Traveling is more about unleashing our wanderlust, embracing new experiences, learning different cultures and consuming the local cuisines in different regions. My fiance and I enjoy traveling and we love sharing our experiences and stories of different places we’ve explored. Travel writing allows us to relive adventures and hopefully in doing so, provide inspiration and ideas to others. Here’s an exciting blog about our trip to Florence in June 2014. I apologize, I haven’t been able to do this earlier due to other projects that I have been working on. In this blog post, I will guide you through to some of the popular sights in Florence, Italy. You will get to discover 5 different tourist attractions in this part 1 series of Florence Travel Blog, Follow Me Around.
1. The Duomo Florence Cathedral
The Duomo Florence Cathedral is the main church of Florence, Italy. The cathedral complex is situated at Piazza del Duomo. It has three buildings attached to each other, which are part of the Unesco World Heritage, covering the historic centre of Florence and of course are a major attraction to tourists. This is definitely one of my favourite churches in Italy followed by Milan Cathedral. This is also one of Italy’s largest churches and until development of new structural materials in the modern era.
As you can see in the video and the photos above, we spent mainly outside the Duomo because the queue to get inside was quite a long wait. However, we regret not being able to explore inside. I guess there will always be next time and it will give us an opportunity to return to Florence just to see inside the Duomo.
The best way to skip the entrance lines and climb to the top of Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or the Florence Duomo, as it’s commonly known is by going through here. Skipping through the lines will offer you some highlights of 2.5-hour tour entrance ticket, walk up the 463-step staircase of the Cathedral’s cupola (dome) with your expert tour guide. You can also enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of the panoramic views of Florence city right from the top of Brunellschi’s Dome. You’ll also get to learn about Filippo Brunellechi, the person who developed and created the distinctive orange dome. And most of all you also get to visit the magnificent Baptistery of Florence.
2. Piazza della Signoria
After the Duomo, we head toward Piazza della Signoria, which is known for a meeting place for locals as well as the numerous tourists, where everyone gather to relax, sightsee and eat at a variety of restaurants. As you can see on the video there are plenty of restaurants and cafes around the area to choose from. This area has maintained its reputation as the political hub of the city. This is definitely one of my most favourite areas in Florence. It’s pretty much like a plaza or square where you can also watch an orchestra performance. Just in case you didn’t know, Piazza della Signoria is shaped as an L square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.
What we liked about this place is that, it’s super lively anytime of the day. This is where people hangout even past midnight. When it comes to dinner time people would actually come to eat in this area which is notorious for overpriced meals. There are also plenty of retail shops and other restaurants within small streets close-by Piazza della Signoria.
3. Palazzo Vecchio
Next stop is the Palazzo Vecchio, which is an old palace, the town hall of Florence located at Piazza della Signoria. This is a massive Romanesque palace and definitely one of the most impressive town halls in Tuscany. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria and Michelangelo’s statue.
As you enter, you’ll see a magnificent view of the front courtyard that makes you say “wow” multiple times. This was designed in 1453 by Michelozzo. In the middle is a fountain by Battista del Tadda. The design on the walls represent the scenes of the Austrian Habsburg estates, which was painted in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari for the wedding celebration of Francesco l de’ Medici.
As we entered the palace, we felt a sense of peace. It was just so breathtaking and peaceful that makes you want to relax, sit and just enjoy the ambiance. If only there were chairs inside we would have sat down for a while to observe further and immerse ourselves in a real Italian historic palace.
4. Uffizi Gallery
Here we have the Uffizi Gallery, which is an art museum in Italy. This is probably the most beautiful art museums I’ve ever seen. The exterior architecture is just magnificent. It is situated next to Palazzo Vecchio, the Academia and among the oldest and most famous art museums of Europe and the world. This passage here also leads to Ponte Vechio Bridge. And as you walk through here, you’ll definitely get to see lots of arts and beautiful paintings painted from different talented artists.
I am not a big fan of art musseums but after seeing the Uffizi Gallery (a well known Museum Gallery) I just fell in love with the atmosphere. The artists are so talented, painting and showcasing their art of work along Uffizi Gallery. You can see various historical places of Florence being painted and transformed into beautiful art paintings created by various talented artists. This is what I love about Europe especially in Italy and Paris, as painters are so motivate and passionate about their art work. And all of them you see on the street are not afraid to show off their work and in fact they are more than proud of it. Tourists (including myself) were just simply amazed by how beautiful they were. It was just a natural talent that you don’t get to see often in your hometown. If only I had enough space in my suitcase, i would have definitely bought a painting of Florence.
To explore inside the museum, you need to line up the queue. Fortunately, we were able to skip the lines through here. It was such a great idea and a relief to be able to skip the lines, as we were in Florence in June 2014 and the weather was very hot that sometimes it felt as though as quite unbearable. When you get to skip the lines, you’ll definitely get to save lots of hours and thus provides you with ample of time to explore other sights and even get to relax along the way. Inside the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries combo tour, offers you highlights of guided tour of the Galleries, see the original statue of David by Michelangelo’s as well other treasures. You’ll also get to do a morning walking tour, learn about the history of the Uffizi Gallery, admire masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation and Caravaggio’s Bacchus. Oh, not to miss out you’ll also get to see the famous Birth of Venus and the Leonardo Room tour.
5. Ponte Vecchio Bridge
Next, we are in Ponte Vecchio also called an Old Bridge in Florence. This bridge spans at tis narrowest point, where it is believed that a bridge was first built in Roman times when the via Cassia crossed the river at this point. As you can see on the bridge you’ll see lots of different shops. The old bridge also has lots of jewellery shops, so if you hare into jewellery no doubt you won’t find something you would like to wear and take home with you 🙂
This bridge is probably one of the highlights of Florence, as the influx of tourists were quite overwhelming. I remember trying to get a decent photo of myself and my fiance were almost impossible, as everyone was just always in the way. Nevertheless, we still had a good time sitting and standing by bridge, relaxing and watching people walk pass 🙂 We find that this bridge is probably the trademark of Florence followed by the Duomo. People would know that you’ve been to Florence if you’ve taken some beautiful photographs of yourself standing by Ponte Vecchio Bridge.
So this is the end of the Part 1 series of Florence. I hope you enjoyed this post and below is a Follow Me Around: Travel Vlog Florence, Italy Video Part 1 Series. You can watch our Travel Vlog video to give you some inspiration and ideas and hopefully it will motivate you to travel and see what Europe and the rest of the world has to offer 🙂
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