The second city we visited on our Italian road trip was Florence, a city that several people told us wasn’t worth seeing. We discovered those people were mad. Florence was buzzing with culture; countless museums, amazing food and a sunset to rival Santorini. We could’ve spent the whole 2 weeks there.
We stayed in an Air BnB right behind Santa Croce so were in the middle of the city which was a total luxury (although the room was about 5 square metres…) Santa Croce itself was a 1-minute walk down the street but it was actually closed while we were there so we admired from the outside.
What’s great about Florence is that most of the museums, galleries and other points of attraction are all in close proximity to each other so you can visit them at a leisurely pace in a couple of days. If you’re only there for a short time and have to whittle down your itinerary, the Uffizi Gallery is an absolute must – but be prepared for long queues.
The Cathedral and its surrounding buildings are another hotspot (literally – there is no shade in this square so stock up on water and sun cream!). We’d already seen our fair share of churches and cathedrals by this point so decided to just go into the Duomo and skip the other two buildings to save some money… We then spent the money we saved on some extortionately priced coffees and ice creams, and gave our tired flip-flop-feet a rest.
My three absolute favourite activities in Florence were the Archaeological Museum (I’m a sucker for Egyptian history) which was pretty deserted. We tracked it down because it was close to our apartment, but there were only 3 or 4 people in there. I’d seriously recommend a visit, and from what I can remember it was only 2 or 3 euros to get in. Of course I have to mention the Gallerie Accademia which houses the famous David statue by Michelangelo. It was pretty surreal seeing it in person, and watching tourists take selfies with it was entertaining enough. My final “must see” recommendation: Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. We could’ve spent hours and hours here getting lost in the maze-like garden (actually, we did. Panic ensued when the booming megaphone announced we had 5 minutes to leave before the palace closed and we had no idea where we were).
The most romantic part of our little trip to Florence was our venture across the Vecchio bridge to Michelangelo, a pretty hefty climb when you’re racing the sun set. It was so hot that we almost didn’t bother, but it was totally worth it. I think I’ll remember that evening for the rest of my life.