15 Surprising Things About Florence

For me, the attraction to visit Florence was its long association with leather goods artisans and craftsmanship rather than its abundant Renaissance art, medieval history or famous architecture. Florence is after all the birth place of Italian fashion and the home of Gucci. And I am after all someone who loves fashion. In July 2015, the stars aligned and the time had come for me to visit the Italian fashion capitals of Milan and Florence. So off I went to spend a few days in the heart of Florence to soak up the fashion history and discover what delights this ancient, medieval city had to offer. I must admit I didn’t know too much about Florence other than it was reportedly beautiful and synonymous with Gucci. I must also admit that at this point in my life Renaissance art doesn’t captive my heart. Which is why any meaningful commentary about the abundance of Renaissance art in Florence is missing. Apologies to any Renaissance art lovers. Maybe I will gravitate towards this period of art history later in life. In the meantime, here are a few surprising things I learnt about Florence during my brief stay:

  1. The Gucci Museo although small, is a must visit for fashion lovers and Gucci girls. You will want to steal every vintage piece on display from the Flora prints, to the iconic Bamboo bags, to the glamorous evening dresses.
  2. The trendy Roberto Cavalli cafe – Caffè Giacosa – makes the best iced coffee in town. Sugar syrup is optional.
  3. The most fashionable items were on elegant mannequins in the Gucci Museo and wall-to-wall shoe displays in the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. All stylish Florentine locals were probably hiding from the throngs of annoying, haphazardly dressed tourists.
  4. The Ponte Vecchio bridge is prettier when it turns golden at sunset.
  5. Seeing the Statue of David in person is indescribable and totally mesmerising. To avoid the queue and view David in relative peace, get there early! Pre-book your tickets online for an 8.15am entry time.
  6. Florence is hot, very hot in July.
  7. The city streets leave a film of black grime on your shoes. Leave all white, cream, light coloured soles at home. Unless you want to spend the evenings scrubbing your shoes clean.
  8. The beautiful pink, white and green marble facade of the Duomo is breathtaking. Except for the least photographed, dirt-covered northern side.
  9. The amount of beautiful architecture is overwhelming. Sensory overload fatigue is most likely to occur.
  10. If you can ignore the crowds, the sunsets are magical and romantic. Magical if you are travelling solo (me). Romantic if you are with said partner, boyfriend, husband (not me).
  11. Florence is a stationery and journal lovers heaven.
  12. Fruit jelly candy is still a thing.
  13. Without a map, you can get lost for days in the Giardino di Boboli.
  14. The southern side of Florence is hilly, especially in the gardens.
  15. To reach the breathtaking views from Piazzale Michelangelo on foot, fitness levels should be checked and sneakers issued before climbing the million steps of the Scalea del Monte alle Croci (not me, the other tourists).

Read about my Milan adventure in 3 Reasons To Avoid Milan in July article.

Ponte Santa Trinita
Three elliptical arches of the Ponte Santa Trìnita bridge
Gucci-Museo.jpg
Gucci Museo is housed within the Palazzo della Mercanzia
Italian-ice-coffee
Delicious, milk free Italian iced coffee at Caffè Giacosa
Palazzo Vecchio
The medieval fortress Palazzo Vecchio
Duomo-Florence.jpg
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) facade
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.jpg
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
Basilica di San Miniato
Basilica di San Miniato al Monte
Basilica di Santa Croce.jpg
Neo-Gothic facade of the Basilica di Santa Croce
Dante-sculpture-florence.jpg
Statue of Dante outside the Basilica di Santa Croce
Statue-of-David.jpg
Sinewy arms – Statue of David
DSCN1885.jpg
Statue of David
20150709_173800.jpg
Fruit jelly candy delights
Boboli Garden.jpg
Giardino di Boboli – view overlooking the Palazzo Pitti
DSCN1905.jpg
Steps in the Giardino Bardini
Florence-shopping
Famous luxury shopping street – Via de’ Tornabuoni
Ponte-Vecchio.jpg
Ponte Vecchio at dusk
DSCN1907.jpg
Daytime view of the river Arno and Ponte Vecchio
DSCN1960.jpg
Banks of the Arno river
DSCN1877.jpg
Sunset over the Arno river
20150710_204121.jpg
Sunset view from the Piazzale Michelangelo
DSCN1949.jpg
Dust light falling over Florence

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Posted by

Sharing stories about style, fashion, travel and life.

2 thoughts on “15 Surprising Things About Florence

  1. Great commentary and pictures! Love your passion for travel and fashion. Your point system is brief, concise, and informative: great info in a nutshell!

    Like

  2. Hi alison

    Very cool! thanks for your viewpoint. I had no idea of all those fashion museums, and I’ve never done the Scali del Monte alle Croci.. despite the number of times I’ve visited Firenze. Something to look forward to, like your next blog!

    Thanks for sharing.

    vickix Vicki Caulfield Project Consultant Perth, Western Australia

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s