In General..., Florence
Piazzale Michelangelo offers almost perfect panoramic view at the city and the River of Arno. I was using my DSLR camera with the long lens objective and got some pretty good photos. I only regret for not having bright sunny day on September 25th when was in Florence, but I hope it wasn't my last visit. Also, I regret not to made the image of the city at dusk and during the night.
Fondest memory: The view from Piazzale Michelangelo is spectacular because from that position the city is reflected as it is on the palm. View from an elevated place over the city gives us the opportunity to summarize what we have seen in the city and what we have failed to see.
For those who are planing a visit to Florence, and who will be staying in the city for several days, I recommend that they go to the Piazzale Michelangelo already on the first or second day of the visit.
In addition to guidebooks, I like to read histories and historical novels set in my destination and I recommend two for Florence that I found both enjoyable and informative:
"Brunelleschi’s Dome" by Ross King tells not only of the building of the dome but also all the political intrigue, artistic jealousies and sheer genius that drove Filippo Brunelleschi. Putting bricks together, without center scaffolding required persistence, imagination and, sometimes, the invention of new machines for the work.
"The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone is an historical novel, but, as near as I can tell, very historically accurate. Of course, it is the story of Michelangelo and is compellingly told and gives a good background for Florence and the times.
"Galileo's Daughter" by Dava Sobel. The book is based on 124 surviving letters to Galileo from his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste. I think she chose Celeste because of her father's work. Her letters, and Sobel's historical supplements tell a great story and give much insight into the times and how they influenced and shaped Galileo's work, faith and decisions.
The cheapest and most useful way to visit Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Duomo) complex is to purchase the combined ticket.
For a mere 10€ each person it allow to visit the Cathedral, the Baptistry, the Crypt of Santa Reparata (interesting to see the foundations), Museum of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (hold the original baptistry door), walk to the top of the Dome ans the Giotto's Bell Tower
You can purchase it on each one of those entrance plus In the court of Art and Congress building on the same square of the dome.
BE AWARE THAT The ticket must be used before midnight on the sixth day after purchase BUT itallows the holder to visit all the monuments within 24 hours of visiting the first one. so the suggestion is to plan carefully your visit as it is kind of hard to walk the 414 steps of the bell tower and the 463 steps of the Dome the same day!!!
Florence or Firenze is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. Florence is famous for its history. A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions.
The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.
I spent two days in Florence in July of 1996. Dream to come back one day for more closer investigation.
You can watch my 3 min 14 sec Video Florence part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Swan Gym is a gym in Florence that offers different exercise and dance classes as well as weight training and cardio equipment. This is a great place that's centrally located and very affordable.
Address; Via dei Pepi 28
Tell them Tucci sent you.
Fondest memory: Fitness
Hairforce has 2 locations in Florence and does it all, from everything you need for your hair all the way down to getting your nails done. The staff is very friendly and are as professional as they come.
#1. V.Ghibellina 74/R, 50122 Firenze - tel. 055 241736
#2. V. Tozzi 28 (Coverciano), 50135 Firenze - tel. 055 608119
VIDEO LINK: http://youtu.be/7lfmbwCuCLI
Ask for Joe and tell him Tucci sent you.
Fondest memory: My haircut
Started from July 1 2011, The city of Florence charge the tourist tax (I don't know what to call) to all the tourists. When you stay at hotel in Florence, you will be charged some. Most of hotel accept only cash.
(Hey, this is not my favorite thing about Florence...)
Favorite thing: I am not very much into art, especially modern art, but I have always wanted to see David with my own eyes. The museum is very easy to miss, it blends in with all of the other buildings around it and has a small sign next to the door. It is not like museums in the United States. No parking lot, no huge signs singling it out, no freestanding building. We went in December 2009, so there was no line going in. At first I wasn't sure we were in the right area, the building appeared run down from the outside, but it's almost 200 years old, so what would I have expected? We purchased our tickets, and put our camera away since they request no photos be taken. I admit, I bypassed most of the museum to find David right away. There was a lot of modern artwork throughout, which I wasn't interested in and found to ruin the atmosphere of the ancient pieces of work. As I rushed through a doorway, I turned and there he was. David is under a high ceilinged dome surrounded by ropes, so you can't get too close and touch him. There were also modern photographs of a naked man around David, which I again felt that it took away from the beauty of David. They were at eye level, so they were easy to ignore as you stared up at 17ft tall David. I was able to walk all around him and memorize every line and detail. He is so massive in person, vs the photographs and portraits that are around of him. I chose to adhere to the rules of no photographs so that future generations may be able to enjoy David as I have. He is made of a porous marble that deteriorates quicker than other marbles, especially under bright lights and flashes from cameras.
