We are starting a new year and there are new resolutions like getting a new job, learn a new skill/hobby, quit a bad habit like smoking, read more and our favorite one… travel more.
Why is traveling such a great resolution? Well, there are so many reasons.
Traveling means adventure. It’s a whole experience, from packing the basic to unpacking all the non-basic new souvenirs! It opens your eyes to new worlds perspectives, sometimes positives, sometimes not so much but for sure worth living. When you travel you learn about the culture, you change your mind of what people say with country stereotypes, but most importantly, you learn about yourself by connecting with the others and with the world.
Traveling means enjoying something different to what you are used to.
Traveling in Italy means breaking all those movie cliches that Hollywood or Disney have brought to our minds (like pasta with meatballs on top).
Now, traveling in Tuscany is a particular experience cause maybe you didn’t know, but Italians we are not only proud of our country but also our region. So what you’ve seen in movies is the Italian stereotype but we are actually very different among us.
Here we won’t focus on our similarities but on our differences. Cause, in fact, those differences are the ones that make every region, city, destination, so unique.
We want to talk specifically about one of the most visited Tuscan cities. We are talking about the beautiful city of Florence… Why Florence? why visiting this renaissance city is a MUST? well, let us give you the answer.
If you love art, history, and museums, definitely Florence is the best option for you. Not only it has the Uffizzi museum with the best of art where you can learn and see about the ancient renaissance techniques; also Florence is full of incredible churches that have amazing sculptures inside where you can fall in love with the architecture and also go back in time to see how people used to live like in the past. One example of those churches is the beautiful Basilica di Santa Croce; a Franciscan church of the 15th century, where you can actually see the burial place of known famous art creators like Michelangelo, Niccolò Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei, and other magnificent artists.
Let’s not forget about the stunning David by Michelangelo that you can see in Galleria della Accademia.
(yes we know, this is Michelangelo’s art that is part of the Sistine Chapel in Rome but this GIF is too good not to put it in this blog)
Some of the most well-known museums in Florence are the next ones! Consider visiting them on your next trip to Florence, to understand not only about art but also about the history of the country!
Galleria dell’ Accademia Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI
Galeria degli Uffizi Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI Palazzo Pitti Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI
FOOD So we’ve mentioned Italian cliches before right? Now, part of that is the Italian “cuisine”. Pizza, pasta, gelato… so good, but have you ever heard about Bistecca alla Fiorentina? Maybe you have because it is impossible to visit Florence and not realize this is a unique dish in the city. It is one delicious t-bone cut weighing anywhere from two to eight pounds (1-4 kilos), fire grilled on the outside and pink and bloody on the inside, seasoned with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon and traditionally cooked over-roasted chestnuts for a smoky flavor, but that’s just one of the many typical dishes of Tuscany! Italy is divided into regions and Florence is located in Tuscany! so the food is different by region! For example, here we do not eat only pasta al pesto, actually, pesto comes from a different area so each region has it’s own pasta specialty!
In Florence, you have to try the Picci! Which are similar to spaghetti, although the pieces are stretched by hand and can reach three meters in length. So as you can see, there’s more than pizza to try in Florence! Let us tell you some of the best places to try the real Florentine cuisine:
Paninis are well known in Italy but we assure you; you have never tried such good paninis. Here they have an option for everyone, from vegetarian to meat lovers and their sauces/dressings are what make them so special. You might see a long cue but don’t worry, it moves fast.
Via dei Neri, 65R, 50122 Firenze FI
Chianineria – Trattoria dall’Oste
This is for sure one places that would make you fall in love with the Florentine cuisine. We have talked about the Florentine steak right? Well, here’s where you have to go to try a delicious outstanding dinner. One chef’s suggestion, mix meet with truffle oil and for sure you would be in a whole new level of flavors! Via De’ Cerchi 40/R, 50122, Firenze FI
GREAT LEATHER Opportunities to buy leather in Florence are vast, from luxury boutiques to raucous street bazaars, to private workshops and sidewalk trinket sellers. but the truth is that Italian craftsmen have a very good reputation for caring about the quality and design of the things they make. and for that reason, leather in Florence is such a thing! First here you have tons of places where to buy it and even with the symbolic Florentine emblem: the Lili flower.
