto Campanile
How to go:
Located just beside the cathedral

Opening Time:
Mondays - Saturdays | 8:30 am

Ticket Fee:
€ 15 | for all areas in the Duomo good for 48 hours from the time of purchase
Battistero
Cupola (463 steps)
Campanile (414 steps)
Santa Reparata
Museum

You have to take note that the line for the ticket can get very long so it is advisable to purchase online HERE. We weren't able to purchase in advance so we had to wait in line for 45 minutes. 

Waiting in line for 45 minutes
Because we were only interested in going up the Campanile, we didn't visit all the other areas in the Duomo Cathedral.

Our Duomo tickets
Here we go!
The assassin follows me
First Level

View from the first level
The campanile can give you a nice angle of the Dome
Resting a bit before we go up again
Another pose of the Assassin (he is really loving the entire experience)
A free photo op at the campanile
Second Level

The view is getter better and better
One of the many bells at the campanile
Of course this one had to take a photo too
Topmost Level

Upon reaching the top I thought I was gonna quit. It was so tiring, but the view made me feel better
Red bricked roofs, it was such a beauty!
414 steps, baby!
We actually made it!
We had to take many photos here
Appreciate Art at the Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is said to be one of the most important and largest museums in Italy. It is also the most visited museum in the country which holds priceless collections from Italian renaissance artists. So it is a must that we should visit this museum.

Uffizi Gallery
How to go:
10 minute walk from SM Novella Station. 
Located at the heart of Florence just right next to Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio.  

Opening Time:
Tuesdays- Sundays | 8:15 am - 6:50 pm

Ticket Fee:
€ 17 | It can be very crowded and the line for purchasing tickets can be long so it is advisable to book it online HERE just like we did. It can really save you a lot of waiting time. Also take note that there is a strict time you should comply with, there is also a separate line for the online purchases to exchange for the official ticket

Line for the online purchases. Believe me this was way shorter than the other line
We got our tickets in a jiffy!
My Florence OOTD
Pink Long Sleeves | Uniqlo
Black Coat | Forever 21
Blue Jeans | Jag
Pink Sneaker | Adidas
Sling Bag | Longchamp
Sunnies | Georgina Sasha

Uffizi Hallway
This hallway makes a nice backdrop
Ceiling full of art
Different sculptures
From all the artworks inside the museum you should not miss the following:

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli 

Birth of Venus

Still can't believe I saw the real thing!
Primavera by Sandro Botticelli 

Primavera
Reality shot of the famous painting
The Adoration of Magi by Leonardo da Vinci

The Adoration of Magi

The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrochio

The Baptism of Christ
Medusa by Michelangelo Marisa da Caravaggio

Medusa
Another masterpiece... shot... :)
Lovely Uffizi at night <3
Check out Michelangelo's David at Galleria dell'Accademia
Galleria dell'Accademia is also an art gallery in Florence best known as the home of Michelangelo's David.

Galleria dell'Accademia
How to go:
15 minute walk from SM Novella Station

Opening Time:
Tuesdays - Sundays | 8:15 am - 7:15 pm
Mondays | 8:15 pm - 2:00 pm 
Closed Mondays afternoon, December 25 and January 1

Ticket Fee:
€ 16.60 | Skip the long line and book online HERE like what we did. There is a separate queue for online purchase to exchange the print out to an official ticket. You also have to be there 20 mins before the actual time.
Line for the online purchases
Our Galleria dell'Accademia tickets. It was a fast transaction
Outside the museum, waiting for our turn
Our only purpose here is to see the marvelous sculpture of David, we did some snapshots and did a little roaming before we left. 

David is a marble statue of a nude male representing the biblical hero David
Said to be one of the greatest masterpieces ever created by mankind
Even his back looks good
David is said to be one of the most impressive sculptures thus its popularity
You will see so many replicas of David in Florence but I must say the original is still worth visiting
Sorry, I just had to do it
The Assassin and David
Other sculptures at the gallery
Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio which means old bridge is a medieval stone bridge over the Arno River. It is the very first bridge ever constructed and now a pedestrian zone area with numerous shops along the stretch. 

Ponte Vecchio
How to go:
About 20 minutes stroll from SM Novella Station. 
It is close to Uffizi Gallery.

Visited it at night
This was just right beside the Uffizi so it was not really hard to find
The bridge can be very romantic at night
People watch at Piazza della Signoria 
Is a square right next to the Uffizi Gallery and where the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence town hall is located. It has several restaurants and shops, you can also see here copy of prominent statues. 


Piazza della Signoria
How to go:
10 minute walk from SM Novella Station. 
Located at the heart of Florence just right next to Uffizi Gallery

Statue of Cosimo I de Medici
Palazzo Vecchio
A copy of Michelangelo's David
Palazzo Vecchio at night

Loggia dei Lanzi
Witness the Sunset at the Piazzale Michelangelo
For another stunning panoramic view of Florence, go up the Piazza Michelangelo as it is one of the most popular lookouts in the city. It is a bit far from the center but there are options on how to reach it. 

