Sometimes 24 hours is all you have to make the most of a place, even when it is a beautiful city such as Florence. The capital of Italy’s Tuscany region is known for its stunning architecture and art, and food and wine and music. There are so many places to see and things to do in Florence – the Cathedral-Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, Boboli Gardens – yet we had so little time. Perhaps it was the energy of the city, we found ourselves all charged up as we set out on foot to explore Florence in 24 hours, knowing very well that we would have a fantastic day no matter what.
1. Florence Cathedral – Duomo
Every passionate traveller has probably seen a picture of Santa Maria del Fiore with its iconic red dome. I had too seen pictures of it many times. But being there, standing in front of the Duomo and admiring its marvellous structure, it left me spellbound. Over 600 years old, yet so stunning! On our tour inside, the colourful glass paintings, mosaics, frescoes and bronze statues revealed so much of the past era.
2. Wine and Pizza Overlooking the Duomo
When in Italy, we couldn’t have not started our day with freshly baked pizzas and well, wine. After all we were on a holiday. Thus came a lovely prosciutto pizza and Sauvignon Blanc!
3. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
Right next to the Duomo is this museum which houses the original artworks that were created for the cathedral. We are glad that we decide to give it a look.
4. Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery
Palazzo Vecchio is where the replica of the famous statue of David created by Michelangelo stands tall for all to see. There are other marvellous statues too – the Fountain of Neptune, Hercules, Caucus, Perseus with the Head of Medusa – as we discover on our walk around Piazza della Signoria, the central town square, which also leads to Uffizi Gallery with more art to discover.
5. Exploring Meat Shops in Random Lanes
Being in the hub of Parma Ham, though we couldn’t pig out as much, but we tried to check some cool meat shops.
6. Ponte Vecchio
Constructed over the Arno River, Ponte Vecchio is the three segmented, arch-like bridges connecting to the city centre. It’s probably one of Florence’s oldest and most photographed bridges.
7. Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
Palazzo Pitti looks high and dry, but behind it lies the Boboli Gardens, created by the Medici family in the 16th century. The beautiful garden is painstakingly maintained and houses a large number of statues and fountains. An evening walk through the beautiful paths is truly refreshing.
8. Piazzale Michelangelo
The Piazzale Michelangelo takes you away from the centre of the city, across the Arno River. It is a large square from where you can catch a magnificent view of the city. We find David here again!
Beyond this point, our phones went dead and we were having just too much fun!