It has become part of the Florentine culture since it was even used back in the days for our books. Leather book covers were crafted to protect the books and provide a luxurious and beautiful exterior. Leatherworkers also pioneered techniques for armor and ceremonial dress and worked with saddle and tack makers to create horse regalia for festivals and everyday use.
If you want to make a more confident purchase, consider the following destinations. You’ll not only immerse yourself the history of Florentine leather, but you are likely to pick up an authentic souvenir you’ll treasure as one of the fondest memories of your trip.
Some of the best places to buy leather in Florence is the Leather Market but you must take into consideration that there is a mix of qualities. For sure you are buying leather, but not of it is the best quality depending on where it was produced but still, the market is worth to walk through since is a traditional tourist point and you can also visit the Central Market where you can buy products or you can also enjoy the food in the top floor with all the variety of restaurants they have.
Still, here you have some recommendations where you know you will have the best quality & price relation.
Cellerini Located in the center of Florence, is one very well known leather shop in the city. The quality is excellent since the products are made by local artisans. That allows them to make personalized and unique pieces, customized only for you.
Via del Sole 37 r, Florence, Italy.
Benheart This shop has stunning unique pieces. Ben, the actual designer creates all the leather products with 100% Italian leather and they are all handmade. You can even personalize them. If you pass by, you can see how they are working with the leather to create its unique pieces.
Via dei Cimatori, 25r, 50122 Firenze FI
WINE According to tradition, there’s no lunch or dinner in Tuscany, with at least one bottle of wine on the table (Cause one simple glass is not enough for us)
When it comes to wine production regions that have stood the test of time, few can compare to Tuscany, one of the most-loved parts of Italy by wine lovers worldwide. Grapes were first cultivated by the Etruscans nearly 3,000 years ago, grown in such wide abundance that they were often sold overseas and quickly became the area’s most trusted cash crop.
These are some of the “Enotecas” where you can buy excellent wine.
Enoteca Alessi Via delle Oche, 27/R, 50122 Firenze F
Enoteca Bonatti Via Vincenzo Gioberti, 68/R, 50121 Firenze F
Sunny Wine Shop Firenze Via delle Oche, 27/R, 50122 Firenze FI
Here for sure, you can buy some really good wines that would be excellent to combine with your plates.
Why not taking a wine tour to Tuscany instead? n case you want to see with your eyes where this amazing wine is actually coming from, we recommend certainly a day trip to Tuscany to enjoy not only the delicious wines but also the incredible and unique countryside views you can only get in Tuscany!
FASHION A Florentine named Guccio Gucci, son of a leather artisan, turned his back on the family business as a young man. Working in a series of menial jobs at the Savoy Hotel in London, he carried stylish pieces of luggage for wealthy visitors. Gucci returned home to Florence in 1921 and refocused his family on designing fine leather luggage and accessories for a wealthy international clientele. He soon brought the leather goods of his native city to international fame as one of the most recognized names in the fashion world. With this, you can imagine how important fashion is in here. Milan could be the capital of fashion but Florence has actually most of the big brands’ houses where all the art is created since most of them were born in Florence like Roberto Cavalli, Guccio Gucci or Salvatore Ferragamo.
So if you want the real fashion deal… Florence is the option.
For sure the best area to shop in Florence is in all the surroundings between Piazza della Signoria, & Piazza della Repubblica. There you would find all brands with all different prices.
Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI
If you want some exclusive luxury shops, you can take a bus from the Central Train Station, that takes you to the outlet “The Mall” where you can find great prices.
Via Santa Caterina da Siena, 17, 50123 Firenze FI
EASY TO MOVE AROUND The last but not least. Florence is a city where you do not need a car so actually, you can appreciate the beauty of the city by walking it. With a relatively compact historic city center, Florence is easier to navigate either walking it or riding your bike, which actually allows you to appreciate its beauty at it’s best!
It’s no secret that the Italian capital is much bigger than Florence. You can easily visit the city walking through its narrow streets without using buses or taxis to reach the most impressive spots. Also, every few steps you will be taken by the smells wafting from the trattorias, osterias, cafes and amazing restaurants! You will be surrounded by the sounds of the lively conversations in one of the most beautiful languages in the world and even reaching the best viewpoints is quite walkable so the views you get in the way, are worth the small hike.
So we think you have read really good options why is worth to visit this incredible city so don’t forget to check our tours that include Florence. We would make sure you enjoy the most of it, and we know you would agree with us that Florence is a destination that everybody must see on their next trip!