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5 good reasons to go to Florence
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To see / do
Culture and history
Probably the most beautiful religious ensemble in the world, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Campanile are all covered with multi-coloured marble in the most perfect harmony.
Topped with yellow and ochre houses, this is Florence’s iconic bridge and the only one to have survived wartime bombings. Just like in Medieval times, it is almost entirely occupied by shops, mainly goldsmiths and jewellers. Some of the central arches will allow you to admire a magnificent view of the River Arno.
This palace, originally built to house offices, has become one of the world’s most illustrious museums, home to treasures bequeathed by the Medici family. This is the place to admire the finest works of the Tuscan masters, including those of Botticelli.
This private passageway allowed the Medici family and court dignitaries to go from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, via the Uffizi. They could thus cross the city discreetly, sheltered from bad weather and attacks. The corridor is decorated with hundreds of self-portraits.
This palace resembling a Medieval fortress in none other than the former city hall. Magnificent state rooms are concealed behind its thick walls. But the most impressive element is still the breathtaking view of from the top of the Arnolfo tower at 95m high.
This esplanade on the other side of the river overlooks the whole city and offers an outstanding view. This is the perfect spot for a picnic or a memorable sunset.
Santa Maria Novella
This magnificent church gave its name to an entire district, an impressive square and the central train station. From here, you can set off for the charming nearby towns of Pisa, Pistoia or Lucca, for example.
A beautiful Italian garden lies behind the Palazzo Pitti. It is a particularly pleasant place for a stroll in the spring and summer, with its tree-lined pathways, sculptures, fountains and even artificial caves! If you get caught in a rain shower, you can always take shelter in the Palatine gallery and the museums which surround the park.
The neighbouring town of Prato makes for a pleasant day trip, with its castle and fine cathedral. More surprisingly, it is home to one of Europe’s largest Chinese communities, thanks no doubt to its know-how in textiles. It is particularly lively at aperitivo time, when the terrace cafés suddenly fill up.
Bistecca alla fiorentina
Meat lovers will adore this fine piece of thick-cut beef, cooked on a wood fire and served rare, sometimes with a garnishing. It is generally a dish for two.
The Tuscany region produces some of Italy’s finest red wines, and it is as wonderful to explore as it is to sample the wines in the bars and restaurants of Florence. There are also smaller appellations to discover, such as the famous Brunello di Montalcino or the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
This international movement, advocating the return to ethical regional food traditions, originated in Italy. It is particularly popular in Tuscany, where you can find an abundance of local produce and the locals are highly attached to traditional cuisine. You will also find numerous member restaurants of this organisation where you can take the time to savour regional dishes.
A must in Florence street food, this is a dish of thinly-cut tripe, cooked in broth. Don’t be put off, it’s a firm favourite with the locals. It can be served on a plate or in a sandwich to take away, garnished with a spicy or herb sauce.
The Florence market is a delight for your eyes and your taste buds. Eating couldn’t be simpler here, you can buy something to eat on the go, or take a seat at one of the numerous indoor restaurants. This is also an ideal place to pick up some delicious souvenirs.
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