Florence is somewhere that I knew very little about before my trip, but it seems to have this habit of allowing its beauty to tip toe up to its visitors and capture a little piece of their heart. Around every corner you will be lulled into stopping by a new street performer who makes you feel like you are the only person that they are playing to, and with a gelato in hand as the sun beams down on you; you can be forgiven for almost forgetting that any place outside of the beautiful city exists.
I myself have never been the biggest fan of art – my own personal art skills are disgustingly similar to that of a 6-year-old child running a fever; but Florence has grown accustomed to having art scaredy cats in its midst, and has learnt ways to sway people into falling in love with its arty ways some how.
I tried the galleries, believe me… I really, really did – and call me an air head, closed-minded, half-witted so and so or whatever you so wish, but I just find them difficult and end up appreciating the architecture and people watching as opposed to taking in the art in front of my eyes. Florence recognised this about me, accepted it even – and offered to me other ways of looking at paintings without wanting to gauge my eyes out with a spoon. Dotted along the roads are people sitting and painting what is before them and what they know of the city by memory – it’s mesmerizing to watch them lose themselves in just their paintbrush and canvas.
In addition to the art and music in Florence, everyone has heard of the Duomo, Michael Angelo’s David, and Ponte Vecchio. Walking up the bell tower of the Duomo will absolutely murder your legs, but the view at the top is well worth all of the pain, and even more. Florence will make you believe in love at first sight with a fellow tourist that you have seen from across the bar, it will make you want to elope, move there and learn Italian while living out the rest of your days seeking adventure and eating gelato.
An amazing performer who sang his heart out in a piazza.
Another performer who managed to bring everyone together at Ponte Vecchio.
A fellow tourist trying to get a good angle of the Duomo.
A shop door full of faces.
The view of the Duomo fromm the ground and the bell tower.
Want to go and check Florence out for yourself?
Fly from London in January from £117 return.
And stay in a hostel dorm room from £11.66 per night.
For nightlife I would seriously recommend Piazza Santo Spirito which is full of locals and much cheaper than around the area of the Duomo. The entire atmosphere is buzzing with people out to have the best night of their lives, and the locals are more than happy to point you in the best direction of bars. Pockets feeling a bit empty? So are everyone elses which is what makes this particular area so great as it is full of people having drinks and socialising outside which is great in hot weather.
For the daytime I would recommend going on a free walking tour.
Remember they are free, but if you feel your tour guide has been particularly great then don’t be shy in giving them a tip. It’s not expected but they do tonnes of these a week and it is their job.
This will help you get your bearings of the city and give you ideas of where you would like to see – and if you are still stuck on what you would like to do while you are there then pay the tourist office a quick visit which you can find by the Duomo, they will give you a free map and advice on what to do.