Florence: the birth place of Gucci, the home of Michelangelo’s David and the first city in Europe to have paved streets (in 1339!). Florence is one of the most stunning cities I have visited. The historic city centre is a Unesco World Heritage site, featuring an impressive collection of art galleries, designer shops and the iconic Duomo (cathedral).
The Uffizi Gallery
I will hold my hands up and admit that I am not a very cultural individual; I’d much rather listen to Drum & Bass over Classical music. Football match > Opera. Cinema > Theatre. When my girlfriend decided to drag me to the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum with priceless Renaissance works, I was reluctant. Upon exiting the Uffizi I wouldn’t have said I was a cultural convert. However, you cannot help but admire the historical and sociological magnitude of the works contained therein, and its impact on shaping modern day society.
If you are tight on time in Florence, I would prioritise visiting Piazzale Michelangelo, a square with a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding countryside. The views are truly breath-taking. In the foreground is the Arno river. To your left is Ponte Vecchio (discussed below). In front of you is the city centre, with the iconic Duomo capturing the eye. To your right are the Apennine mountains. Whilst I don’t advocate using such labels, this is definitely the number 1 ‘Instagram’ photo-spot in the city.
Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
Ponte Vecchio is a wonderfully charming and unique bridge lined with a number of trendy shops. You feel like you are back in Renaissance Italy, a world away from the concrete, brick and glass structures I am used to in the UK.
Even if you are not particularly cultural, or interested in history, there’s still plenty of reasons to visit Florence. The city’s architecture, and landscape is captivating, and truly iconic. Spend a day here exploring, punctuated by nice pizza, ice cream and coffee, and you will not be disappointed.
BB Al Rating: 4.5/5*