The Top 5 Reasons why you MUST visit Florence!!

In: Florence Articles, Tuscany, Food and Wine
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The Top 5 Reasons why you MUST visit Florence!!

Thinking of a trip to Italy? Not sure of what cities & towns to cram into your short itinerary? Well you can’t miss a visit Florence … and this is why….and having lived here for 15 years I think I can give you a pretty good idea. They aren’t in any particular order.

  • It’s a great town to walk around
  • Its a World Heritage Site
  • The ‘Mercato Centrale’ in San Lorenzo
  • Great Gelato
  • Fabulous Shopping

It’s a great town to walk around 

I know this one doesn’t really seem like such a ‘wow’ reason but looking at travelling practically it really does make a difference how you get around and what you can see maximising a short period of time. When traveling with children or even elderly parents you want to be close to everything, close to shopping & restaurants and even the hotel or apartment to freshen up or rest before dinner. Staying in the historical centre of Florence gives you everything you could want to see and experience at your fingertips. It DOES make a difference! See some of our great Florence apartment rentals.

It’s a World Heritage Site 

Florence was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1982 and when you are here and absolutely blown away by what you see you will understand why. Visitors who want to experience history ought to stroll down narrow streets and broad avenues on foot. There are manicured gardens to explore. Take the time to behold monuments, sculptures and frescoes that have made Florence an important cultural center not just for Italy but for the rest of the world as well. The incredible artistic talents can be seen everywhere you look and especially in such structures as the Pitti Palace, Uffizi and the Cathedral.

A view looking back onto the Ponte vecchio ( The Old Bridge) that sits over the River Arno. Now hosts the gold merchants, but once upon a time was were all of the butchers of the city were located.

A view looking back onto the Ponte vecchio ( The Old Bridge) that sits over the River Arno. Now hosts the gold merchants, but once upon a time was were all of the butchers of the city were located.

The ‘Mercato Centrale’ in San Lorenzo

This is a must see when you visit Florence – a vibrant & bustling 2 storey, newly renovated authentic italian market. You can find everything here, from a ‘panino’ with prosciutto or a Florentine favourite ‘lampredotto’ to gourmet jams, chocolates and fresh cheeses, ham, salami, ice creams, bread and truffles in season. All of the stalls are run by artisanal traders who all share a passion for fresh ingredients and ‘keeping it real’ – Definitely ‘slow food’ here! You ca have a fantastic quick lunch here. HAve a read of my other blog posts for some other quick lunch ideas.

Fruit and vegetable vendor at the San Lorenzo Markets in Florence

Fruit and vegetable vendor at the San Lorenzo Markets in Florence

Great Gelato

Now on this subject I am quite the expert and have had many a ‘discussion’ with my partner ( & 6 year old daughter mind you!) as to where we are going to go when we feel like gelato. You really are spoilt for choice when you visit Florence. ‘Grom’ and their ‘Tiramisu and Marsala’ is one of my favourites, my 6 year old LOVES the Pinolo (pine nut) gelato from ‘La Carraia’ and then my partner just loves gelato so he is pretty happy wherever we go! I must say in my many years living in Florence I have seen some strange flavours like Pomodoro ( Tomato), Porcini Mushroom, Gorgonzola & Honey ( probably not so bad but I didn’t have the courage to try it!) Remember that on vacation it is PERFECTLY FINE to eat 2 gelato per day!

Artisan Gelato from 'Grom'

Artisan Gelato from ‘Grom’

Fabulous Shopping

Even for the most experienced and discerning traveller Florence never disappoints. Where do the stylish Florentines shop for their handmade soft leather gloves? Where can you find jewellery inspired by century old artworks? Hand painted ceramics, perfumes made by the nuns, a leather factory where you can see products being made, touch and smell the leather purses and bags before purchase. Florence offers such a wide range of artisanaly created delights and in certain areas such as the ‘Oltrarno’ you can still see artisans working away in their little workshops. Remember, when you visit Florence it’s best experienced on foot! Look in our ‘Tuscan Travel Guide’ for some more shopping recommendations.

Florence is one of the best places int he world to find high quality, handmade leather goods.

Florence is one of the best places in the world to find high quality, handmade leather goods.

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