Written February, 2009 and updated several times. I know of at least 2 groups of friends who are coming this summer to visit and staying near Florence. (They are large groups that is why they are not staying with us) So instead of just sending them an email with some of my Florence favorites I thought I would just make a page of links. That way anyone can access it. (Like the world needs another page about Florence.) These are my favorites, places I have gone to through the years or things I still want to do.
A blog entry by a parents with young kids
Good to read even if you are not traveling with kids.
and another by this wonderful Mom about urban hiking with kids. Good ideas for adults too.
(You might have to copy and paste this link rather than just clicking on it.)
A blog entry about a day trip in Florence. Click here
A way to skip the lines at the museums in Florence Click here
Along the other side (oltra Arno) of the Arno, take a left immediately after crossing the Ponte Vecchio and walk to the end of that block. Here you will find Alfredo Sull’arno. A good place for lunch especially if the terrace that hangs over the Arno is open. Arrive a little before 1 for good seating. Via de Bardi 46 r phone 055 283808
In the old part of town is Da Mimmo. An old theatre that is now a small restaurant. Definitely need reservations. There are some long rectangular tables that can handle a large group. If you scroll down on this web site you can read a review of it. Closed on Sundays. Via San Gallo, 57-59 r Phone 055 481030
In Piazza della Signoria at 16 r is Bar Perseo. You will pay much more if you plop down at the tables outside and miss the really great spread inside. Around 11:30 or so a light hors d’oeuvres are set out in the corner of the bar. Have a glass of wine or a coke and a few nibbles. Remember you are having lunch later. This will just give you enough strength to get to the restaurant for lunch. Order and pay at the cash register first and then go to the bar. There is a bathroom down the stairs which are between the cash register and the bar. A busy place but worth stopping at. Especially the salsa.
Places to Stay
I suggest either the Johlea or the Johanna. One of them has a great rooftop terrace with fab views of the Duomo. But I can’t remember which one.
A tour can give you a quick overview of the city or help focus on a special interest.
I know the woman who is the business manager for this group.
I have taken a specialized tour with this woman and strongly recommend her. http://www.friendinflorence.com/
And don’t miss her blog http://tuscantraveler.com/
Reserve ahead. There are any number of web sites that tell you how to do it and what is each museum. You did not fly for 8 hours to stand in line for 3 or 4 hours. Book it!
Palazzo Strozzi A museum you might miss. From mid March through August 30, 2009 there is an exhibit about Galileo, featuring one of his original telescopes. We went to an Impressionist Art Exhibit there and I was very impressed with the museum. The explanations were in English also. While I don’t know if there will be an English translation for this exhibit I am going to try to get there for it.
A blog entry about a museum that I have never read about but it looks very interesting to me.
A good place to stop by and he ships and speaks perfect English http://www.enotecapontevecchio.com/index.htm
I will probably add more to this page from time to time and anyone reading can add their thoughts and suggestions in the comments section.