Jun 1st, 2007, 12:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
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Does anyone have any suggestions on things to do or places to visit while in Florence? I'll admit that I haven't really set up a plan yet and I want to start getting things together so I don't miss out! Any suggestions would be great.
incrowder is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:29 AM
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We enjoyed the lookout Michaelangelo with the view over Florence, the two chuches near the lookout and the cemetery was also interesting.
amandab is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 02:37 AM
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Excuse me for asking this, but where is your passion?? Where is the burning desire? Where is your "I,m so excited, my heart is racing and I can't wait to be there"? feeling.
I am not "having a go" at you - I just don't understand your seeming lack of enthusiasm for one of the most glorious cities of the world.
sunsurfsand is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 02:40 AM
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The Duomo- Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The fourth largest cathedral in the world, it is the spiritual heart of Florence. The building work took around 200 years, and its green, pink and white marble fasade contributes to the chromatic harmony of the square; its imposing dome is visible for miles around. The interior houses many masterpieces including frescoes by Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno rub shoulders with terracottas by Luca Della Robbia and the sarcophagus of Saint Zanobi. It is possible to climb up to the top from where there is an extraordinary view over Florence.

The Piazza della Signoria
Florence’s most famous square, it was used for centuries as a backdrop by artists, then by film-makers. The former political centre of the city, it includes some of Florence’s main historic buildings and contains the most admired sculptures in the world.

Palazzo Pitti
One of the most visited sites on the southern bank of the Arno, this palace was designed by Brunelleschi for the Pitti family, rivals of the Medicis. It's a huge and imposing building, and a treasure house of the Medici family's massive art collection including works by Raphael, Filippo Lippi, Tintoretto, Veronese and Rubens, all hung in lavishly decorated rooms.The palace also houses a gallery of modern art and a costume collection.

Ponte Vecchio
Old Bridge, has been built in 1345, this beautiful bridge, is only one who survived second word war, and it is the oldest bridge in Florence, souranded with many shops and goldsmiths. There is a secret passageway which is connected with Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, today big touristic attraction.

The Basilica of Santa Croce
Geometrically coloured marble decorates the building's fasade, but the real treats lie inside, where many famous Florentines lie in peace. The walls are lined with tombs, and 276 tombstones pave the floor. The church's most famous inhabitants are Michelangelo, Macchiavelli, Galileo and Bardi. Its various chapels feature works of art by Giotto and della Robbia, and the serene cloisters were designed by Brunelleschi.

The church of San Lorenzo
The former parish church of the Medici family in Florentine Renaissance style, built from 1420 by Brunelleschi. Donatello, who designed the bronze pulpits, lies in one of the chapels. Passing through the cloister, you reach the Laurenziana Library, commissioned to house the family's huge collection of books and featuring a sublime staircase by Michelangelo. The Medici Chapels are sumptuously decorated with precious marble and semiprecious stones; the most powerful Medicis were buried here. The New Sacristy was designed by Michelangelo and contains his Night and Day, Dawn and Dusk sculptures.

Boboli gardens
Adjacent to the Palazzo Pitti, this garden is one of the most famous in the world. It was created from 1549 by Tribolo then by Vasari, Ammannati and Buontalenti. Its fountains, lakes, geometric flowerbeds and terraces lined with trees wonderfully represent the Renaissance style. At the top of the hill stands the Forte di Belvedere built in a star shape by Michelangelo with a magical view over Florence.

Museums & Galleries:

Galleria degli Uffizi
This former palace of the Medici houses one of the most impressive art collections in the world. It shows the evolution of Italian painting from the primitives to the 17th century. Worth seeing: Botticelli’s’ Birth of Venus, Titian’s Venus of Urbino, Michelangelo’s Holy Family or the Portrait of the Duke of Urbino by Piero della Francesca.

Museo Nazionale del Bargello
It houses sculptures by Michelangelo, Donatello, Verrocchio and various collections of enamelware, jewellery, weapons ...

Galleria dell’Accademia
19th century statues, Byzantine paintings, Russian icons, paintings by Florentine Renaissance painters, notably Botticelli’s Madonnas and above all sculptures by Michelangelo, including the original of the famous David.

Galleria Pitti
Gallery of modern art, museum of silverware and Galleria.

Museo della Casa Fiorentina Antica in Palazzo Davanzati
A museum of Florentine domestic life: furniture, fabrics, domestic objects from the 14th to 18th century.

In addition:
You can reach Piazza Michelangelo and the Basilica of San Miniato on Monte alle Croci on foot or by bus.
The Piazza itself overlooks one of the most famous and magnificent city views in the world: from here you can see the whole of Florence at a glance; there is also copy of David.

