According to the recent Travelers’ Choice 2014, Florence is number 13 on the list of Top 25 Cities to visit. So for those of you who keep a bucket list, I recommend that you include a visit to Florence. It is said to be an art historian’s dream destination and I couldn’t agree more after having visited the capital of Tuscany for the first time. One of the main squares of Florence is the Piazza della Signoria which is an L-shaped square located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and is a very central location near to Ponte Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo, here you will also find the Fountain of Neptune which was commissioned in 1565 and is the work of the sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati. Check out this post on how to Climb to the top of Il Duomo Florence
Piazza della Signoriais also the gateway to the Uffizi Gallery. If you are ever in Florence and wish to visit this gallery make sure you buy your tickets online in advance as the queues here are never ending. Given the circumstances it looked like we would have to wait for around 2 hours in order to buy our tickets, luckily some people have figured it out and they sell tickets to the visitors outside of the gallery for double the price however you are guaranteed to enter immediately, that’s what we did. Here you will find the famous works of Sandro Botticelli like the “Birth of Venus” and “La Primavera”. You will also discover famous works of great Italian Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giotto and Raffaello just to name a few. The museum hosts a large collection of works from all centuries but its main focus is on the period between 12th and 17th centuries.
We took a walking tour around the most important monuments of Florence and threw a coin at the famous Il Porcellino (Italian “piglet”) a Florentine nickname for the bronze fountain of a boar. It is said that visitors to Il Porcellino must put a coin into the boar’s gaping jaws, and the coin must fall through the underlying grating for good luck, you can make your wish and rub the boar’s snout to ensure a return to Florence. Here you will also find a small market selling leather goods, however if you are interested in picking up more souvenirs then I suggest that you visit the San Lorenzo market that comprises of two separate markets, one is the Central Market which is a two-level, indoor food market (here you can buy all sorts of Italian delicacies and spices for pasta and meats). The other is the outdoor market full of stalls selling leather, clothing and souvenirs. It runs from the Church of San Lorenzo along Via Ariento all the way to Via Nazionale. In the evening we had dinner at the Trattoria La Madia with cute tables outside, and as the weather was warm enough to sit outside, that’s what we did!