Portico de los Lanzi
The portico to the right of the Palazzo Vecchio, is the Loggia dei Lanzi. Designed by Andrea Orcagna and built in 1376-82, it houses one of the finest open air sculpture collections in the world. The leftmost statue is Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus holding up Medusa's head, and the statue under the right arch is the Rape of the Sabines, by Giambologna.-
El portico que se encuentra a la derecha del Palacio Vecchio es la Logia de los Lanzi. Diseñada por Andrea Orcagna y construida durante los años 1376-82, alberga uno de los más bellos museos al aire libre en el mundo. La estatua que se encuentra más a la derecha es Perseo con la cabeza de Medusa, de Benvenuto Cellini y la del otro extremo es el Rapto de las Sabinas, de Giambolonga
Florence by bike
This was quite possibly the most enjoyable thing I did the entire time in Italy. For $55 we started off at 9AM and biked around Florence and the hillsides and vineyards of Tuscany. A grueling 14km of biking uphill interupted by a stop at a vineyard where we were shown the making of olive oil and wine. We then sat in the wine cellar which is kept very cool and proceeded to eat lunch that was served by our hosts. We talked to a winemaster who showed us the ropes and then were served two free glasses of wine and a shot of grapa which then was all available for sale afterwards. Absolutely terrific. Then we biked back down the hills and into town. The staff of this biking tour really deserved a lot of credit for their professionalism and entertainment. Be advised that the bike ride is not for the weak. Bring your biking gear such as sweats and good gloves. The bikes, helmet and water bottle are given to you. the water bottle, which has the name of the place on it, is given to you for free.
Hot Buys at San Lorenzo Market
Located next to the San Lorenzo Church is a busy marketplace with over 100 stalls peddling leather goods, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, designer goods and designer knock offs at low prices. Leather good, clothes, jewelry
In and Out
Italy like most of Europe is best travelled by the train. Florence has more than one train station but the biggest one is Santa Maria Novella. Florence in Italian is called Firenze so when looking for train timings etc look for Firenze.
The train connections are pretty good and I guess from Rome there is a train every hour or so.
I reached Florence by a local train from Pisa which cost about 5-6 Euro. It takes about one hour from Pisa and the local train is not too crowded. Theres free seating so just enter and find a seat for yourself. I think the express trains would be costlier(obviously)
I took a Eurostar from Florence to Venice which cost about 28 Euro in 2nd class with pretty comfy seats and nice window seat. Its a three hour journey from Florence
The website of Trenitalia below is in English and one cannot book local trains here. For that you would need to do so at the station. Unlike my home country(India), I dont find getting a train ticket in Europe that big a problem. But for long distance its always better to book early.
Fast Food Florence Style
Fast, is the only thing that McDonalds, KFC, Red Rooster et al, have in common with Florence's fast food shops. In Florence they sell real food, beautiful rollsstuffed with parma ham, fresh tomatoes, lettuce... Fantastic. Pasticerrias also sell beautiful sweets and hot chocolate second only to that found in Barcelona. The gelato remains a favourite
A word of warning though! If you want to trully try all the fast foods available, plan on putting on at least a kiligram per week.
For this particular tip I will let the pictures do the talking