Damar and I went merely for 2 days as a part of our Italy Backpacking trip which you can get the tips here. And surely 2 days are not enough if you want to take your time and enjoy its full beauty. Therefore, we went to get a quick look for the full experience. A must do if you only have short time!
By the way, Florence is one of the most walking friendly city. Everything is a walking distance so we did not spend any thing for transportation. YES!
Some of these tips I received from my Italian colleague, who used to study in Florence for a few months. Thus the place surely is pocket friendly (Indonesian: ramah kantong hahah) yet has been approved by local.
We arrived in the evening, we initially wanted to make it to the Hill (Piazzale Michelangelo) for the sunset but we were too late because we also wanted to go to the famous bridge. Well I guess, one has to choose. If you have extra days, it would be perfect.
Place to eat:
- Go to the San Lorenzo market – a food market where they sell great Italian products and there are also a couple of places where you can have lunch. Just randomly visit, it’s cheap and nice.
- Trattoria Mario near San Lorenzo – according to my Italian friend is also a fantastic place for lunch. You share the table with the other guests and it’s very simple but food is really really good. Apparently the Dutch queen liked it too and she had lunch there when she went to Florence. I do not think she shares table though.
- Near S. Lorenzo (via S. Antonio) there’s another place called Bistrot la Capannina. It is a very good place for lunch, especially if you want a good pasta. We went here for dinner, I took the gnocchi which is so good. Their portion is huge. It’s a good value of money.
- Near S. Margherita church there is a tiny place called Da’ Vinattieri. They have good wine and good food. They have only one table with stools but it’s nice to get a glass of wine and stand outside with all the locals.
- According to my Italian friend, the best Italian gelato is from Perche’ No in via de’ Tavolini and she is true! Totally recommended! Take anything classics, it’s heaven!
Place to go:
- Ponte Vecchio, the name sounds strange but all of you must know this one. It’s the famous bridge of Florence. It’s within walking distance with the center. You should go there during the day and before sunset as we talk about different experience. You will feel the romance of the city by the jazz/blues music played by the locals in that bridge. If you want some extra cheesiness, people sell red roses are also known in there, buy one for your loved one 😉
- Piazalle Michelangelo, you will see a perfect panoramic view of Florence from this hill. It’s quite a hike, but super worth it. During a hot day, you don’t want to forget a bottle of water, sunscreen and sunnies. It was 25 degree in April when we were there. It maybe cliche tourist stop but it never fails to catch the heart of those who walk the path to the top. Prepare your camera and best smile.
- Go to Piazza della Signoria late at night when all the tourist are gone. It’s empty and majestic. Such an incredible place when it’s empty. This is the L-shaped main square in Florence. It’s in the city and nearby Ponte Vecchio. Florence is a distance friendly city. So don’t worry, you will not miss it..
- Another must see according to my collegaue is the Boboli Garden if the weather is nice. Too bad we did not have enough time to make. But next time, we definitely will.
- Duomo di Firenze, you’ll be captivated with this gothic-styled cathedral that was built in 1296. It’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- San Lorenzo Market this is where you can find leather markets from all qualities. Be careful in choosing the real good leather. I will post a tips in choosing real leather from this market. This is sort of a traditional market, yet in general Florence is the place of a good leather product. Don’t hesitate to stop to one of the stores in the center. They are usually cheaper than retail store in other countries.