Florence Journals

Florence - I'm Forever a Fan!

An April 2006 trip to Florence by Ghost Train Rider

Soggiorno Battistero Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: Three fantastic nights in Florence, with days filled with museums and shopping!

Florence - I'm Forever a Fan!

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Overview

Duomo Photo,
Quote:
Florence was easily one of my favorite stops on our Italian tour. The city itself is like a museum, especially down near the Uffizi: sculpture on the street corners, and artists painting on the sidewalk. The museums are top notch. You can't beat the Uffizi, Accademia, and though we missed it, next time we will go to Bargello and Pitti Palace. Of course, make a stop inside the Duomo (it's free) although the outside of the building is the most interesting. Florence is a great city to just wander (though be warned, there's a lot of stuff to spend money on so if you're on a budget, leave the money at the hotel while you wander). People-watching near the Duomo is fun, as is window-shopping along ...Read More

Soggiorno Battistero

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Hotel

Soggiorno Battistero Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Fantastic place, talk about a room with a view! Our double room cost €98 per night, had a small bathroom, and an amazing view. Our room looked right down onto the Piazza, Baptistry, and Duomo—which meant fun people-watching from our room, but lots of nighttime street noise (bring earplugs). The room was simply decorated and clean, no TV. Price includes Italian breakfast, served in your room (packaged croissant, toast, cheese, jam, coffee or juice). It's a fairly small place with 7 or 8 rooms, comprising 1 floor of the building. You deal directly with the owner and his American wife, so there's no language barrier. Be sure to let them know when you will arrive so they can be there to greet you and give...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2006

Soggiorno Battistero
Piazza San Giovanni, 1
Florence, Italy 50129
(055) 295143

Ristorante Paoli

Restaurant | "Restaurant Paoli"

Quote:
We found the best restaurant from our entire Italian vacation in Floence. Restaurant Paoli was amazing. The food was without a doubt the best we had on our 2-week vacation, plenty of choices and local specialties, but it doesn't really matter what you order, it's good! The dining room is located underneath beautifully frescoed arches and the waitstaff consists of older Italian men decked out in formal attire (most of whom speak English, and the menu is in Italian and English as well). My only complaint is that the pink linened tables are a little close together, so you can either make nice with your neighbors, or eavesdrop easily! The three-course "tourist menu" is around 20 Euro and really good. Howe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 24, 2006

Ristorante Paoli
Via dei Tavolini 12R
Florence, Italy
+39 (055) 216215

Uffizi Gallery

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Attraction

Quote:
First, a note about reservations: GET ONE! call 055-294-883 as soon as you know when you'll be in Florence. Operators speak English and will get you a 15 minute entry window. Take your confirmations number on the appointed day and first go to the ticket pickup (across the courtyard from the entry line), then get in the reservations only line and you're in. An amazing look at the greatest Italian painters, going in chronological order from very early Italian to High Renaissance and Baroque. Allow yourself about 2 hours if you want to take your time. We got the audio guide, which I would pass on next time. The info was pretty dry (more info on painting styles, rather than explaining the attributes ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2006

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

Galleria dell'Accademia

Attraction | "Accademia"

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Home of Michelangelo's David, also has a few rooms with paintings that should not be skipped over. As you walk into the main room where you find David, don't hurry by the lined hallway with the unfinished "Prisoners" Sculpture, this is really interesting to see works "in progress." And of course, David is amazing. Beyond that there is an interesting roomful of plaster casts and some more paintings. All in all I was happy to see that there was more in the museum than just David.
Admission is €9.50.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2006

Galleria dell'Accademia
Via Ricasoli 60
Florence, Italy
055 238 8609

Quote:
In Florence, more than anywhere else, you will find loads of illegal street vendors selling designer knock-offs. They are pretty good, but be warned it is not only illegal for them to sell these items, it is illegal to buy them (though this doesn't stop many people). The cops stroll the streets and as they approach, these illegal vendors scoop up their wares and wait for the polizia to pass, then lay them down again. It's a pretty funny site in reality. They might try to sell a purse for up to €50, but don't pay more than €15 (trust me, they will go that low!) Even if you're not into the market, I'd stand back and watch these guys work, they're pretty funny.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 23, 2006

Knock-off Bags and Sunglasses
Streets of Florence
Florence, Italy

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Florence is the place to buy leather, as well as lots of other items (scarves, pashminas, souvenir tapestries, umbrellas, ties). Do not buy in shops though. Each shop will sell their goods at "market price" in the outdoor markets. There are two main areas, one is a covered market along Via Santa Maria (follow Ponte Vecchio north and you'll run into it). The even better market is further north of that, about 1/2 a mile west of the Duomo. An idea of prices you SHOULD get are as follows: ties-€4, scarves-€3-4 (more if cashmere), souvenir/tapestries-€20 and up, calfskin leather jackets-between €100 and €150. It's hard not to spend money, because once you're tired of museums and take to wandering the stree...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2006

Leather and Other Goods in Outdoor Markets
Streets of Florence
Florence, Italy