Where else but Piazzale Michelangelo
Situated on the hilly patches of Tuscany and bisected by the polluted-but-pretty Arno River, there is no denying that Florence is heart-achingly scenic and romantic. One of the greatest (and cheapest) Florentine experience is to view the city from a good vantage point and revel in its dramatic setting and serene skyline. Tourists can do this from a number of places: the Campanile, the Duomo's dome and Piazzale Michelangelo. Arguably, the last location affords tourist the grandest view in that it includes the iconic Duomo and the striking spire that is Torre d'Arnolfo.
As usual, the best time to enjoy these views would be at sunset when the Florentine sky undergoes a lovely transformation with lots of purple and pinkish shades during autumn. And as the dusk gives way to night, the city's lights all come aglow highlighting the dramatic reflections of the city's historical buildings on the Arno River.
To get there, take bus no. 13 from Stazione di Sta Maria Novella. It's quite a long 30-minute ride along the city's clogged streets, and you'd know you've reached there when the bus disgorges tens of camera-toting tourists. If you stay a bit late to say about 7 pm, the bus does seem to take long to arrive - but the trip should be all worth it.
Palazzo Pitti is the most imposing of the city palaces and dates to 1457 on a probable design by Brunelleschi.
The façade, 205 meters long and 36 meters high, consists of rusticated ashlars with some of the single block over two meters long. The only decorative elements are the crowned heads of lions between the ground floor window brackets.
Access to the interior is through the great portal with its central arch which leads also to Ammannati’s famous courtyard.
Palazzo Pitti is open from 9-14, during holidays 9-13 hours. It’s closed on Mondays.
If you have some extra time in...
If you have some extra time in Florence I would highly recommend visiting some of the towns outside of Florence. I did it by bike. You can either rent a bike and give yourself a guided tour or got through an organized tour. I used Florence by Bikej and did their guided tour and loved it. Their info is:
Florence by Bike
Bike Rental and Bike Tours
Via San Zanobi, 91/R - 120-122/R
Florence by Bike is open 7 days a week (Sundays included) from 9.00 a.m. until 7.30 p.m. from March 1st until November 4 th.
Pay homage to PRADA
The Prada outlet is none as I Pellettieri d'Italia and is located in the town of Montevarchi, which is about 45 minutes away by train to Arezzo/Rome. TO check the schedule, please go to:
When you get to the station you can get a taxi to the outlet, it is about 10 to 12 Euros 1 way, you can arrange for the driver to come back for you at an appointed hour or just grab a taxi there.
Beware of weekends and tour buses! Often times you must take a number and wait as only a limited number of shoppers are let in at any one time.
They have also added a nice cafe area for the non-interested and the weary shoppers to recoup after spending their savings or just taling a break from their purchases.
If you are not an EU resident/citizen make sure you get a tax free form, at the ariport you can get the cash back, it is about 16% of the total purchase price. If you are several people, best to pool your pruchases if your total is under 150 Euros, that is the minimum to get the tax back. Mens and Womens clothing
Mens and Womens shoes
They have other brands besides Prada.
Shopping here can be hit and miss.
As the store becomes more well known the prices have risen, however it is still 1/2 the price of the stores in Italy and 1/3 - 1/4 the price of the stores in the rest of the world (don't even mentione the shops in Asia!!)
They take credit cards.
Monday to Saturday from 930 to 1230 and 1500 to 1900.
BEWARE: If you are coming in August, check for the 2 week closing, it changes every year!
Authentic Tuscan cooking at modest prices
Excellent food. Modest prices Try Tuscan classics like fagioli all'`uccelletto or ribollita.
Two days ago, I had Zucchini ripieni (with a meat impasto) and panna cotta. Together with a glass of wine, I paid 8 euros.