Never in my life had I felt more immersed in culture than when I visited Vienna, but then I took a whirlwind trip to Florence.
My friend Deb was interning there for the semester (shoutout to you, Deb, for hosting me and putting up with me all weekend!), a round-trip flight between Paris and Pisa was only 70€ (plus 10€ round trip between Pisa and Florence), and I had a long weekend. Could the stars have aligned any more perfectly? While I was only in Florence for about 52 hours, I really saw a lot of the city. Another shoutout to one of my favorite travel bloggers, Ashley over at History in High Heels, for all of her Florence tips, both on her blog and via Instagram comments! But seriously, go check out her blog. She just arrived in Florence this week for a seven-month period.
Despite having awoken at 5:00 a.m. (my flight from Paris was at 7:30...ouch!), the first thing we did when I arrived was visit Duomo...and climb all 463 stairs to get to the top (bottom left). But it honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! I guess it helps that I need to climb three sets of stairs to get to my apartment? I didn't realize that the Duomo ticket included visits inside of the cathedral (right two), baptistry (top left), and crypt, so the experience was definitely worth the 10€--and the exhaustion! You bet we rewarded ourselves with pizza and gelato afterward.
We dedicated the next day to museums. We started at the Uffizi Gallery, which not only houses works of the grand masters but also offers beautiful views of the city (top left). Next to the museum is the Gucci Museum, and we just had to pop in. After all, where else in the world can you find one? It was such a cool and different museum experience, and I highly recommend it (as well as getting a coffee at their caffè afterward). Then we did a bit of walking around, got lunch at Gusta Pizza and cappuccinos at Caffè Giacosa (formerly owned by Roberto Cavalli), and browsed the Mercato Centrale where I bargained my way to a gorgeous hat (bottom right). Following a walk along the Ponte Vecchio, we paid a visit to David at the Accademia Gallery (bottom right). I was shocked by how small the museum was, but thoroughly enjoyed it. The museum focused on medieval art, which is one of my favorite genres of art. The visit took less time than we had thought, so we were able to visit the Great Synagogue of Florence, which meant a lot to me (bottom left). What a beautiful place.
|I mean...just look at him. He's beautiful.|
|I made Deb pose before we got too excited about our food.|
I'm already thinking about the next time I visit Florence, I loved it so much. There's a lot I still have yet to do--climb the Piazzale Michelangelo, explore the Tuscan countryside, and do a more thorough food tour (clearly)--but I'd say I packed a lot in for just two-and-a-half days!
- Make all dinner reservations in advance. Spots fill up quickly.
- Likewise, purchase your Duomo, Uffizi, and Accademia tickets online, so you don't have to spend hours waiting. I'm SO glad we did this.
- Go to Gusta Pizza for lunch one day, but arrive as soon as it opens so you get a table.
- No need to worry about buses and public transportation. There's a 5€ bus between the Pisa airport and the train station in Florence, which is in the heart of the city. And once you're in Florence, you can walk everywhere.
- Eat as much gelato as possible!