City Guide: Florence, Italy
Italy might just be my favorite country on the planet - the breathtaking views down the Amalfi Coast, the history embedded in the streets of Rome, the rolling hills (and wine) of Tuscany, the romantic waters of Venice. I could go on and on. But, the city of Florence, right in the middle of it all, might top the charts. Florence hosts quaint shopping boutiques, beautiful architecture, a bustling leather market, delicious food seemingly on every corner, and art galleries you can spend days wandering through. We love it so much that we've travelled to this city 3 times in the last 3 years and are returning again this spring. It's impossible to pick your favorites out of a magical treasure box, but here are our top recs on where to stay, what to do and maybe most importantly, what and where you must eat.
Rodo Hotel Fashion Delight – A newer spot right in the middle of it all by the Duomo.
Riva Lofts - A ten minute walk back to the city center, but a beautiful retreat for hose wanting a bit of solitude. They also offer free bikes for guests to easily get back to the city.
Continentale – A chic option with views of the river and a great rooftop bar.
Golden View Open Bar - Views of Ponte Vecchio and live jazz some nights. Reservations recommended.
Acqua al 2 – a local must.
La Vecchia Maniera- You're likely to be the only English speaker in this spot which might be why it was the best authentic Italian meal I've ever had.
The Oil Shoppe - a great lunch spot for sandwiches
Gusta Pizza - claimed to be the best pizza outside of Naples
La Ménagère - a gorgeous one stop shop for drinks, eats and curated home goods.
Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo - a lively food market with tasty options for everyone. Shop the leather market outside and then head here for lunch.
Harry's Bar- The Negroni (Scott's favorite) was invented in Florence, but the Bellini became famous at Harry's Bar. They also won Best Cocktail in the World by the Martini Cocktail Review. Enough said.
**For my gluten free friends, you'll be pleased to know Italy is the EASIEST country to find delicious gluten free food. Here are a few of my favorites in Florence-- Starbene Gold Gluten Free Bakery, Ristorante Lorenzo de' Medici Senza Glutine Gluten Free Firenze (get.all.the.pizza. and the chocolate cake!), Eataly, Ciro & Sons (family-owned and delicious).
Ditta Artigianale - We frequent this spot every morning for good reason. Also, a good spot to bring your laptop if needing to catch up on some work.
Gelateria la Carraia – so good, decided not to list anything else.
Artviva.com. - Highly recommend the walking history tour!
Duomo – you literally can’t miss this gorgeous building and the views from the top are breathtaking.
Statue of David – Galleria Dell’Accademia: Just simply a must see. As you're gazing, keep in mind it took Michelangelo just 3 years to craft this beauty.
The Uffizi Gallery - One of the largest art galleries in all of Europe.
Boboli Gardens - For the garden enthusiast or just a nice stroll, this is incredible on a sunny day.
Pizzale Michelangelo - About a 20-minute hike from the city center, it has the best view of all of Florence. Go at sunset!
Cruise the streets - Just sit and hang out for a bit in some of the major piazzas like Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Republicca Italians love to be out at night and walk around and I suggest you go the same.
Ponte Vecchio. – Grab a gelato and walk across the “Old Bridge”. And buy a piece of jewelry.
Bottega di Corte - home store with lots of treasures.
Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella - Oldest perfumery in the world!
La Ménagère - Curated home goods store with delicious eats.
COS - A favorite stop for his and hers basics.
San Marco Leather Market – So awesome! Get some leather-buying sustinence with a lunch stop in the top of Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo.