Florence Journals

Firenze in a Weekend

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An August 2000 trip to Florence by A. Stevenson

View of Florence Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: Visit the main sites and fantastic views of the city.

Firenze in a Weekend

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Overview

View of Florence Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Visiting the center of the city, wandering without a guide book and stumbling onto breathtaking monuments wasn't what we had planned, but going unprepared also allowed us to view this very touristic city with fresh eyes.Renaissance statues abound in the Piazza Signoria and Galleria degli Uffizi, and just afterwards, on the river Arno, we could view the charming Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). Our favorite (and everyone else's, it seems!) was the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore on the Piazza del Duomo, with its delicate marble façades.Quick Tips: Though we enjoyed going unprepared, buying a good map and guide book beforehand is suggested. Tourism is highest in mid-August, when the majority...Read More

Casa de Vin Santo

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Restaurant

Casa de Vin Santo Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
We popped into this cozy, side-street restaurant in the evening, and ordered calzone and pizzas. We were impressed with the quality at such low prices, with pizzas and other pasta dishes ranging from $3-$8. If you ask for the dessert menu, a waiter will roll out the dessert tray and you'll be able to choose from the tempting display. I had profiteroles, my boyfriend a cream cake - both were sumptuous. Altogether, excellent food at a reasonable price and in charming surroundings.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 11, 2000

Casa de Vin Santo
Via Porta Rossa, 15
Florence, Italy
05 521 6995

Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery (Il Duomo)

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Attraction | "La Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral and Baptistery)"

Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery (Il Duomo) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The façade of the cathedral, breathtaking as it is, is an imitation of Florentine Gothic and was made in the late 1800s. Three types of marble are used: white, green, and pink. Intricate bronze doors tell the story of the Virgin Mary, and also date from the late 1800s-early 1900s. The cathedral itself dates from the 13th century, and is the third largest in the world.As we visited in mid-August, the line to enter the church was huge - we went on our way! If you plan on entering, take note of this: women may not enter any church or religious edifice wearing a sleeveless dress or shirt - the same goes for men. It can be extremely frustrating to wait in line only to discover you...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2000

Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery (Il Duomo)
Piazza Del Duomo
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 055294514

Uffizi Gallery

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Attraction | "Palazzo Vecchio and Galleria degli Uffizi"

Uffizi Gallery Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
As you enter the square, you'll see the large fountain of Neptune and the tall, stone tower of the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace). There is also a bronze statue to the left of the fountain of Come the First, founder of the Medicis family. To the right, numerous statues: Menelas and Patrocles, Capture of the Sabines, Perseus with the head of Medusa, Judith (by Donatello), Hercules and the Centaur, and the Capture of Polyxène. Again, we would have liked to have visited the Palace, but large lines dampened our enthusiasm.Continue on to the Galleria degli Uffizi, which today is also an informal market for copies of brand-name merchandise (buyer beware). It was built by Come the First to house th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2000

Uffizi Gallery
Piazzale Degli Uffizi, 6
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 05523885

San Miniato al Monte

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Attraction

San Miniato al Monte Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
For an uncrowded, panoramic view of Florence. There are other more popular viewpoints on the same side of the Arno, but San Miniato al Monte offers one of the highest and most natural (trees vs. concrete parking lots). From here you can also see some of the city's old fortifications, and there is a small souvenir shop that sells handpainted ceramics and copies of iconic paintings.

To reach San Miniato, it is best to take the bus, a taxi, or rental car.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2000

San Miniato al Monte
Via Monte alle Croci, 34
Florence, Italy 50125
+39 0552342768

Fiesole

Attraction

Fiesole Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
A delightful village in its own right, we drove to Fiesole only for its view of Florence. As you arrive from Florence, there is a small parking area in the center of the village, and a cobblestone path to the left. If you climb this path, you will reach numerous viewpoints of Florence that also offer opportunities for photos of Fiesole and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2000

Fiesole
Via dei Bosconi
Florence, Italy 50100

Hotel Tips

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Story/Tip

Quote:
We chose to not stay in a Florence hotel because prices in the city are almost twice as expensive as in the surrounding countryside. Also, the cheaper 1 and 2 star options in Italy do not offer in-room toilets or showers. For those of you who can afford a rental car or taxi, or who can find a bus that goes to Florence, I highly recommend choosing a hotel in the surrounding area, somewhere such as Lucca, Siena, or Pistoia. You'll only be 10-20 minutes away from the city, in the quiet countryside, and for the same price as a 2 star hotel inside Florence you can get a room in a 3 star. Three stars in Italy means in-room shower or bath and toilet, and often a small television. I've seen a lot of ...Read More