I just love Florence.
Florence is one of those cities that I just cannot ever get enough of. Every time I go there I always discover something new. In the past 6 months alone I have been to Florence three times, and each time leaving has felt a little bit like dying. I can't wait to go back.
|final morning in Florence. I never want to leave....|
I've written before about 30 Things To Do In Florence, Mornings in Florence, 10 Things You Absolutely MUST Do In Florence, and now I'm fresh off the plane back home from Florence again so while it's fresh in my mind here are 7 more things for you to do in Florence
1. Go To Santa Croce
The best church art in all of Florence is inside the Basilica Santa Croce.
The frescoes in this church are just staggering.
Dating back to the 1300's, they are still true in color, are absolutely breathtaking, and as an art lover they never fail to bring tears to my eyes.
The Cimabue crucifix dates back to the 1280's, and although severely damaged in the flood of 1966 is still achingly beautiful.
While the rest of Florence will be bursting at the seems with tourists, hardly any make their way to Basilica Santa Croce, which suits me just fine! Art is far more enjoyable when you're not trying to view it 5 people deep.
2. Buy Leather Jackets At Jimmy's
I've written about buying leather at Jimmy's before, (in fact that blog post still gets hundreds of hits per week) and I constantly get messages from readers who make their way to Jimmy's Leather Collection in Piazza San Lorenzo and buy his fantastic leather jackets. It's quite the fabulous and fun experience, and Jimmy's designs are to die for.
3. Walk Up To Piazzale Michelangelo Before Sunset
|dusk from Piazzale Michelangelo|
I hadn't done this in years, but on the second 2016 Glam Italia Tour we took an early evening stroll across the Arno at Ponte alla Carraia and worked our way up the river in the lovely, residential and much less touristy Oltrarno, to Piazza Poggi where we wound our way up the hill to Piazzale Michelangelo as dusk was falling.
The view of Florence from up high is just gorgeous, and after a day exploring the city you not only get to breathe some fresher, quieter air, but you get a wonderful perspective of the terrain you've covered that day.
And of course there's the green guy on the hill, watching over the city!
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4. Take In Sunset From Ponte Alle Grazie
|Ponte Vecchio at sunset, from my iPhone|
From Piazzale Michelangelo it's maybe a 10 minute walk down to Ponte alle Grazie bridge, which is the perfect place to take in the sunset, looking down the Arno toward Ponte Vecchio.
5. Grab An Aperatif
After taking in the sunset from the Ponte Alle Grazie keep walking across the bridge and continue up Via De Benci a block or two to the intersection with Via dei Neri and Dei Tintori where you will find several options to sit at a sidewalk table and enjoy an aperatif. It used to be that spritz aperol was a drink you'd associate with Venice, but now it is everywhere. After sunset on the bridge try drinking a sunset colored spritz.
6. Eat The Best Sandwich Of Your Life.
Seriously. The best sandwich ever.
I discovered this one when I rented an apartment around the corner and every night I would see the locals spilling out of Al Antico Vinaio all night long.
|the street of sandwiches, Florence|
Everyone was milling about in the street with these giant sandwiches, or sitting on the curb with the sandwich in one hand and a huge glass of red wine in the other. When I travel one of my rules is eat where the locals eat, avoid where the tourists eat, and absolutely never eat at any restaurant that has photos on the menu.
|the three of us had sandwiches from al Antico Vinaio on our last night in Florence|
Although you can order a la carte, just pick from the favorites list and have it the way it was meant to be eaten. You will get a giant sandwich on fresh focaccia, with local creamed pecorino cheese, about a pound of freshly cut salami or porchetta, a slice of eggplant marinated in chili flakes and olive oil and maybe some arugula. What you won't see is processed food, condiments like mayonnaise and mustard, no added salt and pepper. Its all real food that just explodes with flavor and doesn't need any additives. And it only costs $5.
If you don't believe me read their reviews - people dream about these sandwiches.
Al Antico Vinaio is on via Dei Neri 2 minutes walk from the Palazzo Vecchio.
7. End Your Evening With A View
|end your night with a view|
Florence has so many spectacular views, whether they be of the city skyline, the piazze, the monuments, the buildings - so many amazing things to lay your eyes on! So take time at the end of the night to sit somewhere fabulous with a glass of wine and take in a view to remember forever.
Where to stay in Florence:
I'm not much of a hotel girl when I'm in Italy, I prefer renting an apartment instead. A friend of mine has just put her gorgeous apartment in San Lorenzo up for vacation rental on AirBnB.
You can check it out here