Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is the cradle to Renaissance art and architecture. Although this capital is much known for being the gateway to a rather more iconic Italian city of Pisa (which is 45 minutes away by train), Florence is also a charming destination on its own. A day of walking around Florence is still worth experiencing, for its iconic churches, as well as seeing the Original Statue of David by artist Michaelangelo.
Florence, as the capital of the Tuscan region, is easily accessible by train from all other key cities of Italy. Upon reaching Florence, touring around on your own is easy, as the city is relatively small, and all the iconic spots are within city centre. In case of limited time, I would recommend seeing Florence in the morning, and Pisa in the afternoon. A half day in Pisa is good enough.
I am a self confessed lazy traveler and I really don’t push myself to see everything on google. Usually, I only pick a few landmarks to visit, mostly the architecturally recognised, and find a comfortable corner there and just people watch. haha. Anyways, here was how I spent a half day walking around Florence.
Visiting the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral) which is among the recognised examples of Renaissance Architecture in Italy. Renaissance facade tends to be more artistic and expressive, and embellished with classical styles, as opposed to the preceding dark Gothic period. Florence Cathedral is by far the most beautiful church facade I’ve seen in Europe. The picture didn’t do any justice.
Another church worth visiting is the Basilica of Santa Croce, where the tomb of Michaelangelo stands. Unfortunately, the church was still close when I got there. Churches around Italy usually open at 9 AM.
Walking around Florence downtown,which is fairly clean and polished.
Visit the sculptural displays at Piazza della Signoria is also worth doing. These centuries old sculptures date back the time of the Medici governance, when Florence was at its most glorious renaissance days.
The Mercato (Market) of Florence is also worth visiting. The second floor has a well maintained food court with loads to offer.
I stayed in Florence for two nights at Hostel Paola, an affordable dorm type, around 50 meters from the train station. A night costs around 1400 pesos, the usual price of cheap dorms around Europe. The hostel also offers shared tours, at rates lower than what is offered online. The hostel is clean and worthy of a recommendation.