Florence! Fewer words, more photos

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I’m just back from a terrific culinary tour of Tuscany. Before and after the tour, we managed to sneak in a couple of very brief stays in Florence. This was our first visit and we loved it. We look forward to returning…

Narrow streets and falling tourists

Many streets in the city center are like this: narrow, bumpy, windy, and gorgeous. Usually they’re filled with tourists though.

 

Watch out for falling tourists!

The David

First glimpse of The David. I did a skip the line tour on the day that arrived in Florence. Despite the crowds, there really was something special about seeing this in person

 

Michelangelo’s David is a required sight to see in Florence. Fortunately, if you can’t make it to the Accademia Gallery (as shown here), there’s an outdoor replica open to the public in the Piazza della Signoria.

The Duomo

Photos don’t do justice to this sight. My first glimpse of the Dumo was gasp-worthy. Later in the trip, my wife and I booked a Viator Dumo tour that included access to a terrace that is not otherwise accessible to tourists. Highly recommended!

Uffizi Gallery

Book timed tickets in advance to avoid huge lines to this magnificent museum

Dining

Dinner at Trattoria Gargani. Good food, but not the best we had during our trip

 

Dinner at Coquinarius (close to the Dumo) was fabulous! We did the 2 person aperitivo tray (pictured) and each ordered a pasta dish. I thought I had scored the jackpot with my delicious Cheese and Pear Raviolini, but then I tasted my wife’s Tagliatelle with guinea fowl and realized that she had in fact won the best meal of the day prize.

During our trip we also ate lunch at Trattoria Sostanza and Caffè Cibreo.  Both were terrific.

Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

The Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella began as a pharmacy run by Dominican monks in 1221.  Now it’s a museum quality cosmetic store designed to part you with your money. We somehow escaped for under 100 Euros, but don’t expect to be so lucky.  It’s worth a stop just to see the store and read its history.

Lodging

Our tour began and ended at the Florence train station, so we picked hotels close by.  Before our tour, I stayed at the quirky Casa Howard (practically next door to the Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, above).  Afterwards, we took advantage of an amazing Upside deal (details here) to stay at the awesome Palazzo Castri 1874.

My weird room at Casa Howard included a climbing wall. After a few drinks a friend demonstrated the climb for the camera.

 

Palazzo Castri 1874 has a secluded outdoor courtyard in the back where they serve tea and pastries in the afternoon. They also offer a free smartphone loaded with city guide info for the duration of your stay.  We only stayed one night, but we’d love to return and stay longer.

Buona Notte Florence

 

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