Sorry for my recent absence but, vacation mode took over and I enjoyed a lovely eight-day Italian getaway in Florence. Since traveling to Florence for the first time last summer, I’ve completely fallen for this incredible city. I must admit, this time around the August heat was, at times, nearly unbearable, but peeking around every turn to discover a lovely little restaurant or cafe, browsing the gorgeous boutiques (Aquazzura, I’m looking at you!) and enjoying beautiful, summer evening strolls, it’s hard not to love Firenze.
I forced myself to get up early one morning (out the door by 6AM!) but it was well worth it to capture the city in its waking hours. It’s so peaceful, walking the usually crowded streets. Florence is such a beautifully romantic city.
I’ll try to add to this list as I think of additional tips and recommendations.
- Climbing the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo is no easy feat, particularly during the heat of August, but it’s well worth the view.
- The Gucci Museo is a nice stop, offering insight into the history of the brand. You’ll find everything from classic Gucci bags to a car, and even a guitar! Plus, you’ll get an up-close look at some of their red-carpet gowns.
- The Uffizi gallery should be visited at least once to see some of the incredible works by Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. During the summer, the gallery is open until 9PM on Tuesdays, so plan your visit later in the day when it will be less crowded and your waiting time will be cut at least in half. You’ll also get a nice view over Palazzo Vecchio from the rooftop terrace.
- The flagship Aquazzura boutique, located just along the Arno, is worth a visit just to take in the stunning interior design, not to mention the gorgeous shoes.
- Salvatore Ferragamo is another must-visit boutique for Italian luxury goods featuring a huge selection of the brand’s collection. Go for the bags and of course, the shoes (yes, apparently I have a thing with shoes).
- Tip: If you do happen to be around during those hot summer days, take a break by stopping into the boutiques along Via de’ Tornabuoni. You’ll find nearly every luxury brand here and the sales associates are happy to offer you water, juice, or perhaps even champagne while you browse.
- If you visit before or after August, then Il Pizzaiuolo is a must. Florence isn’t known for pizza, but you won’t be disappointed here. The pizza is absolutely perfect and they have amazing antipasti plates as well as the best Burrata I’ve ever had.
- For a café, I discovered La Ménagère, featuring a modern, open interior where you’ll find a florist, household decor, as well as a restaurant and bar. On a hot August day, one of their smoothies was the perfect break from the heat.
- Gelato! One of my favorite places has been Gelateria dei Neri where I’ve found some of the best flavors on offer and the staff is happy to offer recommendations.
- Piatti e Fagotti, outside the city center, up in the hills of San Domenico (along the way to Fiesole), although known for their bistecca, also offers delicious zucchini flowers and an amazing spaghetti pasta dish with tomatoes.