If you have limited time for your visit and one of the days is Monday or big holiday, don't loose it. Don't go away, don't spend it in your hotel room...
I spent in Florence 4 days and still did not see enough. But everything depends on you interests. One of my days in Florence fell on Easter day. One museum was open till 12 PM. After the museum visit I spent all afternoon walking around city center. I went ot see Easter Mass, then I had nice cup of coffee in a nearby local cafe. Then I tried some ice cream. Then some wine. Then I had my portrait drawn by local artist...
Enjoy restaurant visit or go for a walk and see the sundown on Piazzale Michelangelo square with a nice view of the Florence. Or visit Boboli Gardens. It's open every day.
Actually, some of the museum are open on Monday, just not every Monday. Check this:
Fondest memory: Piazzale Michelangelo. Saw the city in evening sun... Unforgettable.
General tip seems to be the only place to post this, and I think this is information worth sharing.
I was struck by the most painful bout of sciatica while I was visiting Florence. In agony, I asked my kind hotel proprietors to make some calls to get some help.
I saw a physio at the Static Centro Chiroterapeutico di Firenze. She said that although I could definitely benefit from physio, because my stay in Florence was just for the week, it was better for me to get treated by the Chiro. I then met the dynamic whiz Louis Robert Kinnard. It was a relief to find someone who could speak English to treat me.
I was very impressed. The treatment was thorough and effective (such relief!) and he gave me some things I could do to keep my muscles relaxed.
Treatment was 38 euros.
The Static centre is in Viale Bellefiore 50. Tel 055 333170-332001
I'd suggest to rent a house instead of an agriturismo, it could be much cheaper and independent, especially if you get it in Siena, Arezzo or Pistoia:
visit www.summerinitaly.com or www.interhome.com to get more information
there's a famous "milonga" tango club in Florence: http://ita.tango.info/salons/ITFLR
this is a good portal with precious suggestions about tango events and clubs in Tuscany: http://www.tangoitalia.com/tango/florence.html
Hope it helps!
highly informative and personalized. The Segway is a joy to ride and the thoughtful, professional staff makes the experience unique and unforgettable. We are telling all of our friends. Of all the things we did in Italy, we had the most fun, and learned the most, on the Segway Tour of Firenze. A thousand thanks.”
Chula Vista CA
I went on a day trip to Florence, it was rush, rush, rush. This is not a way to see this great city. Next time, I will stay for a few days. We were marched around like in the army and were'nt able to enjoy much of anything, except a certain shopping area! I still can't believe I was standing in front of the Ufizzi Gallery and we weren't even told, because we had to rush back to the bus to make time to avoid the rush hour traffic. I felt perfectly safe there, even if I traveled alone there I will stay longer next time.
Fondest memory: The nice people, I accidentaly gave 30,000 lire for a drink and it was only 3,000 and they gave it back to me, I never would have known, and the statue if David in the Accademia Gallery.
Totally awesome, a must see.
Favorite thing: ..... not at the hotel but to the local launderette. There are a few in Florence city center and I went to Tintoria Lavanderia which has a couple of branches in the city. I paid about 8€ for a pile of clothes I had worn for a few days and got them done in 2 hours.
Favorite thing: I can't stress this enough, TRAVEL LIGHT! My wife was extremely concerned when I planned this trip for carry-on luggage only. We spent 2 weeks in Italy, one simply can't pack enough clothes and carry them through train stations, up and down stairs, through crowded streets and so forth! We bought a $14.00 hair blower, bought toiletries and bought 1 cheap suitcase (which you can find in any flea market) to bring home souvenirs, we checked this bag in on the way home. After about 3 days in Italy my wife said we still packed too much, we found a laundromat and washed our clothes or washed them in our room. She thought this was a crazy idea before we left but, she saw the light when we observed many tourist's struggling with way too much luggage especially in train stations (which are large). Some of these people had 3 large bags a person and were not having fun! We each had 1 backpack and 1 rucksack...Lean and Clean.