Hello to all of my friends around the world. May your days be bright and warm like they are here on the sunny side of the Cloud!
I like to think of beautiful things and when I do, I often think about one of my favourite places; Florence, Italy. Florence once defined beauty as the capital of the Renaissance. It is a magnificent place to visit!
Whichever way you look is stunning!
The flowering of the City really began with the rule of the Medici banking family during the Fifteenth Century when Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Great artists and thinkers including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Boccaccio and Machiavelli all left their mark on the world from Florence. The city retains its Renaissance architecture and character.
There are so many sights to see in Florence that you should have a plan. I won’t mention all of its attractions, but there are a few ‘must sees’. The Piazza Della Signoria is the beating heart of Florence and a good place to begin your explorations.
Florence is the home of Renaissance Masterpieces!
Surrounding the Piazza Della Signoria is the Palazzo Vecchio, the former ‘City Hall’ of Florence, the Loggia Dei Lanzi, a porch filled with beautiful statues and, behind the Loggia is my favourite, the Uffizi Gallery.
The Uffizi is simply one of the most wonderful art museums anywhere. It was originally stocked with works collected by the Medici family but it was expanded later and contains one of the most spectacular and approachable art collections in the world! The Uffizi is large and you’ll want to spend time roaming its halls for treasures, so please ensure you schedule enough time to explore its riches.
The Piazza Del Duomo with its stunning Santa Maria del Fiore domed church (which is quite simply known as ‘The Duomo’) is another must see. The dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and is a masterpiece! I enjoy looking up in awe at the paintings inside the dome but there is always a long line to climb the stairs to enjoy the view from outside.
I Duomo why I love Florence so much!
Check out the designer Mall in Leccio
Here’s another pro-tip: when you want a break from the Renaissance, take the free shuttlebus to the nearby village of Leccio to visit The Mall; a luxury outlet with some of the world’s best prices on fashion goods. You’ll find some great bargains and it’s only thirty minutes away from Florence!
There are a wide range of hotels and hostels throughout the metropolitan area. The hotels range from the affordable, budget venues to the ultra-plush, luxury palaces. The Hotel Cosimo de’ Medici and the Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio are at the high-end of the spectrum for comfort and for price. I like the Hotel Degli Orafi. It is just a slightly longer walk to the Piazza Della Signoria but it has all of the comfort and grandeur of a renaissance palace.
I just want to eat this every day!
You must try the world-famous food and drink of Florence. The Chianti region is close by and some of the best vintages of the Sangiovese wines are affordable in the City. Florence is the home of the ‘Super Tuscan’ wines. Florence is also known for its meats and cheeses including the fabulous prosciutto, salame and parmesan cheese. The great Tuscan food will fuel you for walking adventures throughout this beautiful city. There is an ‘Aperitivo Culture’ which means that a small plate of food is given with each cocktail or glass of wine. This offers a fantastic way to sample the tastes of the region but may spoil your dinner for later!
Renaissance means ‘re-birth’. I suggest that you go through your own re-birth; awakening your sense of beauty and awe by a trip to fabulous Florence!