If you’ve read my other article on Rome, you already know how lucky I was to have parents to travel with to make my travel through Italy quite a breeze. A little background for those of you that have not yet checked out the other article in this series, my name is Mark, and I had the pleasure of studying for a semester in Montpellier, France. Along with that semester came a fantastic trip through Italy with my parents over my fall break. The first installment covered the wonders of Rome, but now it’s time to help you, the reader, build your itinerary to the home of El Duomo, Michelangelo’s David, the Uffizi Gallery, and so much more!

el Duomo Florence - 10 Days in Italy - The Perfect Italy Itinerary
el Duomo Florence Italy

Arriving in Florence

Upon stepping off the bullet train from Rome to Florence, I was already annoyed. I had a headache, it was raining, and frankly, I had to pee. I just wanted to get to our hotel as fast as possible, so I could take some headache medicine, change and get some time alone. My annoyance was aggravated by the fact that my father (the best dad in the world), wanted to traipse slowly through the streets of the city. To understand my father’s gait, it is important to understand that his ideal vacation would be three months spent in one city in the Mediterranean. He is a man that likes to soak up and capture one location for as long as possible. The man is all about taking things slow. I would liken myself to the Road Runner when it comes to travel. I smell the roses, but I do it quickly, while trying to experience as much as I can.

Accomodations in Florence

We finally made it to our hotel/bed and breakfast, The Palazzo Ruspoli, and wow we were in for a treat. The window of our second-floor room was less than 1000 feet from El Duomo,

View of el Duomo Form Our Room Florence Italy
View of el Duomo Form Our Room Florence Italy

and we were in the heart of the action. After a short R&R, it was time to adventure once again. We were travelling in the off season, but the city was still full of action! I can only imagine what the city must look like in the summer months. First on our list was food, and the first stop, El Nutino, was nothing fancy, but it was still another great pizza that I had no qualms with eating.

Baptistery of St. John Florence Italy

The Baptistry Ceiling - Baptistery of St. John - Florence Italy
The Baptistry Ceiling – Baptistery of St. John – Florence Italy

Soon after we took in the beautiful Baptistery of St. John, the oldest religious landmark of Florence, which is in part famous for the North Doors originally constructed by Lorenzo Ghiberti

The Baptistry Doors  - Baptistery of St. John - Florence Italy
The Baptistry Doors – 10 Days in Italy – The Perfect Italy Itinerary

Shopping in Florence

By the time we had finished, it was pouring rain, and we were all in a bit of a sour mood. My parents went back to the room, and I went shopping to get away for a bit. I found myself at a shoe shop with leather shoes all crafted locally in the Florence area. If you know me, chances are you know how much I love shoes. I got myself some leather boots, and I was once again on top of the world. I returned to the hotel as the day was drawing to a close, and we all found ourselves refreshed once again, and ready to take on the day.

Galleria dell’ Accademia – Michelangelo’s David

My mom, the ultimate planner, had a jam packed second day scheduled for our stay in Florence, and after our wonderful breakfast provided by the Ruspoli, it was time to seize it. We got to the Galleria dell’Accademia to make our pilgrimage to the world renown David by Michelangelo.

David by Michelangelo - Galleria dell’Accademia
David by Michelangelo – Galleria dell’Accademia

It was every bit as magnificent as I had imagined, and although the gallery has some other works by Michelangelo and some of his students, David is definitely the main attraction. Rick Steves’ free audio tours were another big plus to have here as they added some extra fun details that a history buff like me always loves to hear.

David by Michelangelo – Galleria dell’Accademia

Hop on Hop Off Tour Florence

Soon after our time in in the Galleria dell’Accademia, we took to the hop on hop off tour, which allowed us to hit many of the major monuments of the city in just a few hours.

Piazzale Michelangelo

One of the highlights, and a definite must see during your time in Florence, is the Piazzale Michelangelo.

Rainbow Over el Duomo from Piazzale Michelangelo Florence Italy
Rainbow Over el Duomo from Piazzale Michelangelo Florence Italy

It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city and can be a great place to sit back and relax. In between the scattered showers while at the Piazzale Michelangelo, my dad managed to capture a beautiful rainbow making its way over the Duomo of Florence.

More Exploration in Florence

Duomo Museum

Duomo Museum Florence Italy
Duomo Museum Florence Italy

Upon arriving back in the city, the three of us were still hungry for adventure, and so we made our way through the Duomo museum, which houses many incredible artifacts from the historic city.

Duomo Museum Florence Italy
Duomo Museum Florence Italy

Giotto’s Bell Tower

Soon after, we made our way up Giotto’s Bell Tower, which undeniably offers the best view of the Duomo, if not the city itself.

View From Giotto’s Bell Tower Florence Italy
View From Giotto’s Bell Tower Florence Italy

The afternoon and evening were a bit more relaxed, with time for gelato and a short walk across the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

Ponte Vecchio Florence Italy
Ponte Vecchio Florence Italy

A great recommendation once again hailing from the incredible Anne Moran is to take the Rick Steves’ walking tour of Florence. It only lasts about an hour, but it’s free and very enlightening on the history of the city.

Final Day in Florence

Before long, it was time to turn in, and before I knew it, the alarm clock was going off and it was time to wake up. A quick shower, breakfast, and shot of espresso, and it was time to tackle our last day. Our last day in the city was no doubt more relaxed, but there were two incredible can’t miss museums that stood out in my mind.

Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy
Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy

First off was the Uffizi Gallery. We got there prior to the museum’s opening (a must in order to beat the crowds), and as soon as the clock struck 9am, we raced to the top floor.

Birth of Venus - Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy
Birth of Venus – Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy

This is because, and if you listen to Rick Steves’ museum walkthrough you’ll know, the top floor is where the most famous pieces of the museum are stored,

Primavera Spring Sandro Botticelli Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy
Primavera Spring Sandro Botticelli Uffizi Gallery Florence Italy

and it is technically the start of the museum tour.

Bargello Sculpture Museum

Bargello Sculpture Museum Florence Italy
Bargello Sculpture Museum Florence Italy

The other treasure worth remembering from that day was the time spent at the Bargello sculpture museum. Though perhaps a slightly overwhelming venture, Rick Steves’ points you to the most noteworthy sculptures of the collection to help you save time and energy

Bargello Sculpture Museum Florence Italy
Bargello Sculpture Museum Florence Italy

Conclusion

Just like that, it was time to go. We had a fantastic time in Florence, and though my father might tell you that he could stay there for many more months, I’d tell you I am ready for my next adventure.

Reflections of el Duomo Florence - 10 Days in Italy - The Perfect Italy Itinerary
Reflections of el Duomo Florence Italy

As I’m sitting here in a coffee shop, thinking back to my memories of Florence and our arrival in the town, the first thing that came to mind was my annoyance. Who would have thought that travel could have been annoying ??! I realize that this probably isn’t something I should be writing about if I am trying to convince you to travel, but it is a realistic feeling that can often accompany travel. I was traveling with my parents, and I love them to death, but their slow and methodical approach toward travel is the opposite of how I want to take in the world—seeing as much of the world as quickly as possible—and that’s okay! Our conflicting viewpoints on travel helped all of us step a step back and appreciate our journey in a new way, which is something that I believe we all can learn from our travel partners.

Travel with a spouse, friend, or family member that will force you to grow and appreciate travel in a new way (hey, I might even take my next adventure a little more slowly?). I promise you will try so many new things and new ways of doing things, and you might even thank me for it.

If you have any questions about this adventure or Florence please Contact Us. And until next time, get out and capture the adventure!

Article written by Mark Moran – markmoranmn79@gmail.com

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