Unique Places in Florence

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Florence

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    Chianti

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Located as close as only 30kms south of Florence is the magical Chianti region of Tuscany. This famous region is home to a large chunk of Tuscany's wine production, and its stunning countryside is easily accessible from Florence as a day trip (particularly if you have a car).

    The best way to explore Chianti is to make a start driving along the SS222, stopping at places like Castellina & Greve along the way. Then, time permitting, take a drive along some of the lesser roads and explore villages like Lamole and Montefioralle. Most towns/villages will offer the chance for wine tasting and purchasing at one of their many wine shops.

    Make sure you head to some secluded restaurant for lunch, taste some fresh local cuisine and sample a glass or two of Chianti Classico (not too much if you are the driver please!)

    Chianti scenes
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    • Road Trip
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    Visit S. Miniato around 17.30...........

    by leics Updated Feb 8, 2014

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    .................and you may, as I did, hear the Olivetan monks' plainsong. As I sat on the steps of the crypt (which hold the remains of S. Miniatus, martyred around 250 CE) listening to them I realised that people had probably heard much the same thing on the same spot for over 1000 years. That's pretty special.

    A shrine was here in the 8th century (700s). The present building was started in 1013 and is the second oldest church in Florence.

    It's a bit of a trek to get to S. Miniato, up the hill to the south of Florence's historical centre to Piazza Michaelangelo and then up another, much smaller hill opposite. But buses 12 and 13 pass nearby (get off at Piazza Michelangelo) and they are frequent and easy to use.

    The Florence bus website has routes, route info, route maps and timetables in English: www.ataf.net

    The church, the views and the monks' plainsong are all well worth the effort of visiting.

    The church is open from 0700 and closed mid-afternoon from 1300-1530. It closes in the winter months around 1900, but in summer closes around sunset.

    Exterior Shrine of S. Miniato Inside the church Detail
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    Best and Cheapest Gelato in Florence

    by ChartIt Written Aug 18, 2007

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    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

    The side entrance
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    Excursions from Florence - Siena and San G.

    by Callavetta Written Jan 17, 2005

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    San Gimignano and Siena both deserve a LOT more than a day, but if your trip through Tuscano is quick and you don't have time to stay at both places, the CAF tours excursion is definitely better than not going at all. This tour will give you an hour or so to visit San G., taste some wines, eat gelato, shop for pottery, or just walk through the old walled town and gaze at the views.

    In the afternoon you will visit Siena and take a short guided tour with the leader. Then we had several hours to visit on our own. Siena has loads of charming shops and restaurants, as well as the famous piazza. Having already spent several days in Siena on a previous trip, we took the opportunity to visit one of our favorite restaurants ever, Fuori Porto, just outside the Porto Romano, and rekindle our friendship with Paolo the owner. A wonderful meal ensued.

    The excursion was 49 euro and was a full day of fun.

    Photo taken from Point Lobos website

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    Pisa!

    by sue_stone Updated Nov 25, 2004

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    Although Florence is a fabulous city and there is loads to see and do there, if you fancy a day trip, why not visit Pisa!

    Pisa is a gorgeous town, famous for its Leaning Tower of course, but it has much more to offer as well!!

    It takes only 1 hour to catch the train from Florence to Pisa, making it the perfect place for a day trip.

    For more information, visit my Pisa Page.

    Pisa!
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    • Trains
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    Fiesole by open top bus

    by kirsty_lamb Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The open top buses in Florence have two lines, A and B. A does the center and the real tourist tops in Florence. However with the same 20 Euro ticket you can go on line B. This goes out of florence to a small tow Fiesole.

    You get to see the lovely Tuscan countryside (sit on the right of the bus facing front to get the best picture opportunities) and you can also stop off here.

    Line B buses take an hour to complete the whole route and run every 45 minutes.

    You also get to see Galileo's house and Michaelangelo's House

    Tuscan Countryside
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    Walk like an Etruscan

    by Callavetta Written Jan 19, 2005

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    Arguably the closest hilltown to Florence can be reached in 20 minutes on the #7 bus. Fiesole was founded by an Etruscan Colony in the 6th Century BC. Today one can visit the Teatro Romano which houses the ancient Etruscan City wall as well as Roman and Etruscan baths. The site has a museum with Etruscan vases and Roman ruins.

    Open daily from Easter thru October 9:30 am to 7:00 pm. Open Wednesdays in winter.

    Admission 6,60 euro

    After strolling through the town and visiting the ruins, stop and enjoy a glass of wine at the bar overlooking the City of Florence. If you have the time you will be rewarded with a wonderful sunset.

