There are only a few cities in the world that leave an impression on your soul that will remain with you forever. Florence is definitely one of those cities. There is something uniquely special about the way you feel when walking the streets of this historic city with all of its art and medieval architecture. It isn’t just that it retains its old world charm, there is something very romantic about Florence that is hard to explain. It is a place where time seems to stand still and you feel as if you can just truly relax and absorb the culture and history while sharing some pasta and wine.
It is clear why so many of the great artists spent time in Florence, the city as well as the countryside of Tuscany are incredibly beautiful. One of the places that you must visit while in Florence is the Piazzale Michelangelo. The views from this hillside plaza are simply amazing as you gaze over the city. The Duomo dominates the skyline as it towers above the buildings that line the narrow streets of the city. As you turn away from the city, you can see the ancient wall that surrounded the city and the lush green hillsides of the Tuscan countryside. Of course, the replica of the statue of David is worth seeing, but the original marble statue in the Accademia Gallery is definitely even more stunning.
Certainly, Ponte Vecchio is something that you must visit during your time in Florence. As you cross this historic bridge, you have the opportunity to buy jewelry and other souvenirs in stores that have been there throughout its history. In the past, these store fronts were obviously not for tourists as they are today and were used by butchers and other more common merchants. Amazingly, the bridge survived World War II and not destroyed like all of the other bridges in Florence. If you do decide to visit the narrow pedestrian bridge, be prepared for heavy traffic as it is definitely a tourist hot spot. We would recommend having dinner at one of the restaurants that overlook the Arno River next to the bridge as the views at night are well worth the hefty price tag.
As you walk the streets of Florence, you will undoubtedly eventually end up at the Duomo or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower). Having seen many different cathedrals all across Europe, this is definitely one of the most unique and most stunning cathedrals to gaze upon. The architecture, artwork, and white façade have so many details that you could spend hours just enjoying the views from various angles. There are plenty of restaurant options available around the Duomo, so it is a perfect place to enjoy a pizza at one of the many pizzerias on the surrounding streets.
Although you could spend a couple of days in Florence and probably see all of the major sights, if you really want to enjoy everything that the city has to offer, you should probably consider a minimum of four days or possibly a full week. Florence is truly a magical city with beauty around every corner and will forever hold a special place in our hearts.