Florence is this beautiful, romantic city known as the cradle of the Renaissance for good reason. It's home to world-class art museums, a magnificent Duomo, and the most mouth-watering culinary experiences.

We're ashamed to say we had never even heard of this city before we started planning our trip in spring 2011 (how is that possible?!), and it's now one of our all-time favorite destinations. We *WILL* return to Florence someday. You can count on it.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Adriatico (props for the hot breakfast!)

Adventures: Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), Baptistry, Galleria dell’Accademia (Statue of David), Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce Basilica (Tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo, among others), Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, Il Porcellino, The Best of Tuscany Tour

Takeaways: 1) Florence is rather walkable compared to Rome. 2) The Statue of David is much larger than we anticipated.

Memorable Moments: 1) Hiking up the hill to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a breathtaking view of the city. It was worth the climb! We sat and listened to a musician for awhile as we took in the scenery. 2) Rubbing the snout of Il Porcellino to ensure our return visit (read more about it HERE). 3) Eating spaghetti alla carbonara.

^^Tomb of Michelangelo^^


  • pizza
  • spaghetti alla carbonara
  • bistecca alla fiorentina (super-thick T-bone steak from the famous Chianina cattle)
  • gelato (eat it at every opportunity)
  • wine

Restaurant Pick:
Ristorante Alfredo sull’Arno (nice view of the Arno River; try the spaghetti alla carbonara!)
Via dei Bardi, 46r


1) Don't miss the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), Statue of David, Ponte Vecchio, and the Piazzale Michelangelo. If time permits, visit the Santa Croce Basilica and the Uffizi Gallery (we hear the visit is worth it!).
2) Get to the Galleria dell'Accademia early. We walked right past the pre-paid ticket owners and saw the Statue of David without any of the crowds.
3) It is expensive to ship wine home. Plan ahead and bring an extra suitcase if necessary.


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