Florence Travel Guide
Florence is one of my favorite cities in Europe. The warm weather, delicious Italian food, and walkable narrow streets make it such a fun place to explore. But my favorite, favorite thing is being so close to the Tuscan countryside. Those tall cypress trees, rolling olive groves, and vineyards promising delicious wine make me so happy.
When we traveled back to Florence with our friends in June of 2016, I was so excited to find this magical boutique hotel for our stay. Villa Agape is a historical villa dating back to the 15th century which has the most beautiful gardens and view of the Tuscan countryside. The hotel is also within walking distance of Florence, specifically the Piazzale Michelangelo which gives the perfect view of the city against the mountains.
I can still remember waking up and opening the window of our room to hear the birds chirping in the gardens below. We loved taking a bottle of wine out onto the hotel balcony to enjoy the views or taking a walk through the olive grove.
If you visit Florence, I highly recommend staying at Villa Agape! I've included a guide to my favorite spots in the city below.
Jump to: Things to do | Where to eat | Recommended Walking Tour
Things to do in Florence
Giardino delle rose
The Ponte Vecchio (viewed from the Trinity Bridge (Ponte Santa Trinita) or Ponte Alle Grazie)
Piazza della Repubblica
Take a tour:
Visit the museums:
Academia Scientifica (Michelangelo's Statue of David) : pre-book tickets!
Where to eat
La Giostra (reservation required! Absolutely loved our experience here with our friends, try the pear ravioli)
Pensavo Peggio (ragu, lasagna, spicy spaghetti, truffle ravioli, florentine steak and dessert for tiramisu or chocolate lava cake)
Trattoria da Mario (whole in the wall Italian, for ragu, soup, and florentine steak)
Trattoria Za Za (for lobster spaghetti, florentine steak, pasta with truffle cream sauce)
Enoteca Bevovino (great for lunch or a casual bite, try the pizza and greek salad)
Recommended Walking Tour
Starting from Villa Agape, you can walk toward Piazzale Michelangelo for your first good look of beautiful Firenze. Take in the views of the Duomo and the Arno River before making the descent into the city.
Walk along the steep path through the rose garden towards the Bardini and Boboli gardens. Explore both gardens and the Pitti Palace now or save them for the return trip with gelato in hand. Stroll toward the Trinity Bridge or the Ponte Alle Grazie for a view of the Ponte Vecchio, a beautiful bridge that survived the Romans and World War II.
Once across the the bridge, continue on toward the Uffizi Gallery for a must see collection of diverse works, including renaissance and modern art. Follow the narrow streets towards the Duomo, an architectural masterpiece including the largest brick dome and at one time the largest dome ever constructed. You can tour the inside of the cathedral for free, but you will need to reserve your spot to climb to the top of the cupola.
The next stop is the Palazzo Vecchio, or central symbol of civil power in Florence. You can take a guided tour of these intricate halls and climb the endless staircase of the imposing medieval tower. After admiring the gallery of statues in the Piazza della Signoria just outside, continue on toward the Galleria of Accademia. Make sure to reserve tickets online ahead of time as the line is extremely long to view Michelangelo's iconic work "The David."
Finally, head back toward the Piazza della Republica stopping to shop and eat to your heart's desire. Shop high end stores or wander into the many leather shops for beautiful handmade shoes and bags. Walk back to Villa Agape via the Ponte Vecchio or stay in town to dine at one of the many restaurants listed below. At some point during your stay, head back to the Piazzale Michelangelo to (join the masses) and watch a gorgeous sunset over the city.