Spending one day in Florence

After spending a few days in Venice, exploring historic Venice on foot but also some nearby colourful islands, it was time for us to continue our Italian journey. We took the train to Firenze to spend the rest day over there. It took us two hours to get there from Santa Lucia station in Venice. Obviously one day is not enough to visit this amazing city but we wanted to have a little glimpse of Firenze before heading to Cinque Terre.

When we arrived there, the sky was quite dull and we thought it was going to rain. We walked in front of the famous Uffizi Gallery and headed towards the Mercato Nuovo where we could find Il Porcellino (“piglet” in Italian), a bronze fountain of a boar. There was a market there, very vibrant place packed with tourists.

Since the weather was not really improving, we thought we would have food first before heading towards the famous Duomo. We had some pizza and two delicious glasses of wine.. I had a Moscatel and Le had a Chianti.. and that was the beginning of our love story with Italian wines.

When the sky cleared up, we bought a ticket to climb on top of The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo. It was hard to climb these 463 steps to get to the top of the Brunelleschi’s dome. The views from there were nice, it is always good to see the town from a higher perspective but it was not “extraordinary”. No, what was extraordinary was to see the architecture of the building from inside to really appreciate this masterpiece. I was blown away.

Going down seemed easier at first than going up but it was actually quite tricky to get past all the tourists that were climbing up and was quite scary if you are a bit scared of heigh (which I am). In the end, it took me quite a long time to go down! Haha!

We then went to the Campanile, also known as the Bell Tower, and it was just awesome!!! The views  from there are just amazing!! In summary, for the views, the Campanile is definitively better but for the architecture, I would recommend the Duomo. The unique feature of the Bell Tower is the rich sculptural decoration

The ticket we bought allowed us to visit the Duomo and the Campanile a swell as a the Baptistery. The inside was quit surprising, I was not expecting to see such lavish decoration.

At night we went to have food and it was probably our best meal in Italy.. that restaurant was just fabulous! Hmm that beef.. I’m still salivating!

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39 responses to “Spending one day in Florence

  1. Loved the pictures of the food, wine, and boats! But, what stood out for me was L laughing when you captured him! It’s a priceless picture. lol. Does he still blog? You make me want to visit Europe (any place) again. I’ve made many European friends in Seoul and it’s all the more tempting to visit. sigh. Hows’s the wedding preparation coming along?

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  2. Florence is a mesmerising city. I admire your determination and stamina to have climbed so many steps. I didn’t have the guts to do it, fearing I would change my mind halfway up and not being able to turn back. I heard that the staircase is very narrow and steep, allowing for only one person at a time to pass through. I was afraid that I would hold back the others behind me. So, Gin, well done! :-)

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  3. The ceiling of the Baptistery is just mind-blowing! It looks Byzantine to me — it reminds me of the Chora Church in Istanbul. I have never been to Italy and it seems harder to choose which city I should visit first should the chance to go arise. Rome, Florence, Venice, or all the three if I have enough time. Gorgeous photos of the Duomo, the Campanile and the Baptistery!

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    • One trip to Italy is not enough, there is so much to see over there. The history and the culture is phenomenal. People say Rome is mind-blowing but I’ve only been to Venice and Florence. I can’t wait to go back to discover more!

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    • I can imagine 3 days were not enough.. we barely scrape the surface with one day. there is so much to see and so many museums over there! I wish I had time to visit the gardens but the weather was not really good…

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  4. Looks so delicious and gorgeous! Last night I was playing on expedia and found 2 great deals for a week. We’re debating 7 nights in Curacao for $1600 or 7 nights in Rome for $1600 (flight and hotel for 2 people not 1) in Dec. This is really hard, both are insanely good deals with nonstop flights. Vic was like, you’re confused because you want to go everywhere. It’s been 3 years since we’ve been to the Caribbean…Leaning towards Rome because that’s insane, don’t think I ever found fares w hotel that low from NY. Your Italy vacation vacation has me dreaming too.

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    • The weather will be completely different.. it depends what you want. Winter in Europe can be quite wet and cold.. you have to consider that :-) Both deals sound really appealing!

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  5. I really like the fruit (grocery) store there. It feels more intimate than going to the regular markets. The view from Brunelleschi’s dome is awesome and the art works on the ceiling are amazing. Oh at last, the food looks great. Are they expensive?

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  6. I love Florence and loved reading your post – it brought me right back. I remember all too well that climb (and descent) at the Duomo – hard work and I completely agree about going down. We loved the Campanile and Baptistery too. I’m salivating just looking at your food pictures!

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  7. Florence is a great big gaping hole in my travel history! How have I missed the major Italian cities? I guess I am saving them for my old age, when I can’t climb mountains or zip line or hike for weeks at a time! Then again, it sounds like I have some steps waiting for me here … better get here soon. Oh, and the pizza – perhaps worth the trip right there!

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  8. It looked like such a good day in Florence! Perhaps it was because you were feeling full from the pizza that it was hard to climb up the Duomo :D Going down is easier and faster for me anything be it going down stairs or a hill, but if I’m not careful it will hurt my knees. Nothing like good architecture – amazing to see it stand after all these years and they tell a story of what has been right there in the past. Soooo much cheese over that beef. It looks like such a warm, filling dish :)

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    • Haha..yes my stomach was definitely too full! Weird thing, I didn’t put on weight after my 2 weeks trip despite eating pizza and pasta all the time!!

      Oh you are one of them, flying like comet down a flight of stairs!! :D For me it’s very scary and my head got lightheaded quite easily when I go down some stairs.

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  9. My all time absolute favourite city. I love Firenze. We are going for three weeks to Italy, primarily Sicily in about ten weeks. With a little bit of luck we might make a short side trip to Florence. I haven’t been back to Italy for 29 years. I am really looking forward to it. That pizza looks good. Louise

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