Afternoon trip to Fiesole, bus no.7 from Santa Maria Novella. Panoramic view over Florence (Via di San Francesco), Good ice-cream (Via Gramci 8).

More about Florence&Fiesole:


Mario06 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 02:58 AM
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San Miniato al Monte and Santa Croce. Two beautiful and interesting churches. San Miniato al Monte is up in a hill where the monks celebrate mass with gregorian chants and from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of Florence. Santa Croce is a beaitful church where Michelangelo is buried.
Castellanese is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 04:16 AM
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>Excuse me for asking this, but where is your passion?? Where is the burning desire? Where is your "I,m so excited, my heart is racing and I can't wait to be there"? feeling.
I am not "having a go" at you - I just don't understand your seeming lack of enthusiasm for one of the most glorious cities of the world.

I am excitied to go to Florence, I just am horrible at planning and don't really know what is there. What is the must see places. My guide books were vague and I wanted others opinions.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me suggestions. It really helps
incrowder is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Your guidebooks are vague? You're buying the wrong ones then.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:31 AM
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At the risk of being accused of being an Editor (I am not) I would suggest Fodor's Guide: it is anything but vague.
LJ is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:37 AM
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I suggest you click on DESTINATIONS above. Instead of us laying out your itinerary - why not check out the abundant info right on this site and then ask us for more details/help/suggestions . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:26 PM
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er...surfandsand, I'm not sure I get your point...

just because somebody doesn't express what you perceive to be as "passion" for something they've never done (or even for something they've done and enjoyed), doesn't mean they don't feel that passion...and even if they don't feel that passion, they're still as entitled to the experience as anybody else is!

I had no excitement whatsoever about going to Hawaii the first time. Ended up loving it. I was totally psyched about visiting Paris the first time -- and was indifferent. Then went back a few years later, with no expectations, and ended up loving it so much, it's now one of my favorite destinations.
LucieV is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:29 PM
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And sorry, op, in answer to your question: I don't plan a whole lot any more ... if it's your first time, though, you should plan on seeing the David, if you have any interest in art at all. Other than that, walking around that beautiful jewel box of a city is all you "need" to do!

Climbing to the top of the Duomo just before sunset is still one of my favorite memories.
LucieV is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 01:12 PM
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The best advice I can give you is to buy a copy of the AAA Spiral Guide for Florence. It is available on-line at amazon.com. This book is a lifesaver for people who have a hard time planning what to do on a trip. (My sister uses them all the time.) The Florence version divides the city into quadrants and lists the top attractions and the lesser attractions in each area. It even gives suggested time for each attraction.
roadlesstraveled is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Setting on a hill in Fiesole and watching the sunset with a bottle of wine is not to be missed. Seriously - I spent a year in Florence and loved every minute of the museums, palaces and sites. But the quiet moments of la dolce vita are the ones that still bring tears to my eyes. Cherish your time there above all else, and you may find a gift that lives in your heart forever.
al_philly is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 04:42 PM
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It all depends on how long you are going to be in Florence. If just for a day or two - don't try to absolutely cram in all the "must-sees" from the guidebooks. Read up a lot (Rick Steves is my preference) about what there is to see and then have your priority list for what interests you the most. Just don't forget to stroll and soak it up. Eat gelato as often as possible, drink as much cappucino as you can hold and don't leave before you eat pizza at Baldovino's next to Santa Croce church. Florence is a glorious city and almost everything is in walking distance. Just don't rush through it! Have a wonderful time.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Mario06--what a nice reply to incrowder's query--a miniature guide book! I've been to Florence several times, and I think you have chosen the highlights with nice descriptions.
roamer is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 07:50 PM
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One of my must-sees is the Baptistry. The dome covered with 13th-Century mosaics is amazing. This is a place where it's definitely good to get the audio guide.

Mario gives great suggestions as well.

But what made you decide to go to Florence? Most people have something in mind when they decide to visit a certain city.
SusanP is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 06:34 PM
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Dear Incrowder,
I was just curious as to your choice of city as in your own words "don't really know what is there". And as SusanP has said "most people have something in mind when they decide to visit a certain city"
It seems to me, that when someone says "Florence", you would get a mental picture of the duomo.
Florence and Italy evoke feelings of passion in me and always have, even before I actually travelled there.
But,LucieV is absolutely right when she suggests I should not presume to tell you how to feel.
I am sorry if I have upset you and hope you will not let this stop you from having a wonderful time in Florence, which you should do with all the fabulous help you have been given on this forum. Kind regards, sss
sunsurfsand is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Great info, thanks!
monicainindy is offline  

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