Florence Journals

Florence, Italy

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An April 2001 trip to Florence by MarkR37

Fantastic Florence Churches Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: I just returned from the best trip of my life in Florence Italy. If you enjoy art and architecture, Florence is a must.

Florence, Italy

Overview

Brunelleschi's Orphanage Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Uffizi gallery, The Duomo, Day trip to Siena, San Lorenzo, eating gelato, Day trip to Roman ruins in Fiesole, walking over the Ponte Vecchio and strolling alongside the Arno at dusk.

Quick Tips:

Look both ways before crossing the street. Italians seem to take pleasure in running pedestrians over in their vehicles.

Best Way To Get Around:

The city is small and walking is the best way by far to apreciate the architecture. The buses are fast and efficient and are great for traveling to neighboring towns.

Ambasciatori

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Hotel

Quote:
Upon entering the Hotel for the first time we were a little worried about the scaffolding up the facade of the building and the lobby that looked like it was in the middle of remodeling. We were checked in by a disinterested person who pointed up the stairs to the elevator. After lugging the bags up the stairs and getting lost looking for the elevator we finally made it to our room on the third floor. The windows faced the bus station and the rooms were hot and noisy. They were large and had 2 single beds. There was a shower with a simple drain in the tile and a curtain suspended by the ceiling and the water went all over. The Hotel was one of the noisiest places we have ever visited. Constr...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 11, 2001

Ambasciatori
Via Luigi Alamanni 3
Florence, Italy
+(39) 55 287421

I'Toscano

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Restaurant

Quote:
When we first entered the restaurant I new we had made the right choice. We were interested in experiencing a traditional tratoria run by a family and in hopes of some good florentine cuisine without blowing our budget. I'Toscano met all of our expectations. We were seated in the front room and had come early enough to be seated right away. One thing that visitors should understand is that most Italians eat dinner late so often a restaurant will not even open until 7pm and for the first hour you will be eating with other Americans. We had a wonderful meal. The wine was good and cheap, the soup was hearty, the waiter hand cut the crusty bread at our table and the pasta was excellent which featured a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 12, 2001

I'Toscano
Via Guelfa, 70r
Florence, Italy
055-21-54-75

Vivoli

Restaurant

Quote:
If you are going to eat gelato you might as well start at the top. This little parlor is hectic most of the time and I recommend you go in the afternoon when you are tired of visiting churches and museums and need a little break. The gelato here is excellent! The best we had in Florence (and we tried a bunch). The texture is what separates this place from some of the others. It is smooth and creamy. Try the melon or the chocolate. My only complaint was the service is a little chilly.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 12, 2001

Vivoli
Via Isola delle Stinche 7r
Florence, Italy
(055) 292-334

Trattoria Giardino

Restaurant

Quote:
We visited this cute little Trattoria our first night in Florence. The decor is simple and pleasant. They open at 7pm so don't show up before that. The owner was a former waiter here and bought the business decades ago and still runs the place with a casual and friendly style. How he could be so nice after 30 years in the business is beyond me. The food is typical Florentine peasant fare. Nice hearty meals at reasonable prices. My favorite item was the wonderful Minestrone soup.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 15, 2001

Trattoria Giardino
Via Della Scala 61 r
Florence, Italy
055-21-31-41

Galleria dell'Accademia

Attraction | "Accademia"

Quote:
The Accademia is famous for Michelangelo's David as well as his wonderful partially completed "prisoner" carvings. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SHOWING UP 20 MINUTES BEFORE THE MUSEUM OPENS. We did this both here and at the Uffizi. It is a wonderful experience to see David with only a handful of other earlybirds. Then go look at the rest of this wonderful museum. One hour later there will be hundreds of people crammed into the area around David and it really takes away from the experience. Also, there can be huge lines to get in if you wait.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 12, 2001

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

Florence Tour

Attraction | "Walking To San Miniato"

Florence Tour Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
This was one of the highlights of the trip. We walked over the Arno and up past Galileo's house to the old city gate where there is still a long stretch of impressive walls. We went on a Sunday morning and once you get outside the walls the beautiful tuscan hills unfold in front of you and the view takes your breath away. We followed the wall to the next gate and then turned up the hill to San Miniato church. This is one of the finest churches you will see in Florence. Perched on the top of a big hill, the facade beams in the sunlight. Once we made it to the top we looked back at Florence and the view was spectacular! Here are directions: start at the Pote Vecchio, go up Costa Di San Gorgio, turn left...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 12, 2001

Florence Tour

Florence, Italy

Uffizi Gallery

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Attraction | "Uffizi"

Quote:
The Uffizi gallery is one of the great museums of the world. The building was created by the Medici family in the 1560s as a commercial building and the top floor was designed to house their great art collection. Situated right on the Arno, the building, designed by Vasari, is a work of art in itself. The gallery is designed and laid out to give you a chronological tour of Italian art from midievel times through the late renaissance. I suggest you get there 30 minutes before they open so that you get a chance to view this marvelous collection with the least amount of people possible. The cost is 14,000 lire and will be the best money you spend while in Florence. There are several must see items in th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2001

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

Basilica of San Lorenzo

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Attraction | "San Lorenzo"

Basilica of San Lorenzo Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
There are at least 5 churches that are musts for any visit to Florence. The best were San Lorenzo, Santa Croce, The Duomo, San Miniato and Santa Maria Novella. There is world class art in these beautiful buildings and together they make for an incredible art history tour. Here is my opinion of my favorite, San Lorenzo. San Lorenzo facade belies the treasures hidden inside. In fact, there is no facade. Michelangelo was commissioned to design and build it, but after arguing with the Pope about materials and angering his workers, who subsequently walked out on him, the project was dropped and never restarted. Once you step inside, however, you are transported back to the renaissance in all...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 13, 2001

Basilica of San Lorenzo
Piazza San Lorenzo
Florence, Italy 50123
+39 055216634

Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery (Il Duomo)

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Attraction | "The Duomo"

Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery (Il Duomo) Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
The Duomo of Florence dominates the city and is it's crown jewel. This amazing structure is so massive that it is difficult to get a good view of it in its entirety. As you walk around Florence you will see glimpses of the great church from narrow and darkened medieval streets. Several architects worked on the building, the most famous being Bruneleschi. But since the structure was under construction for several hundred years, it is really a collaborative effort. The interior is so huge that 10,000 people can fit inside. You must check out the amazing marble inlaid floor which is laid out in an intricate mosaic design. The other must-see attraction is the last judgment frescos by Vasari that fill the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 10, 2001

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

Fiesole

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Attraction

Fiesole Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Fiesole make the perfect half day retreat from the crowds and heat of Florence. Located in the hills overlooking Florence Fiesole is easily reached via the #7 bus and takes approximately one half an hour to reach the town square from downtown Florence. The best thing we did on our trip to this ancient town was visit the Roman and Etruscan ruins located just off the square. The Romans built a theatre there as well as some baths and the remains of these works are there to drink in under the Tuscan skies. It is almost unfathomable that these things were built more than a thousand years before the Renaissance. There are substantial ruins from the Etruscans as well here on this site and they date ba...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 10, 2001

Fiesole
Via dei Bosconi
Florence, Italy 50100