Florence is one of the most popular destinations in Italy, home to artistic masterpieces and centuries of history. It can be overwhelming for first-time visitors, with so much to do and see, so here are some travel tips to help you on your way.
Summer in Florence is hot and busy, with plenty of things to do and see. If you’re planning a summer trip to the Tuscan capital, here are some of the things you should have on your list.
Today, the Vasari Corridor is almost an extension of the Uffizi Gallery, in that its walls are lined with self-portraits of artists such as Filippino Lippi, Raphael, Bernini and Rembrandt. The corridor is off-limits to the vast majority of visitors today, viewable only if you book a guided tour in advance.
But the new director of the Uffizi Gallery, which oversees operation of the passage, has plans to open it up to the public, and also has plans to move the self-portraits out of the Vasari Corridor due to the inadequate climate control conditions in the walkway.
History can be difficult to understand, even when it’s all around you, and such is the case in Florence. The city’s importance cannot be overstated, but not everyone can grasp it by simply visiting a museum or two. Learning about Florentine history through theater presents an appealing option, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Some museums can be visited without a guide or tour, and others are almost not worth it if you don’t have someone on hand to explain what you’re seeing. The enormous Uffizi Gallery in Florence is in the latter category.
Beyond having someone to point out what’s important (and why), however, the other reason to book a tour to the Uffizi is the sheer number of people who visit the museum in a given day; the line outside the entrance is often several hours long. So you’ll do yourself a favor by booking a skip-the-line tour of the Uffizi Gallery .
Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world — a total of 51. Of all the regions in Italy, Tuscany has the most UNESCO sites, with the seventh site added in 2013. Here’s a complete guide to Tuscany’s seven UNESCO sites.
A hiking trip in the Cinque Terre is one of the most popular outdoor things to do in Italy, but if you don’t plan to stay overnight in one of the five little Ligurian villages it may seem as if the hike is out of the question. You can, however, make a day trip of the Cinque Terre hike from Florence, if you’re well-organized and prepared for a long day.
Gelato is one of the best things you can eat in Italy, and by many accounts it’s best in Florence. During the winter, however, you may not want to dig into a frozen treat. Here are some winter desserts to choose from in Florence.
When you’re ready to take a day trip outside Florence to explore Tuscany further, you have a few options for getting around. The easiest is usually the train, but there are plenty of places in the region that don’t have train stations. That’s when it’s time to consider taking the bus in Tuscany.
Most people — and certainly all food-loving travelers — are familiar with the idea of sampling wine while visiting Tuscany, especially if you’re lucky enough to go during wine festival season in the fall. But there’s another big crop being harvested in the autumn in Tuscany, and it’s got its own slate of festivals: olive oil.