During our time in and around Florence we stayed in a villa on a huge property outside of the city. It was a gorgeous Tuscan villa and the view was amazing! It was a really good base to explore Tuscany (more on that next week) and a short drive from Florence.
If you’re driving into Florence you need to know that you can’t drive in the middle of the city. Like so many old European cities, the city centre is a car-free zone. You need to drive to a train station and catch a train into the centre of the city.
(By the way, this is part 18 in my series on my recent trip to Europe. You can catch up on the previous posts in this series here)
Hot tip for visiting churches in Italy: they are really old school with the dress code! Make sure you take a scarf with you that can be used as a sarong or as a wrap if needed. You can’t show your shoulders or knees, that goes for both men and women. If you don’t have appropriate clothing they won’t let you in. They have fabric covers that you can buy to cover up if needed, but try to come prepared!
Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower) is right next to the Duomo and is an exhausting 414 stairs to the amazing panorama of Florence at the top! It was so hot when we were there and by the time we got to the top we were dripping with sweat. It was quite the workout!
We originally planned to bypass the Uffizi Gallery as I knew the lines were always long, and we had limited time in Florence. As we walked past the Uffizi there was no line, not even one person, outside the building! We walked in and there was one person buying tickets for entry ahead of us, so we ‘lined up’ and ended up spending time in the Uffizi, which I was so happy about!
The Ponte Vecchio was really interesting, it doesn’t look like it should be able to support all the additions on there! Just over the other side of the bridge was a really lovely little shopping district. We went into a stationery store (of course!) and ended up seeing a demonstration of how they create marbling on paper, it was so interesting and definitely something different.
I loved Florence, I feel like we didn’t get to spend as much time there as I would have liked as we really only had a day there, but I was really glad that we spent some time in the surrounding towns as well as I loved them maybe even more than Florence! More of that to come next week!
Have you been to Florence? Was the line for the Uffizi super long when you went?
I’ve broken my Europe trip up into easy to manage pieces, otherwise I’ll be drowning you in hundreds of images at once! So you know what’s coming, I’ve prepared a list of the 24 parts of this series:
Part 1: London
Part 2: Cambridge
Part 3: Paris
Part 4: Amiens
Part 5: Battlefields
Part 6: Ieper (Ypres)
Part 7: Amsterdam
Part 8: Berlin
Part 9: Prague
Part 10: Cesky Krumlov
Part 11: Vienna
Part 12: Salzburg
Part 13: Venice
Part 14: Pesaro
Part 15: Amalfi Coast
Part 16: Pompeii
Part 17: Rome
Part 18: Florence
Part 19: Tuscany
Part 20: La Spezia
Part 21: Lyon
Part 22: Loire Valley
Part 23: Normandy
Part 24: Mont St Michel
Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to know about any of these places and I’ll try to include it in my post!
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