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3 tip city guide: fantastic Florence

January 15, 2012
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I thought I should kick the year off with a real treat, so you’ll forgive the long pause between posts. The truth is, I have been waiting for a post like this. It is another one of those 3 tip city guides I promised a long time ago! Remember Taking on Turin?

This time it was Melinda Gallo writing the guest post. Obviously, she lives in Florence. And judging from what I’ve read on her blog, she reaaaaaally enjoys every moment of it. Here is what she wrote:

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Even after living in Florence for many years, I am still captured by its charm. Over the years, I have learned that in order to keep my love for the city alive, I have to be proactive. Florence doesn’t just fill me with love each day I wake up here; I have to keep my eyes open, appreciate what surrounds me, find things about the city that interest me, and never take it for granted. Since 2004, I have been writing a blog about living in my beloved city. In keeping it up all these years, I realized that it was my appreciation of Florence that was the key to never considering it commonplace or normal. To this day, I can’t help but be amazed when I look up as I walk past the Palazzo Vecchio.

For me to really enjoy a place, I found out that I had to experience it not only visually, but also
emotionally. For this reason, when you come to Florence, you should certainly make a point of seeing the highlights, like the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, the Bargello, the Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce, and the Duomo, but you should also try to experience the city by letting it inspire you to discover it on your own.

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Below are my three tips for experiencing Florence to its fullest:

Tip #1. Explore the city
One thing I enjoy doing in Florence is getting lost in the narrow streets and reveling in the city’s magic. It’s remarkable to think about how some of the world’s greatest artists and minds, like Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, and Dante, walked down many of the same Florentine streets. Keep your eyes open to take in as many details as you can, like a tabernacle on the corner of a building or the family crests on buildings. Listen for the church bells that ring throughout the city at various times of the day. If you can, set aside a couple of hours to enjoy the city without making plans: walk into a church to listen to vespers, check out a local artisan’s shop, or stand on a bridge admiring the colors reflected in Arno. Let the city whisper in your ear and follow it wherever it may lead you.

 

Tip #2.Admire the city from above
One of the greatest treats that Florence has to offer is Piazzale Michelangiolo. Walk through San
Niccolò, under one of the city’s remaining doors, and up the stairs to this amazing piazzale where the city is spread out in front of you like a feast for you to enjoy. From this large terrace, you can spot almost every tower, monument and church dome popping out of the terracotta roofed buildings. Follow the Arno River from east to west to see how it snakes through the city. From the piazzale, you realize that Florence is grand, yet small. For such a compact city, nestled in the Tuscan countryside and bordered by foothills and mountains, it was still able to bring so many things to life, thus changing the course of history.

 

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 Tip #3. Enjoy Mother Nature
No matter which season you spend traveling in Florence, the city responds gracefully by putting its best face forward. In the spring, every flower is in bloom and the gardens are a joy to walk through. The summer brings with it amazing sunsets that streak the sky with vibrancy. Photographers from around the world come to enjoy the “golden light” that makes the city and everything in it glow. The fall ushers in cooler temperatures and a few clouds, but the colors of the buildings pop against the grey skies. In the winter, the air in Florence is festive with lights strung up between buildings and Christmas decorations sprinkled around the city. Florence is a masterpiece: it’s a city that you react to, that touches you, and that will stay with you forever.
My wish for you is that Florence will inspire you to appreciate beauty, art, history, and nature all together while in its embrace as well as wherever you may be.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Diahann permalink
    January 22, 2012 03:39

    Love the tips! Especially #3. I would have never thought to enjoy Florence vis-a-vis Mother Nature. This is one more aspect I get to look forward to for when I finally visit!

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  1. 3 tip city guide: Lisa’s Florence « Reading Italian Maps

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