Here you’ll find travel reports about Florence. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

251 travelers at this place:

  • Day19

    Day 19 - Florence!

    September 28, 2017 in Italy

    What a great long day! We woke up at 7:00 (...the first time before 9:00 or 10:00 in days) after staying up a little too late drinking wine and playing Chess. Then we went straight to the Academia Galleria - the museum that holds Michelangelo's David. Walking in and seeing David was absolutely the most moved by (non-musical) art that I've ever been. The 17 foot tall statue was literally breathtaking. We were lucky to have tickets for the earliest slot of the day when the museum was not busy at all. By the time we left an hour or so later after checking out several other statues and works of art, including a cool mini-museum of musical instruments, it was a madhouse.

    Next, we walked over to the Duomo plaza to check out the cathedral, dome, and bell tower. Again, we seemed to beat the crowd and got some cool pictures all around the outside of the buildings. Instead of climbing to the top of the busy Giotto's Tower, we decided to go to the much less touristy (but equal, if not better, panoramic view, from what I read) Tower of Arnolfo at the Palazza Vecchio). The long climb to the top was definitely worth it. We got a great view of all of Florence with no more than 2-4 other people up there at any given time. The coolest part might have been when we were about to head down and the giant bell on the tower struck 11:00 and rang for all of the city to hear.

    After a quick 2nd breakfast or 1st lunch, however you want to look at it, of meat, cheese, and fruit paninis, we headed back to our quiet Airbnb for a nap. We woke up in time to get to the famous Uffizi gallery for our 2:45 ticket. It was pretty amazing seeing artwork from so many famous artists, including 3 of the Ninja Turtles(!!) (Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo - no Donatello pieces), Botticelli, Caravaggio, and so many more. Then we split a pizza for another quick lunch and went back once again for another break before dinner. We had an awesome dinner - a meat and cheese platter to start, then I had the truffle pasta I was craving from last night and Tim had a yummy red pepper basil spaghetti. Now we are back and debating another night of Chess or an early night for another long day tomorrow!

    Tomorrow - day trip to Siena (I think - we keep going back and forth between Siena and Lucca!!)
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  • Day18

    Day 18 - Florence Arrival

    September 27, 2017 in Italy

    I love how much fun we're able to have on travel days! We woke up and had our regular Venice breakfast of toast and fresh fruit. Then we said goodbye to Venice, walking to the train station and passing by several fish and fruit markets. Once we arrived in Florence, we had a couple of hours to kill before Airbnb check in, so we decided to wash our clothes at a laundromat and get a couple of slices of pizza and our first Italian gelato (pistachio and chocolate)!! After we checked in, we relaxed for a bit (and I finished my book!) and then we set off for our first Tuscany dinner. The restaurant we found was a tiny mom and pop shop that was definitely a local favorite - no English menu, few tourists, reservations required, and awesome food. They had a special of pasta with fresh shaved truffles, which is what we thought we ordered. Really, we ordered the mushroom pasta, which was awesome, and a steak, which was also awesome. We finished our meal off with a tiramisu and two limoncello shots. Throughout the meal, Tim practiced his newfound Italian skills and the waitress/owner loved it. She was so friendly and the food was so good that we might return on Saturday for our last Florence dinner (and try to actually get the truffle pasta). After we left, we returned to our Airbnb for another night of wine and chess (this time, we had to make chess pieces out of checkers pieces)!! Awesome day, awesome night. Excited to explore Florence tomorrow.Read more

  • Day21

    Day 21-Chianti Wine Tour-Best Night Ever

    September 30, 2017 in Italy

    Wow...what a night! We started the day with a stroll through the neighborhood and our last Tuscan lunch at a restaurant that a local Italian called the "best restaurant in Florence" (caprese salad, spicy tomato spaghetti, and fried chicken with zucchini flowers...YUM!). Then we made our way to the other side of the river to meet our small group for the Tuscany twilight wine tour. The tour started with a wine tasting in the Florence shop with our guide Paulo, learning all about the different Italian wine designations, the different wine regions of Tuscany, and the proper ways to look at, smell, and taste wine. Then, we set off on a 45 minute ride through the Tuscan countryside to a beautiful winery. We met with the sommelier, Anthony, who was incredibly passionate about wine and everything about it - the soil, the hillside, the valleys, the fungi, the fruit trees, the grapes, the barrels, the acidity, the oxygen, and everything else that goes into a single glass of wine. We did a wine tasting in the basement of the winery, tasting several different levels of aged wine. Then we moved upstairs to a 3+ hour four course meal with bottle after bottle of wine. The first course was cheese with honey, onion quiche, salami, prosciutto, bruschetta, and great with white wine and rose wine. The second course was the best bolognese pasta we've had yet with several different red wine pairings. The third course was a shredded beef with tomato sauce and green beens, with more red wine. And the fourth course was a delicious brownie with powdered sugar. Throughout the entire meal, both Paulo and Anthony and Anthony's wife shared stories and facts about everything from the wine to the food to the history behind the different Tuscan dishes. We tasted wine that had been aged since the 1990s that had the darkest, brown color I have ever seen in wine. I learned more about the flavors of wine and process of wine making than I thought possible in a 6 hour tour (that lasted almost 8 hours). We also got to have a great time with three other couples throughout the journey - a couple from Chicago on their 40th anniversary trip, a couple from San Diego on their honeymoon, and a couple from Boston who had also just recently been married. That whole tour was amazing...probably the highlight of the trip so far. Goodnight! Tomorrow we go south.Read more

