Florence is renowned for helping usher in the Renaissance, but at the same time, it can seem like layer upon layer of gray. A tour of Florence Italy is a bit confusing at first—everything is stone and commands your attention like an insult. It's a city of ghosts; the roads seemingly stretch across the Arno River and into the 15th century. During the summer the extensive masonry raises the temperature within city limits a good 5 degrees, while in the winter even the afternoon sky is thick, moist and threatening. But inside these daunting, military-style buildings, the vast artistic treasures stand second to none, while nearby restaurants in Florence Italy are always on call to fortify your stomach for your next journey into the city.
Weather is definitely important, however, because Florence walking tours are a fundamental part of a visit to this city. You can start at the Accademia, where Michelangelo's David has resided for over 500 years, traipse down Via Ricasoli to the world-famous Duomo (and one of the few splashes of color in the city's architecture, even if it is only muted green and red marble), stop at the Uffizi museum to take in one of the largest collection of Renaissance art, and cross the Arno River at Ponte Vecchio before ending your stroll in the Boboli Gardens, an idyllic resting spot originally designed for the Medicis, but has since been commandeered as a playground for hundreds of friendly stray cats.
A complete tour of Florence Italy can be finished in a day or in a month. It depends on how much you enjoy the myriad art exhibits at your disposal. The Accademia has a wide arrangement of striking sculptures and other works, but they are more like an afterthought next to the gallery's main attraction: Michelangelo's David. Florence seems to birth replicas of David overnight, as smaller scale versions of the masterpiece seem to pop up in almost every piazza or town square throughout the city.
Shopping in Florence
Every imaginable variation of Florence walking tours includes a trip to the Duomo. A wondrous and overwhelming sculpture in the center of town, its giant golden dome is visible all through Florence. The Uffizi Gallery, bequeathed to the city by the Medici family, is the culmination of three centuries of intrepid art collection and contains work by notable artists such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli. The shops of Ponte Vecchio attest to the extravagant lifestyle of the city's past. Every shop along the bridge has a few selections that cost more than your first car.
Dining in Florence
Restaurants in Florence Italy are beyond compare, and many denizens seem to take more pride in being surrounded by the city's culinary masterpieces than the artistic ones. Olive oil, Chianti , and fresh fish are abundant in both taste and quantities on most Tuscan tables. Fruits and vegetables from the rolling hills of nearby Umbria add flavor and color, while juicy steaks and lively tripe headline the menus of many restaurants in Florence Italy.
A flight to Florence is not usually a good idea—cheaper airfares can be found with direct flights to Rome, Genoa or Naples. But the city is easily reached by train, and any trip to Italy, no matter how long or short, should include a tour of Florence and if you have time, a visit to the coastal cities a short train trip away, such as Portofino. Whether embarking on one of the many Florence walking tours or setting off on your own, the evidence of arguably the most important artistic movement in world history awaits.