After my posts about things to do in Florence and more things to do in Florence, I am ready to bring this trilogy to a close. Florence is a big tourist destination for a reason. It is a beautiful city with a rich history, great food and the perfect base to explore Tuscany. Here are a few more tips for things to do during your trip to Florence.
1. Lounge in the Boboli Gardens
Right behing Palazzo Pitti lies one of my favorite spots in Florence: the Boboli Gardens. The Giardino di Boboli was built in the 16th century and stretch over 45000 square meters. Like other royal gardens, it houses sections in different styles with fountains and green slopes as well as interesting flora. Because the gardens are built on a steep slope, several viewpoints look out of the city and the surrounding countryside. The gardens are huge and you can easily spend several hours exploring them. It is also a great place to just hang out on a sunny day.
2. Explore underrated Santo Spirito
Many tourists stick to the historic city center of Florence and only cross the Arno river to visit Palazzo Pitti and Piazzale Michelangelo. But the Santo Spirito neighborhood is actually one of favorite parts of Florence. It centeres around the church of Santo Spirito and lies just west of Palazzo Pitti. Santo Spirito is a hip young neighborhood filled with little boutiques and cafe’s. It is a more affordable, but still central, area to stay in Florence. The neighborhood is buzzing with energy and popular among locals. In summer, the Santo Spirito square is a great place to hang out. Great local restaurants and bars line the square and the church steps are used as a stage for concerts.
3. Visit Dante’s House
One of Florence most famous historical figures has to Dante Alighieri. This writer and poet is basically the father of the Italian language. After the unification of Italy in 1870, a national language was needed. Before that, the country existed of independent kingdoms which all had their own language. The government adopted the Tuscan variety spoken by the Florentine elite as the new Italian language. It had previously been a mostly literary language formalized through the works of Dante.
Dante’s most famous work is the epic poem Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) in which he describes hell. Dante contributed not only to the artisic and academic development of Italy, but Europe as a whole. He also lived a pretty eventful life. His house in Florence has been turned into a museum where you can learn all about this fascinating man.
4. Explore more of Tuscany
The region of Tuscany is the most popular among tourists. The rolling green hills, vineyards, beaches and Medieval towns offer a huge variety of activities. Florence is a great base to explore more of this beautiful region. The Italian regional train network is great and it is easy to take day trips to Pisa, Lucca, Siena and San Gimingano. If you want to visit less touristic small towns, you will need a car. I personally think Pisa is only worth a stop to quickly see the tower. Otherwise, Lucca is a much more charming town. Both Siena and San Gimignano are highly touristic, but beautiful. They get very crowded during the summer, so be prepared.
Florence also lies next to the Chianti wine region. This is one of the most famous wine regions of Italy and plenty of vineyards offer tours and tastings on arrival. You can also book a tour from the city to take you to a few different places so you don’t have to worry about driving 😉
5. Eat all the delicious food
Tuscany has a rich culinary history with lots of tasty dishes. Tuscany is home to some amazing wine, truffles and of course: bistecca Fiorentina. In Florence, it can be a challenge to find the gems in between the tourist traps.
Here are few specific places I would recommend:
What are your favorite spots in Florence? Let me know in the comments.
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