City guide: Florence, Italy (as seen from Piazzale Michelangelo)

3 days in Florence, Italy: things to see, do & eat

A quick guide to Firenze

Florence is utterly amazing. It’s a city of almost unrivalled history, culture, art, leather goods and gelato. It’s a place of charming locals and sunsets so unbelievably rich in colour they’re impossible to capture in a photograph (see below for evidence, doesn’t that just look Photoshopped?).

In fact, Florence is so beautiful I’ve been three times…so far. Each time the natives have looked at me, baffled, as I tried to speak Italian with my northern-English accent (but as long as they understand my versions of “vino rosso” and “pizza” I can survive).

Here’s a small selection of snaps from a trip taken in August 2013, and a few travel tips to help you narrow down some of the best things to do if you’re just passing through. If you’ve never been to Firenze I seriously urge you to correct that oversight immediately. It’s a big world but I’m seriously tempted to make a another visit.

Things to see & do

admire the view from the Piazzale Michelangelo (see the featured photo )

see world-famous art at the Uffizi and the Accademia (make sure you pre-book!)

climb the Campanile or Duomo

walk across the Ponte Vecchio, in the daytime & at nightime

buy local food and decent vintage items at the Mercato di Santo Spirito

haggle for leather goods at the Mercato Centrale

visit the roof of La Rinascente department store for unrivalled Duomo views (and some prosecco!)

take a day trip to Fiesole

Places to eat

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, Borgo San Iacopo 43

Osteria Santo Spirito, Piazza Santo Spirito 19r

La Busola, Via Porto Rossa 58r

basically any gelato stall

Where to sleep

This time, we stayed at the NH Porta Rossa (it was the best hotel of our whole Italian adventure – from which there is more to come!)

Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi, Florence, ItalyFlorence, Italy | Duomo cathedral & Giotto's campanileFlorence, Italy | Piazza della RepubblicaFlorence, Italy | Palazzo VecchioFlorence, Italy | Red, white & green chairsFlorence, Italy | Uffizi gallery in the evening timeFlorence, Italy | View from Piazzale MichelangeloFlorence, Italy | Lemon gelatoFlorence, Italy | Ponte Vecchio as seen from the backFlorence, Italy | Duomo cathedral & Giotto's campanileFlorence, Italy | Uffizi galleryFlorence, Italy | Statue in Piazza della SignoriaFlorence, Italy | Old city wallsFlorence, Italy | Leather stalls at Mercato CentraleFlorence, Italy | Uffizi gallery ceilingFlorence, Italy | Leather stalls at the mercatoFlorence, Italy | Ponte Vecchio at sunsetFlorence, Italy | City trafficFlorence, Italy | Duomo cathedral & Giotto's campanileFlorence, Italy | Backstreet deli shopFlorence, Italy | Horse & carriageFlorence, Italy | Duomo cathedral & Giotto's campanile from the roof of La Rinascente department storeFlorence, Italy | Leather shoes at the Mercato CentraleFlorence, Italy | River Arno at sunsetFlorence, Italy | River Arno at sunset

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