Florence Journals

Florence on a budget

A March 2001 trip to Florence by lyss710

Florence Skyline Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: So you only have about $2000 and you want to see Italy for 10 days? Take heart, it can be done! My husband and I spent 10 days in Italy in mid-March for about $2200 (total for 2 people) including airfare, and had a wonderful time.

Florence on a budget

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Overview

Florence Skyline Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Of course, the major must-see sights are the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia and Santa Croce church. We opted to skip the Pitti Palace (we've heard mixed reviews). We also liked poking through the street markets and the Mercato Centrale, looking at some great bargains and some cheesy souveniers (an apron with a close-up of a certain area of the David, anyone?). One of our best memories was eating breakfast every morning - we got rolls, yogurt and juice from a local store and ate them on the steps of the Duomo. Spend at least a half hour people watching in front of the Duomo - our favorite thing was watching the unlicensed street vendors and the carabinieri (police) play cat-and-mouse.Quick Ti...Read More

Soggiorno Pezzati Daniela

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Hotel

Soggiorno Pezzati Daniela Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
This is a wonderful little 6 room place, run by the very friendly and English-speaking Daniela. It''s small, so in the high season you may want to book ahead (we called the morning we were going to arrive and got in, but that was March). For a double room with bath we paid L100,000 (about $48, based on a 1 USD = 2100 ITL exchange rate). The bathroom was tiny, just enough room for a shower, toilet, sink and bidet (whatever happens, don''t drop the soap in the shower or you''ll never be able to bend over to pick it up). We stayed in room #6, which had a cute reproduction of Raphaello''s "The Kiss" over the bed. The hotel is located between the train station and the Accademia - I''d say it''s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Soggiorno Pezzati Daniela
Via San Zanobi 24
Florence, Italy
(055) 291-660

Florence Tour

Attraction | "Uffizi/Accademia"

Florence Tour Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
I'm not going to go into the detail of these museums other than to say they are definitely must-sees. What I am going to say is MAKE A RESERVATION. We went on a strict budget, and I cannot stress enough that the reservation is more than worth the extra $1.50 it costs. Without a reservation, you will wait in line at least an hour (maybe two) even in the off-season. With a reservation, you walk right in. You can make a reservation over the phone or at the reservation office near the entrance to the Uffizi. In high season, you'll need to make a reservation a day or two in advance, but in shoulder or off season, you may be able to snag a reservation in the morning for later the same day. (We got a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Florence Tour

Florence, Italy

Street Markets

Attraction

Street Markets Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Florence is the shopper's paradise. You can get everything from $200 Gucci shoes to a $3, 6-inch plastic replica of Michelangelo's David. My favorite shopping is in the various street markets, the most promient of which is the San Lorenzo market. Street markets sell everything from real Italian leather jackets to silk ties to cheap tourist souveniers. Take several hours and poke through a few markets. Look for the ugliest pair of pants, the tackiest souvenier, and the best deals. Snag a leather jacket for $100 if you have the cash and spare room in your luggage. Grab a few scenic postcards to mat and frame when you get home. Try on one of the tacky aprons and get your picture taken in it (then...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Street Markets
Various Locations
Florence, Italy

Quote:
The signature of the Florence skyline, the Duomo, is an amazing architectural feat. Begun by a sculptor named Cambio in the late 1200s, the church features Giotto's belltower and Brunelleschi's masterful dome and cupola. An interesting tidbit about the dome - the dome was not built until over 100 years later in 1420. During this time, the church stood open to the elements, as no one knew how to build a dome to cover such a large opening. The size of the opening would have caused a traditional dome design to collapse. Brunelleschi designed a dual-layer dome - an inner and outer shell with 5-7 feet of space between them. For a thrilling experience, pay the L8,000 and head for the cupola (if y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

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

Gelato, the edible art form

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Story/Tip

Quote:
There is nothing in the world quite like gelato. The Italian version of ice cream, it is an experience all its own. No day in Italy feels complete without a taste of the amazing treat. Gelato is richer, creamier, and smoother than American ice cream. It's dipped out with a wide-spatula type spoon, and comes in more flavors you could dream of. (In Turin a few years ago, I ran across a place that sold rose and violet flavors!) For L3,000-L6,000 (depending on location - the more "touristy" the city, the higher the price of course) you can have your choice of 2 to 3 flavors of heaven. My favorites are fior di latte (a creamy white almost vanilla like flavor), fragola (strawberry), str...Read More

Florence off the beaten path

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Story/Tip

Quote:
In Florence, take your time to wander. Cross over into Oltrarno (the other side of the river) and wander down the banks of the Arno. We took a stroll in the evening and saw otters splashing near the banks! Search for antiques on Via Maggio. Hike up the hill behind the old tower for a great view of the Florence skyline from the bus parking lot. Wander through the San Lorenzo street market (not really off the beaten path, but fun none-the-less). Try to find the cheesiest souvenier & take a picture of it. Search through booths of leather jackets, silk ties, pashima wool scarves and find the best deal. Buy a few scenic postcards to keep in your travel journal/scrapbook. Think abo...Read More