  • Day20

    Day 20 - Day Trip to Siena

    September 29, 2017 in Italy

    We are exhausted! But today was well worth it - Siena was awesome! A beautiful Medieval city in the Tuscan hills. We spent the entire day wandering through alleys and up and down hills. We had an awesome lunch in a several hundred year-old building built into a cave. We climbed 400+ steps to the top of the tower for amazing views of the city and the Tuscan countryside and rolling hills. (I got scared and almost bailed on the tower climb twice, turning around and going back down, until another tourist convinced me to do it - so glad I did!). Then we rode the bus back and watched the end of the sunset on the beautiful journey back to Florence. After a quick pasta dinner, we are ready for bed!Read more

  • Day15

    Cooking in Tuscany

    September 22, 2017 in Italy

    A bit of a lazy day Friday. Linda and I took a hands-on cooking class under the direction of our host Barbara and her mother at Villa Rosa Dei Venti in Creti. We made tiramisu and pasta noodles from scratch. Of course we needed antipasti and the right sauce. After 4 hours or so, we enjoyed the meal (along with wine from their vineyard) with our hosts and their family. It was the best!

  • Day16

    First day in Florence

    September 23, 2017 in Italy

    Today we drove to the Chiusi train station, dropped off the car and took the train to Florence. We arrived in mid-afternoon and immediately took off for the Uffizi Gallery where we spent a few hours gazing at works by Botticelli, Michaelangelo and da Vinci. Hey, those guys were good - and they all came from this area within the same century! We'll take a tour of Florence tomorrow and look forward to enjoying more of this city's culture.Read more

  • Day17

    Tour of Florence

    September 24, 2017 in Italy

    So, I met this cute girl named Sparky on the Ponte Vecchio, and we decided to hang out and tour some sights in Florence. (The Ponte Vecchio is the most significant bridge crossing the Arno.) It was a rainy day, but our guide was excellent and we learned quite a bit about the city and it's history. The Florence cathedral was incredible.
    We also went to the Galleria Dell Academia and saw Michaelangelo's David along with some of his unfinished works. (We saw a small musical instrument museum attached to the Galleria.) I have included a picture of the world's oldest upright piano! (For some reason this impressed me.)
    The rain didn't slow us down, but pre-ordering tickets is a must to avoid hours long queues.
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  • Day18


    September 25, 2017 in Italy

    We took a ride from Florence to Lucca, a very pleasant village about 80 minutes West by train. This is the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, my favorite operatic composer. We toured the Puccini museum and learned quite a bit about the maestro. We saw some original costumes from "Madame Butterfly" as well as some original compositions with his hand written notes.
    We enjoyed some pizza and beverages and did a little shopping and sightseeing of local churches. Beautiful day. On to a little place we call Rome tomorrow.Read more

  • Day44

    Florence and Tuscany

    October 16, 2016 in Italy

    So as you can see we're getting a little slower at posting on the's about week 7 right now so as you can imagine we've been pretty busy! But of course we want to keep you all in the loop so here is a brief post on Florence.

    We really enjoyed the city and it helped that Rupal had been there before. What we found most fun about Florence were the streets at night. Deserted after the tourists had gone to bed was when we could really appreciate what the city had to offer. The amazing architecture and culture of renaissance art are still preserved in the city which make you feel like you have some how gone back in time.

    We also took a little time to explore Tuscany, the region in which Florence is based. This of course included a wine tour to taste some Chianti Classico. Not only did we enjoy learning about the wine made in the region but we also learnt a lot about olive oil and balsamic which was neat.

    We'll be back Florence, you're a pretty magical city!
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  • Day21

    Wandering the streets of Florence

    January 4, 2017 in Italy

    A wander down to a new bakery. We ordered a baguette and some brioches which are similar to croissants but heavier and sweeter. After breakfast we met a private tour guide who took us on a walk around the city and to see the Statue of David. She was just amazing; her knowledge and passion for the city had you engaged the whole time. We learnt so much about the city that will help us in the next few days. It was well and truly after lunch when we finished with her so we went to a place she recommended. So hungry we forgot to take a picture. After lunch we went to look at the leather shops that Florence is renowned for. She had told us where to go for the genuine leather products. We looked in one of the three she had suggested. The other two were high end. The man tried to sell Dave a leather jacket. We left the shop and then Dave was keen to go back and look at the jackets, so we go back inside and I must say he was a good salesman as Dave walked out with a jacket. Brodie's comment was 'we would be licking an apple for the next few nights', because that would be all we could afford! It was Dave's birthday present. After that we crossed the river and hiked up the hill to get a view of the city. We thought it would be a good day to get the sun setting but the clouds came in. We had a gelati up there. Then we walked back down and meandered back to our apartment. We cut through the train station to get to our apartment. There is always plenty of military there patrolling. We have well and truly walked our leggies off today. I have done over 20,000 steps, in Paris we were averaging over 15,000. We will all sleep well tonight

    Photo 1 - Statue of David
    Photo 2 - Streets of Florence
    Photo 3 - Gelati time
    Photo 4 - The quirky signs around Florence
    Photo 5 & 6 Arno river
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Province of Florence, Florenz, Florence, Florencia, Firenze, Florença

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