At this point in my time abroad, I feel like I’ve combed just about every inch of Florence’s city center. I rarely need to use my phone to map out where to go anymore. I’ve tried a ton of amazing restaurants and foods and have seen most of the must-see sights. While I’m definitely not a professional tour guide, I feel that I can give some pretty great tips for anyone looking to visit this incredible Italian city I call home.
Top 3 Sights:
- Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo: This is the best view of the entire city. While it is quite the hike to reach this lookout, trust me, the view is worth it. Grab a panini or pizza at sunset and take it to the Piazzale’s steps overlooking Florence. Bring your camera too – you’ll want to take a million photos.
- The Duomo: Just from the outside, this massive, marble structure is an incredible sight. You must see it during the day but also lit up at night. Make sure you buy your tickets to climb this church in advance, and pick a time slot earlier in the day. Wear comfy shoes and be prepared to wait in line – especially as tourist seasons starts to heat up. Insider tip: If you want to see the inside of the church with no wait and for FREE, simply attend one of the daily masses. The entrance is on the side and nobody really knows about it. I’ve gone to mass twice here and have gotten to view the inside of the incredible dome for absolutely no cost.
- The David at the Academia Gallery: This sculpture wowed me. I heard it was massive, and it didn’t disappoint. The detail of it was spectacular. Nice work Michelangelo. Again, buy your tickets online in advance, and go early in the morning to avoid large crowds.
Top 3 Dinner Restaurants (reservations are a must):
- Coquinarius: The pear and cheese ravioli will change your life. Every single bite melts in your mouth.
- Osteria Santo Spirito: Get the half portion pasta dishes – trust me the full ones are for an entire family! For 6 or 7 euro, you can have one of the best pasta experiences of your entire life. Get the truffle gnocchi – it will come out sizzling.
- Farina 00: This is a local restaurant in my neighborhood, so I’m sure most people studying here haven’t heard of it. They have incredible pasta dishes and pizza, and I really like how it a local joint. I had a pizza with prosciutto and burrata cheese on it, and it blew my mind!
Another quick tip, if you are looking for awesome paninis, check out All’Antico Vinaio and Pino’s. If you want some gelato (which I’m sure you will), the best two places for it by far are La Carraia and Gelateria dei Neri.
Florence is amazing city with incredible sights and eats. There are endless museums and churches to explore. I’ve been here over two months and there is still more I need to do before I come home. When you do visit Firenze, make sure to come very hungry! I’m 100% going to miss the amazing food the most.