Just walking around in Florence can be a joy, since everywhere you look, you can see something beautiful. From the carousel at the Piazza della Repubblica to the marketstalls in the Mercato centrale. Some parts are very crowded, for example the Ponte Vecchio. If you want to walk around there and be able to see something, it is wise to go very early in the morning.
Florence is not a large city and especially in the centre you are able to walk to every destination.
So, where can you go?
It looks a bit strange from the outside, like it was never really finished. But the inside is beautiful.
This was the church of the Medici family and they are buried here. Also you can find here a library designed by Michelangelo.
Santa Maria Novella
Very large church near the trainstation.
Admission is 5 euro’s, but for that price you can also visit the cloister and the museum and that is well worth it.
Huge church that was built by the Franciscans. Many famous people from Florence were buried here, like Dante, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Rossini and a few others.
The museum, the cloisters and the Pazzi chapel (now under restauration) are all very beautiful.
Admission 6 euro.
Beautiful Dominican Church with a magnificent interior. Worth a visit.
San Miniato al Monte
For this church, you have to climb a bit, but you must do it, since you it will give you a lovely church with fresco’s and a beautiful view over the city.
Little church in Altrarno. Cute and has some beautiful things, but the canopy over the altar looks out of place.
Part of the Bardini museum. The gardens havbe been neglected, but in the past few years they have been busy restoring them to their former glory. On Sunday the admission was free. You can walk here, enjoy the gardens and the view over Florence.
Botanical gardens; Giardini dei Semplici
Admission 3 euro. These gardens are now part of the university of Florence. The garden was set up in 1545 and the plats that grew here were used by the pharmacists to make their medicines. Not they also have many other plants. A little oasis in the middle of the town.
A beautiful collection of Etruskan, Roman and Greek vases, jewelry, objects, statues and bronzes. The beautiful garden is off limits, as I discovered when I dared to put one foot into the garden.
Admission 4 euros.
Natural history museum: Museo la Specola
I loved this old-fashioned museum with almost every form of live known to earth. Spunges, insects, mammals, fishes, birds, reptiles and all the things I forgot. Glass showcases are lined up against the walls, showing the huge 19th century collection. Very charming
Admission 6 euro
Ospedale degli Innocenti
The rich gild of the wool merchants were given the commission in the 15th century of building a hospital for the foundlings, so these children could be looked after and get an education. This was the first orphanage in Europe.
Now they are making a new museum to showcase 600 years of childhood, so you have only limited access to the museum.
The courtyard, designed by Brunelleschi can be visited and that is beautiful.
Admission 3 euro.
If you want to go here, make sure to book your ticket in advance over the internet. It will save you from having to stand in line for hours. Here you will see works from Botticelli, Rafael, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titiaan, Bellini and many, many others. They also have some Dutch and Flemish masters.
Despite the grand scale I liked how it was still possible to see the many painting and finding the way was also very easy.
Next to the Church of San Marco you have the museum, set in the convent. Here you can see the fresco’s by Fra’ Angelico in the cells of the monks. In the scriptorium they had a exhibition of medieval manuscripts.
Absolutely loved this museum.
Admission 4 euros.
There are more than enough restaurants in Florence and you can have several dishes there.
I had a great meal every night, but he, this is Italy, so of course the food is good!
I really enjoyed these two restaurants.
Trattoria il Porcospino (behind the San Lorenzo)
First I had bruscetta with tomatoes and then ravioli with peccorino and pear. This was one of those dishes you eat really slowly so you can enjoy it longer.
Giannino in San Lorenzo (little street before the San Lorenzo)
I took the daymenu here for 15 euro’s. My first course was penne with sausage and courgette and the second course was meat with roasted potatoes. Both dishes were great and the portions were more than enough.
Caffe Belvedere (in the Bardini gardens)
Good for a lunch or a cup of coffee, to enjoy the view and the peace and quiet. I loved sitting here.