Visit the Uffizi gallery. I...
Visit the Uffizi gallery. I know, the queue to get in is always too long and you don't want to spend hours in the hot sun just to see a glimpse of a painting. But the Uffizi contains one of the worlds finest art collections, a collection that I probably would queue for days and days to get a look at. The Uffizi is the oldest museum in the world, opened to the public in the year 1591. Today, the collection contains more than 60,000 paintings from some of the worlds greatest artists - Michelangelo, Rubens, Botticelli, Raphael and many, many more. If you're not a bit interested in art, I can understand your hesitation to queue for hours, but when you get inside the gallery - I promise that a new world opens at your feet. The paintings and sculptures are mostly by 13th to 18th century artists and they show you how the world was like centuries ago. How people lived, what they believed in and who they loved. Can any other objects tell you so much about our past as paintings?
Not much to say here, other...
Not much to say here, other than we found Italy to be the one country where English is spoken the least. That's fine of course -- we were the visitors you know. We managed to get along quite well, despite the occasional language barrier. Interestingly, we always received the same reply when we asked (in Italian) if someone spoke English -- 'A Leeeetle!' I kid you not. At least seven people uttered that exact phrase -- one of the more humorous memories of our trip.
Astronomical Observatory of Arcetri
The Osservatorio lies in a very nice and green part of Florence, near the Galileo Galiles's old villa. The view over Florence is spectacular.
To reach the osservatorio by bus use bus number 38 from Porta Romana Square.
The observatory is open to the general public also by night, but you must call to make a reservation.
By Plane: Aeroporto di Firenze
Aeroporto di Firenze-Amerigo Vespucci (Florence-Amerigo Vespucci Airport).
Once you arrive in Florence by plane, I recommend to take the bus called Volainbus which, in about 20-25 minutes, will take you to the centre of the city. The bus station in Florence is opposite the railway station. From that place, all the main sights are within a walking distance (apart from where your accommodation is). The Tourism Office is also a few meters away.
It runs every 30 minutes:
Ristorante la mamma
This place was small but extremely cosy. The lighting was perfectly dimmed and the music was subtle enough to hear your dinner guest talk. The room is long and not very wide, with tables on both sides of a kind of path where the waiters bustle up and down. The room was slightly tilted, i.e. the kitchen is on a higher level than the entrance. The decorations were not kitschy but very authentic and the staff made you feel very much at home. Most importantly the food was magnificent. We entrusted our waiter with our choices and his taste was impeccable. He suggested their local house wine and this was also to-die-for. The whole experience was amazing and we did not want to leave. We had pasta with locally-grown fresh mushrooms, a mussel dish and warm freshly baked bread. I could have eaten everything on the menu, which was why we decided to let the waiter decide. He did his job perfectly.