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    Excursions from Florence - Chianti

    by Callavetta Written Jan 17, 2005

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    For travelers who opt not to rent a car and brave getting out among Italian drivers, single day excursions offer a great way to see the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

    As a wine enthusiast, the half day Chianti tour was a must for me. When in a foreign country, I love to take the opportunity to visit wine makers and sample their products. CAF Tours, operating out of Florence has a wonderful offering.

    The bus will pick you up at your hotel, or you can meet at their offices by the train station. On the bus the guide gives you a basic overview about winemaking in the Chianti, what makes a Chianti wine, the difference between classes of wines (it's all about the gallo nero), and also a little about olive oils and local specialty foods.

    Our tour stopped at a beautiful old castello turned wine estate where we toured the caves, heard how the wines and oils were manufactured and then visited the castello grounds. We were taken to a garden and seated at tables of eight, where bottles were opened and poured with various foodstuffs to clear the palet and compliment the wines; procuitto, cheese, bread, and finally biscotti. Since only 4 of our 8 were wine drinkers, that left 4 bottles for the 4 of us! We were very happy on that tour!

    Finally we were taken to the wineries store where we were given the opportunity to purchase what we had tasted. The prices were very good and I was happy to buy both wine and olive oil.

    email: tours@caftours.com

    photo from the CAF website

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    Harvesting Olives

    by EllenH Written Nov 28, 2004

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    The best part of Italy are the people. Sure there is much to see and do, but the best part for us is always the people. These guys were picking olives as we walked up to get a good view of Florence from the othe side of the Arno river. You know, I just pointed my camera quizzically at them and they posed happily for me.

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    cross over the bridge

    by travelgourmet Updated Sep 27, 2009

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    You go to Florence and visit the museums, churches, galleries, monuments, leather and jewerly stores, and great dining spots. Then you leave.

    Basta! (stop!) Cross over the bridge. The Ponte Vecchio is a good one and walk along the street on the other side and look down.

    A magnificent river runs through this beautiful city, the River Arno, and it is well worth the time to casually stroll the banks to enjoy the view of the river. It is refreshing to see the flow of life that helped create this place called Firenze.

    VIEW OF THE RIVER ARNO
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    Casa Guidi

    by fgfi Updated Aug 6, 2004

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    At the corner of the Via Maggio and the Via Romana, close the Palazzo Pitti, stands a literary residence in Florence, the "Casa Guidi" where the poet Robert Browning and his wife Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived from 1847 to 1861. Between 3pm and 5pm, ring the bell and enjoy the ambience of the couples home, furnished with their flea market finds, typical example of 19th century style.

    Casa Guidi
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    Villa del Poggio Imperiale

    by fgfi Updated Jul 24, 2004

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    This large villa formerly belonged to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany.
    Now it's a secondary school ( I attended my high school there) and a boarding school. The villa may be visited by appointment : you can find there elegant XVIII- XIX Century decorations, stucco works, sculptures, period furnishings, celebrated paintings, splendid XVIII Century room.

    Poggio Imperiale
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    Giardino delle rose

    by fgfi Updated May 3, 2006

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    The rose garden is located below the Piazzale Michelangelo and offers one of the the best view of Florence.

    You can walk up from the San Niccolò Church along Via Monte alle Croci. At the crossroads turn left on Via San Salvatore al Monte running along the Rose Garden. You can enter the garden at the lower gate. If you prefere you can walk or drive up along Viale Giuseppe Poggi; you will see the garden’s sign on your left, or you can walk down from Piazzale Michelangelo (one level / terrace below).

    You will find here1,020 types of roses with total of around 4,000 plants, but also a wonderful cityscape with the Arno valley and the hills beyond.

    Gardino dell Rose is free but open only 6 weeks a year, May 1 through June 16, every dau from 8am to 8pm. In 2007 they are planning to open it for a longer period.

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    Stibbert Museum

    by fgfi Written Aug 6, 2004

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    Stibbert is one of the most eccentric museum in Florence. Federico Stibbert was a collector who lived in Florence during the 19th century. He kept an original collection of arms and armor, from Japan and all over Europe, toghether with clothing, dolls, furniture, porcelains. The Museum is very interesting for children. Choose to go there in a sunny day: you can also enjoy the park which is one of the nicest garden in town.

    Stibbert
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    Antica Farmacia di San Marco

    by leics Written Apr 21, 2006

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    I almost walked past this place, even though it's on one of the main streets. Founded in 1483, this pharmacy has been going ever since. It wasn't open when I walked by (closed mid-afternoon, like many places) but I'll definitely be going in next time I visit Florence.

    15th century pharmacy
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