Florence, Tuscany – Italy
You could spend a week in Florence and still not see all of the masterpieces in the city, so between gelatos make sure to see the best! To start, walk to the defining feature of the skyline: Brunelleschi’s Dome at Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. This incredible feat of architecture, like most Florentine tourist attractions, is a product of the wealth cultivated in Florence during the Renaissance. At the time, Italy was made up of independent city-states like Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome who competed for resources and prestige.
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In the same piazza, you can see another Medici creation, the Uffizi Galleries, which houses masterpieces from their private collection including works by Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and
Even if you’re getting museum fatigue, you need to see Michelangelo’s David in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Before I saw the David, I didn’t understand what made Michelangelo so much more famous than his contemporaries, but when I walked around the colossal statue in person, I understood. The David has incredibly human-like features, and the naturalism in such a massive stone sculpture is truly breathtaking.
Walk across Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) and do a little window shopping on your way to Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. Though the Pitti Galleries have many important works, on a nice day you can skip the museum and head right to the incredible gardens. Explore this massive complex to find beautiful statues, fountains, and landscape architecture intended to wow. You can also gain entry to the nearby Bardini Gardens, which offer another incredible view of the city from above.
To complete your busy days, take part in the best Italian tradition:
Before you leave Florence, go up to the Piazzale Michelangelo where you can buy your souvenirs with a panoramic view of Florence and the Arno river. For romance, go at sunset with a bottle of wine, or eat outside at the upscale restaurant carved into the hillside. In Florence, you can have your own taste of La Dolce Vita!