sight seeing in Florence

Old Jan 17th, 2010, 03:13 AM
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sight seeing in Florence

We'll be visiting Florence the end of Marcch, and are looking for experiences/sights other than museums and art. Any suggestions. We will be there for 2 and a half days.
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 05:39 AM
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For me all the streets in Florence, as well as piazzas, alleys etc are part of the sigh seeing and part of the enjoyment of Florence. The only minus is the fact that usually there are many tourists, and vespas.
You can sit in a cafe in Piazza della Signoria and spend hours , or you can seat against the wall in the Loggia in the same Piazza . I guess a lot is in the sensibility of each person. From Piazzalle Michael Angelo there is a commanding view of the city. Fiesole too is delightful. Get there by bus, being in a hill gives you a respite from the city.
There are several nearby little towns like VInci nearby worth a visit. Tuscany has a lot to offer.
Some Museums are fantastic not only for the master pieces they exhibit but for the buildings where they are located,
I am thinking for instance in the Bargello, also do not miss the beautiful cloisters of Florence, like
the ones in the Spedale degli Innocenti, and inside some churches like Santa Croce.
Markets are not museums but they are very interesting go the Mercado di San Lorenzo, and you can grab a lunch there too
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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The Florence Tourist Board has lists of things to do (look under itineraries and info) other than museums. There are craftsman tours, science, graffiti (15h century), etc. They also have an events section where you can search for special events by interests. Events for March might not be listed yet.
http://www.firenzeturismo.it/

http://www.firenzeturismo.it/en/events.html
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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Great advice from kybourbon and Graziella.

Does removing museums and art mean no gardens as well? Pitti Palace has lovely gardens but there is some art in them.

Shopping on the Ponte Vecchio? at the Mercado?

At least look at the Duomo.

What about cooking school?
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 07:26 AM
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Two friends of mine make it a habit to get haircuts whenever they are in Florence!

For me it is walking and walking, getting coffee and gelato, sitting in the piazza, near the outdoor "David," and the like. Do see the Duomo and the Baptistry. Some people like to stop in at a well known large farmacia near Santa Maria Novella -- try a search if you are interested.
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Take the bus (some walk it, but I can't imagine doing that) up to Piazza Michaelangelo. It's a beautiful hilltop park overlooking Florence. You will feel like you've stepped into a Tuscan painting. It's a lovely, peaceful retreat from the very crowded city. There's a touristy restaurant on the overlook that had surprisingly good food and cold beer with wonderful outdoor tables that you can just sit in and say, "sigh. I am in Tuscany."
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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It would be easier to give you advice if you posted what you like to do or buy or something.
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 05:10 PM
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"... other than museums and art."

Does that include churches? I wouldn't miss the Duomo and Battistero (and adjacant Campanile), and Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella churches.

Palazzo Davanzati

IMO, art is hard to avoid in Florence. It feels like there are treasures at every turn. For example, you could visit the Bargello because it's a former prison and an interesting building complex, but the building now houses some of the finest Renaissance sculptures and other works. I can't imagine going to see the building and skipping its contents.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 01:24 AM
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Thanks everyone. Your suggestions are great. This will be our second time in Florence, and we are looking to go beyond museums and churches, and do what perhaps a native would do on their day off.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 05:53 AM
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You might be surprised to learn that native Fiorentini go to museums and churches on their days off.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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Did anyone mention taking the bus to Fiesole? In 2004, we took the train from Pisa to Florence. Near the train station, we bought bus tickets at the Tabacco shop and saw the #7 bus nearby.

Does anyone know if this has changed?

The bus rode through residential areas on the way up the hill.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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If you would consider a private guide, I would highly recommend Sabrina Lorenzine owner of Tuscany My Style...she is fantastic! She will show you more places in a day than you could imagine ever getting yourself to. Her prices are very reasonable, I did much research on this when we came to Italy and found this was a much better way to go.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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"and do what perhaps a native would do on their day off."

I'm a little confused. Obviously, you don't want to do what most people do on their day off, like errands, the dentist, returning your kids' pants, home repairs, laundry, etc. Do you mean that you are looking for things local people might do on an outing? Go to a concert, movie, see an exhibition, track down a new restaurant?

Or are you looking for day trips out of the immediate area (both San Miniato al Monte and Fiesole are mentioned above)?
One can not possibly exhaust the riches of art and architecture in Firenze in one trip. Or a dozen.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 03:47 PM
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I know, I know, you said no art but did you see the Botticelli exhibit?
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