Ok another 'fondest' memory of Florence. Can you tell how much I loved it here?!? My first night in Florence one of my friends took me on a little night time tour of Florence. We walked through the outside area at the Uffizi(you'll recognize it if you even saw the preview for Hannibal). As we walk down this open corridor there are statues on either side of different artists, or philosophers, or writers, etc. all relevant to Italian history. Well as we get to the end we turned around and I had the most spectacular view. The whole place was deserted and the museum was all lit up. It was the prettiest thing and that is when I fell in love with Florence. Unfortunately I don't have a picture from that night but I do have one from the next day...with the crowds back though.
So if you can, take a tour of Florence late at night. It is pretty safe there. Plus with all the things to see that are outside there tends to be a lot of Police around.
Best and Cheapest Gelato in Florence
This was a wonderful gelato place. The flavors were more then the simple fruits and chocolates. And the prices themselves are what make it even better. The 1 Euro!! Cone is as big as the 2.50-5 euro sized cones in the downtown center of Florence. And truely the 1 euro cone there, was more ice cream then i needed. It is right off a bridge. There are a lot of people that come most being locals. It was right on the way to my hostle, and made for a perfect nightcap. The place is named Gelateria la Carraia. It is in Oltrárno the area just off the Ponte alla Carraia. It is NOT IN THE CITY CENTER! But it is a great little place. They are friendly, cheap and did i mention great gelato? I think it was some of the best I had when I was in Florence
Shopping at the Markets/Supermarkets
Whenever I go to any city, I love to check out the local markets - from the flower markets to the food markets. Another place I always try to visit is a grocery store. It's a great way to find different/unusual souvenirs, pick up the makings for lunch, or just buy something you have tried and liked in a particular place. Below are some places to shop:
Mercato Centrale located on the Piazza del Mercato - Tuscan products
Mercato delle Cascine located on Via A. Lincoln (on the banks of the Arno) - sells everything
Mercato delle Cure located on the Piazza delle Cure - authentic Florentine market (outside town)
Mercato Nuovo located on Via Por Santa Maria - leather, souvenirs, hand-embroidered work, Il Porcellino is here
Mercato delle Plante located on Via Pelliceria - flowers and plants (under a portico by the post office - good place to head when the rain starts)
Mercato della Pulce located on the Piazza dei Ciompi - flea market, antiques, knick knacks
Mercato San Lorenzo located on the Piazza di San Lorenzo - leather bargains, clothes, fruits/vegetables/food is located in the covered portion of the market
Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio located on the Piazza Ghiberti - fruits and vegetables
Mercato di Santo Spirito located on the Piazza Santo Spirito - sells everything, is flea market on certain weekends
Esselunga - Via Masaccio, Via del Ginoro
Conad - Via L. Alamanni, Via dei Servi
Coop - Via Salvia Cristiani
Standa - Via Pietrapiana
Beware of the street sellers offering fake designer clothes, purses, sunglasses, etc. (unless you want that). Located around the city - many near the Duomo. Leather, Wine, Italian Sweets
Most romantic city tour
Exploring the city centre in the carriage is the most romantic way of course. Slowly and very comfortable it allows you to take the pictures during the ride. Besides, the coachman is very helpful in giving the informations regarding spots you're passing by. Though, it wont take you to Belvedere and across the Ponte Vecchio.
Casual Italian Dining
This is a casual dining restaurant that seems popular with young people. The penne with meat sauce was not bad. But another dish I had wasn't too good. Probably would be good to ask the waiters for recommendations.