View from Piazzale Michelangelo
How to go:
Walk | Follow the foot path going up, it will take about 20 minutes
Bus | Number 12 at SM Novella Station
Taxi | This was what we opted to use as we were so tired from all the walking we had (we endured the 414 steps at the campanile) Paid €8 euros for a one way trip of 4 persons which was not really bad. 

We took a bus going down though.

Ticket Fee:
FREE




It was packed. Trying our best to avoid the crowd in all our photos
Another Assassin's creed pose
Together with the crowd of people we waited for dusk
Lovely view isn't it?
Closer look at the Duomo during nightfall
Sunset <3
The bunch of tourists waiting for the sun to set
Bronze cast of David facing Florence
Souvenir stalls at the Piazzale
Buy Authentic Leather Goods at San Lorenzo Leather Market
San Lorenzo Market is divided into two categories, one is Mercato Central which is a two level indoor food market and the other one is an outdoor market selling all kinds of leather items, souvenirs and clothing. Since Italy is well known for its authentic leather goods we didn't pass the chance of visiting this market. We even bought leather items for me and for our mothers.

San Lorenzo Leather Market
How to go:
7 minute walk from S.M. Novella Station

Opening Time:
Tuesdays - Saturdays | 9:00 am - 7:00 pm


Different leather items, they are authentic but the quality I may say is not as good as the designers ones
Any kind of shopping is fun!
ChaMike enjoying leather shopping
Bought 3 bags (for our moms and myself) and a wallet for Mike
Eat Tuscan Cuisine and Drink Wine
Italian cuisine is known worldwide but in each city there is a specialty cuisine. In Florence steaks are also a speciality especially the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. We tried ordering steaks, pasta and Chianti wine.

Ristorante Il Bargello
We had our first Florentine meal in Piazza della Signoria just beside the famous Palazzo Vecchio. Ristorante Il Bargello is an old favorite restaurant that serves special dishes in typical Florentine style.

Restaurant beside Palazzo Vecchio
Ristorante Il Bargello
We ordered the following:
Penne pomodoro | € 7.50
Penne with Bolognese sauce

Pennette alla Fiorentina | € 8.50
Pennette Fiorentine style

Braciola di maiale alla Contadina con patate sauce | € 15.50
Porkchop contadina style with sautéed potatoes

Entrecote alla Chiantigiana con patate prezzemolate | € 17.50
Steak in Chianti wine with parsley potatoes

Complimentary bread
Pasta and Steak for dinner
Eating steak was a good break from all the pasta and pizza we had during the past days we were in Venice.

ChaMike and D'Mufs
Fiorino D'Oro
Located at Piazza della Repubblica, this restaurant caught our attention because of its lovely interiors. Because it was our last night in Florence, we didn't let this chance pass by not trying a Chianti wine. Chianti is said to be where the best wines are made.

Fiorino d'oro
Piazza della Repubblica
Chianti Red Wine
Complimentary bread
Our Florentine dinner is composed of potatoes, pasta and steaks

Cheers!
Last night in Florence with these two
San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale
For a cheaper Italian meal option, go here. This was where we had our lunch. First floor is a traditional market that sells vegetables, fruits and meat. On the second level is a huge foodcourt with 500 seats and different food stands selling all sorts of Italian delicacies. 

San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale
Different offerings
Tried a fresh juice
Deep fried meat. Not really a good choice for lunch
Eat Gelato
It is said that gelato originated in Florence so eating a gelato or Italian ice cream is truly a MUST here. The best tasting gelato we tried here is a popular gelato chain called Amorino

Amorino
A gelato brand based in Orly but has numerous branches all over the world. We went here for two nights because we really love the creaminess and taste of their gelato. We even met a Pinay staff named Chanelle who helped us choose which gelato to order.

Price for Cup
Piccola |  2.70
Normale |   3.60
Grande |   4.60
Grandissama |   5.60
Gigante | € 8.60 

Price for Cone
Piccolo |  2.70
Normale |  3.60
Grande |  4.60

with macaron  1.80

Even if you order a piccolo you can choose 3 different flavors, my faves are pistachio, salted caramel and stracciatella and I added a macaron of free chocolate easter bunny. It was so GOOD!!!

Amorino Gelato
A gem!
This is Chanelle
Best gelato with the best staff!
Listen to street music
There are street performers everywhere you go in Europe - Florence being the city of arts is no exception. We were marveled by a particular opera singer and cello player performing at night at the Uffizi gallery. We stayed there while we listened and appreciated their pieces. Talk about a free opera show!

Street opera music!
It was a very tiring and long 1 and 1/2 days in Florence but we accomplished a lot because of careful planning and the proximity of all the attractions it offered. After Florence we went to Pisa for a half day tour and ended our Italy trip to Rome where we spent 2 full days. Next on the blog.

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RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL