It's the end of a long European vacation. As you've gallivanted throughout the world, one layover is standing between yourself and your comfy bed awaiting at home.
As luck would have it, the layover takes you to Florence.
We're going to assume you've never previously had the pleasure of traversing down the ancient streets of what many refer to as the birthplace of the renaissance. The history within the metropolis is quite compelling. There are plenty of modern attractions available to whet the most insatiable of appetites. Simply put, there's a reason why Florence is quickly regarded as one of the most popular destinations not only in Europe, but also the world as a whole.
Florence is a very walk-friendly city. Uber/Lyft do not exist here. One can opt for the utilization of a taxi -- though traversing the streets on foot is far more ideal.
The first thing you'll want to do is see the Duomo. This spectacular structure dates back to the 13th Century. There are guided tours throughout the cathedral and museums. Take advantage of the information made present -- as many of these guides are extremely knowledgeable at what they do. The Piazza del Duomo also is encapsulated by a number of small eateries. It's perfect for a grab-and-walk type of breakfast. By going early in the morning to the Duomo, you'll likely be able to bypass what'll be a much longer line later in the day.
Florence is a gem of a metropolis. One could spend hours soaking in the atmosphere. However with a limited amount of time, you'll want to pack in as much as possible to get a mere taste of this place.
The famed region of Tuscany is just a stone's throw outside of the city limits. An absolutely perfect afternoon involves wine tasting in the lush green hills of the region. Companies offer packages which transport tourists to and from Florence's city center. Chianti in particular offers (you guessed it) world-class red wine. I'd suggest signing up for a trip ranging between four-to-six hours. Depending upon the company, you'll likely be treated to two all-encompassing wine tastings at different vineyards. One business -- Sunny Tuscany -- will pick you up from your Airbnb/hotel and take you on a guided tour. You'll get to try wine, cheese, olive oil, bread, and all of the accouterments from the said vineyard. The combination of high-quality wine and stunning views is simply hard to beat.
Additionally, you'll get to travel to the medieval town of Greve -- where you'll be treated to experiencing Antica Macelleria Falorni. It's the oldest butcher's shop in Italy (dating back to 1729). Whilst there, be sure to try a piece of prosciutto (you won't regret it). For roughly $80 a person, this excursion is more than worth it.
After a 45-minute drive, you'll be back in Florence. As the sun sets, there's only one option: Head for Piazzale Michelangelo. A short cab ride will take you to the top of a large hill. From here, you're treated to breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the entire city. It's absolutely excellent to view with a group of friends, and it's also a wildly romantic spot for couples and loved ones to enjoy. Though there's no 'activity' here, the simple gazing out across the city will be one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen in your life.
As night approaches, you'll be ravenously hungry. There are two dinner options based upon your price range. For a more expensive place, La Giostra is the unquestioned spot. Celebrities from all over the world enjoy this cozy restaurant featuring unbelievable food and a ceiling littered with sparkling lights. The burrata with honey and walnuts in particular is divine.
For a less-expensive but equally as delicious place, Ristorante Buca Poldo is fantastic. Tucked away in a small alley, patrons climb down a flight of stairs into a cellar-like restaurant. Prices are reasonable, and the cuisine is supremely delicious.
At this point, a nice stroll around town will be the perfect ending to your short stay in Florence. The streets during the evening are very quiet and safe. One can saunter around the idyllic environment without the faintest bit of hesitation.
Florence is a picturesque city. There's not necessarily a whole lot of notable tourist attractions to go out and see. However, Florence's energy and tranquil atmosphere offers much in the way of relaxation. The innate beauty found here and in its surrounding areas unequivocally makes it a must-see location.
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