Florence is a popular Italian city, which with its location almost in the middle of Italy is a center for both culture, history and not least wine.
The city is the capital of the well-known Tuscany region, and is known for its many nearby vineyards. Many tourists also come here to see the many historical buildings and monuments, in a city that combines the ancient with the modern and fashionable.
With 382,000 inhabitants, Florence is also not one of the largest cities in Italy, so you will not get the same big city feeling as visiting a European capital with several million inhabitants. Every year, over two million tourists come to see architecture and artwork from the Renaissance, and the best time to visit the city is in the spring or autumn, due to heat waves in the middle of summer.
Recommended hotels in Florence
Since Florence is such a popular city among tourists as it is, the hotel offer is naturally large and varied. Here you can choose between hotels in all price ranges, depending on what your wallet allows. Please note that hotels in the most popular parts of Florence sell out quickly, so you may want to book early. If you are visiting Florence on a weekend trip or for a shorter stay, the historic center is a nice place to stay.
Travel to Florence
If you are going to fly to Florence, then you must expect to change planes at one of the main European airports. This means that the flight can take between 4 to 5 hours, unless you find a direct flight in the summer. The currency in Florence (and the rest of Italy by the way) is the euro.
The price level in Florence will not be perceived as particularly cheap. It is a tourist town, and thus both restaurants, tourist places and attractions know that they will charge. It is anyway cheaper than in Norway, but nowhere near as the Eastern European capitals. Furthermore, it is safe to travel as a tourist in Florence, without having to take into account anything other than what you usually do on city visits. The drinking water in Italy is generally considered OK, but it can be okay to only use it for brushing teeth, bottled water is recommended for drinking.
Hotels and restaurants in Florence
Accommodation in Florence is not particularly cheap if you want to stay close to the historic center of the city, where most tourists travel. The city has many hotels, but during the tourist season they will often be fully booked long in advance. It is quite possible to settle outside the city center itself and in the many pleasant guest houses in the Tuscany region, but then you have to set aside some time for transport. Car rental in the area is also a good idea, as you can see a lot of beautiful nature in the immediate area.
Italian cuisine is well known to most Norwegians, with everything from pasta and meatballs with spaghetti to the famous Italian pizza. This food is plentiful in Florence, and when you are tired, you can visit the finer restaurants that serve international meals along with local wine. Florence is an eldorado for wine lovers, and you must definitely take advantage of that when you are there!
Attractions in Florence
As mentioned in the introduction, Florence has something to offer for both culture and history enthusiasts. The city is considered the most important heritage of the Italian Renaissance, which with its unique constructions is still striking to this day.
Santa Maria del Fiore
Florence is perhaps the city with the best-preserved constructions from the Renaissance – and there are not a few of them! You should set aside plenty of time if you want to see everyone, but can start with Santa Maria del Fiore, which is the largest cathedral in the city and is often only referred to as il Duomo. It is a majestic structure that is over 600 years old and which also gives you an insane view from the top of the tower.
View from Cupola del Brunelleschi
Do you have a fear of heights and claustrophobia? Then this is probably not for you. If you still manage to stretch your nerves, the view from the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore gives a fantastic view of Florence. You have to climb 463 steps to get to the top, but the experience when you get to the top is well worth it!
Did you know that what is considered one of the world’s very best art museums is located in Florence? The Uffizi Gallery, which is located around the main square in Florence (see next section). The building was erected in 1560 and has housed many different, but has since the end of the 18th century been a museum with artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci.
Piazza della Signoria
This square, or square, has played an important role during historical events for centuries. It is a gigantic open space in the middle of the city, where several of the biggest tourist magnets are located, including museums, restaurants and monuments. It is also here that the famous Statue of David by Michelangelo is placed, along with masterpieces such as the Fountain of Neptune and Hercules.
One of the largest (and oldest) buildings in Florence is the Palazzo Vecchio. It is a gigantic palace that was built as early as the 13th century. For a long time it was home to the powerful Medici family, but since the end of the 19th century it has been both a museum and a town hall.
Basilica of San Lorenzo
The oldest church in the city is located right in the center close to the market square. Built in the 16th century, the Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture.
Zoological and Archaeological Museum
Museum goers who do not necessarily love art have two places they must visit in Florence. The first is the Zoological Museum, where you can find stuffed animals and similar exhibits from all over the world and many millions of years back in time. The Archaeological Museum will also be exciting for many, with an extensive collection of archaeological finds from around the world.
Accademia Gallery – David statuen
Galleria dell’Accademia is an art museum that houses the most famous and original David statue of Michelangelo. In addition to the Statue of David, you will find here several statues of Michelangelo, as well as a number of famous paintings from the Renaissance by famous painters such as Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli to name a few. If you are interested in art, a visit to this mouse is a “must”.