André and I were super excited to visit Florence! André had finally recovered from his stomach flu which had not let up during our first few days in Italy and we knew there was so much to discover in this city which is known as one of the most beautiful in the world.
And so, we rushed to catch our train in Venice and, in a little over two hours, we were finally arriving in Florence.
As soon as we got to the city, we were immersed in its unique atmosphere where traditional Italian music floats around the streets and art becomes a way of life. Ah!, we though, so this is why this city inspired the great masters of art, culture, sculpture from all over the world!
Being in Florence is an indescribable feeling. While you want to take your time admiring each detail of the city landscape, you also feel a sense of urgency and eagerness because you know there is so much to see! Thankfully, Florence is pretty compact so it’s easy to jump from monument to monument, getting around the city pretty quickly.
If you’re thinking of visiting the capital of art in Italy as a couple, here are our suggestions for the attractions you won’t want to miss:
There is no better spot in Florence to spend the evening than at this square which offers a magical panoramic view of the city. From its highest point, you can admire the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the Arno river from a totally different perspective and even get a glimpse of the Tuscan hills on the horizon.
This medieval bridge, built in 1345, is a fantastic must on your Florence itinerary. It’s the oldest bridge in the city and its views over the Arno river are breathtaking. André and I made sure to photograph the bridge from every possible angle! It wasn’t hard to understand why even the Nazi madness decided to spare it (yes, because there’s a non-confirmed rumor that it was Adolf Hitler himself who ordered for the bridge not to be destroyed during the attacks on Florence in World War II).
BASÍLICA SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE
Also known as the Duomo of Florence, the Basilica Santa Maria del Fiore is the fourth largest cathedral in Europe and the city’s most iconic landmark. The entire Basilica is impressive: its unique walls were built of a mixture of white, green and pink marble and its giant, majestic dome is made of brick on the outside and decorated with the famous frescoes of the Final Judgement. Near the Basilica, and a couple of years later, the Campanie de Gioto was built. The views over Florence from the top are amazing.
BATTISTERO DE SAN GIOVANNI
Also near the Basilica, you can find the baptistery whose bronze gates, created by Lorenzo Ghiberti, feature 10 panels telling the stories of biblical passages, including of Adam and Eve being expelled from Paradise and of Joseph being sold as a slave. Simply a must!
PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA
Piazalle Michelangelo might have the most beautiful view in Florence, but Piazza della Signoria is the city’s most popular square as it’s lined with some of its main monuments. It’s here that you’ll find Palazzo Vecchio (which still houses Florence’s city council today), Fontana di Nettuno and tons of beautiful statues such as Perseus, The Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna and a copy of David, Michelangelo’s famous statue (the original is on display at Galleria dell’Academia).
Built by Florence’s most famous architect (Brunelleschi) in the 14th century, the name of this palace comes from the first family that inhabited it, the Pitti family. Later, the palace became the home of the Medici dynasty and it currently serves as a museum about this Italian family and its treasures are on display. Make sure to head to the Boboli Gardens (the palace gardens) also to relax a little after exploring the rooms and galleries of the palace.
GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI
Built in the 16th century, this is Italy’s largest art museum hosting the biggest collection of Italian Renaissance Art. Here, among many other artworks, you can admire Botticeli’s famous painting, the “Birth of Venus”, and the “Venus of Urbino”, a nude by Ticiano.