Florence Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Florence

Planning a short break to Florence? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Florence. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Florence. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Istito Gould

Considered by many to be one of the best lodgings in Florence, with a welcoming staff and sunny, spotless rooms. The hostel has a large courtyard with plants growing out of massive wine urns.

Take bus #36 or 37 from the station to the 1st stop across the river. V. dei Serrayli, 49 (Tel: 055212576)

Acqua al Due

Behind the Bargello is this cozy little place popular with young Italians. You must try their Florentine specialities, like the assaggio, with 5 types of pasta. Due to its popularity getting a table means a reservation. V. Vigna Vecchia, 40r (Tel: 055284170)

Piazzo del Duomo

This beautiful cathedral, with its pink, white and green marble façade, is the fourth-largest cathedral in the world, and is easily one of Italy’s most famous monuments. Brunelleschi designed the duomo’s subline dome, with frescoes by Vasari and Zuccari and stained-glass windows by Donatello, Andrea del Castagno, Paolo Uccello and Lorenzo Ghiberti. For the best views of Florence, climb to the top of the dome.

Uffizi Gallery

The Italians cherish the Uffizi as a symbol of their previous Renaissance heritage. It houses the most important art collection in Italy, which spans more than 5 century’s. In May of 1993, terrorists set off a bomb in the Gallery, killing 5 people and priceless works of art. A list of the destroyed & 40 seriously damaged works can be obtained at the tourist office. (Tel: 055218341)

Piazza della Signoria

Built between 1299 and 1314, it’s the traditional seat of the Florentine government. The religious leader Savonarola convinced Florentines to light the Bonfire of the Vanities in the square. The fire consumed some of Florence’s best art in 1497. A year later the citizens set Savonarola alit in the same spot. There is now a commemorative granite disc there to mark the spot. There is a massive sculpture cluster in front of the palazzo, which includes the much disliked and therefore vandalized Neptune by Ammannto.

Ponte Vecchio

This famous bridge, built in 1345, lined with gold and silversmiths’ shop, is the link between the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti. It was the only bridge to escape destruction by the retreating Germans during WWII. The bridge is particularly beautiful when viewed from neighboring river embankments at sunset.

Palazzo Pitti

Originally constructed by Brunelleschi, this massive palace houses several rather popular museums, namely the Museo degli Argenti, the Galleria del Costume and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna. But special mention must be made o the Galleria Palatina which has 16th and 17th century works by amongst others Raphael and Veronese. The nearby royal apartments of the Medici and the Savoy, show the splendour in which these local rulers lived.

Central Park

The speakers at this open-air discoteche dance floor are filled with hip-hop, jungle, reggae, and something the Italians call dance rock. Attached to the dance complex is a cinema, pizzeria, creperia and an internet café. Quite popular especially around midnight. Open nightly. Parco delle Cascine.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo is the city’s largest, cheapest and most popular open market. It spans for several blocks around P.S. Lorenzo. On sale here is just about everything made of leather, wool, cloth or gold. High prices are rare, as are quality and honesty unfortunately. Another notable shopping stop is Parco dell Cascine, just west of the city center.

Galleria dell’Accademia

Housed in this gallery is Michelangelo’s David (the one in Piazza della Signoria is a good copy), as are four of his unfinished Slaves.

Many of the Florentine primitives works of art are contained in the gallery upstairs. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, and situated at Via Ricasoli. Entry is reasonable.

User Suggestions

Florence Segway Tour - Select Activity!

Taking a Segway Tour was a lot of fun, the tour guide was vey knowledgeable and informative. The tour was very personal, it was interesting to see everyone s reactions to see us on the Segway. We would recommend it to anyone as a first tour of Florence

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