We absolutely loved Florence! Breathtakingly beautiful views crammed full of amazing art in the hometown of the artists themselves.
Florence is also known for its leather goods and gold. Plus, you add in the delicious food…what’s not to love, right?!
Purchasing Train Tickets in Italy
The train ride from Rome to Florence was a breeze. It only took about an hour and a half. The views of Tuscany along the way were beautiful! I’m going to give you the link to book your own tickets when you’re in Italy. I wish someone would have helped us, we had never booked train tickets before and being in another country made it even more interesting;-).
If you are looking to purchase train tickets in Italy, bare with me a bit, I’m going to explain some tips that might be helpful.
Try to book as much in advance as you can, plan extra time to find your departure stop once you arrive, have your Etickets available on your mobile device or even better take a picture just in case, check your seat and carriage number, and only sit in your designated seat…someone will be by checking your ticket once on the train. If you have time, purchase or bring your own food and beverages. We bought lunch before we left at a little grocery store in the Rome train station and ate on the way to Florence…saved us time and money:-). Here is a photo of one of our Etickets to Venice from Florence.
Our tickets from Rome to Florence cost us $125 USD total for both of us.
Phew! There, I hope that long explanation helps if you ever have to to book train tickets in Italy!
Here is one of the pictures taken while on our train ride to Florence.
Once we arrived in Florence, we exited the train station and just a little to the right across the street we purchased our Firenze Cards. This card gives you full access to museums, unlimited bus use, free wifi, and my personal favorite…saves you time by skipping the long lines!
72euros for 72hours…it might seem like a lot, but if you are going to be in Florence for at least three days and plan to see as much as possible, I would definitely recommend that you purchase the Firenze Card! After I tallied up the museum and bus fares, I found that we only saved 2 Euros each. But! That doesn’t take in consideration the free wifi and skipping the long lines;-). Skipping the lines to me was priceless! Instead of standing for possible hours waiting in line, we were able to spend more time sitting at a cafe or even better… shopping!!
We did have time to go into more museums, but thought what we did decide to do was plenty. So, if you have more energy than us, you could have a much better savings:-).
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the lovely Hotel David! I can’t say enough good things about this charming little hotel…so I’ll narrow it down to just a few of my favorites! What to expect from Hotel David is amazing customer service, free daily mini bar (what?!), CLEAN rooms, daily complimentary evening appetizers and wine/beverages, lovely breakfast, and so much more!
Our room number was 25. It was surprisingly spacious! I loved the blue and white tiles in the bathroom…made me think of Greece, a future travel, I hope;-). The toiletries supplied by the hotel were made with olive oil and smelled so yummy! I was so happy to receive a full size bath gel and lotion as a departing gift…they really do think of everything;-)
Below are a few pictures of our room and our arrival and departure gifts!
Galleria Dell Academia
After Jason and I checked into our hotel, we headed towards the town center to visit our first museum, the Galleria Dell Academia. This museum was basically built just to house the famous statue of David done by Michaelangelo himself! You should visit this museum just before closing time. There were hardly any people at this time and we actually found a seat open right in front of the statue of David!
On our way to this museum we saw a replica of David ,along with a few other statues, in the open air museum located in the Piazza Della Signoria.
I thought to myself…we saw one already, do we really need to see the original? Yes, yes you do! Once standing in front of the original David, I couldn’t help but be in awe of this sculpture! The details were amazing! Rick Steve’s added to this moment once again by listening to his free podcast of the museum along with the details of the masterpiece that was right before our eyes.
You can download Rick Steve’s travel podcasts online for free!
You could literally see the veins popping out of his marble skin…so cool! There were other marble sculptures there that I also enjoyed seeing. Especially the unfinished statues…these giant human forms breaking out of their marble prisons.
You could see the chiseled, unfinished pieces just standing there, it was almost like Michaelangelo was about to come back any second to finish another one of his masterpieces!
Shopping In Florence
After we left the museum, we went shopping at the outdoor leather market. We found Jason a leather messenger bag (*cough* man purse, lol!) for a great price! We arrived right before the vendors left for the day, they were actually packing up as we arrived. Jason found one that he like and the guy dropped the price down 40 euro. We felt it was a fair price and bought it!
I bought a few small purses as well, then we pet the famous boar to return to Florence again one day (yes, we were the typical tourists at that moment). Then we left while we still had a few Euro to spare;-).
Below is a photo of a local artist in action.
Me and my new ride, just kidding! I would have probably hurt somebody, lol!!
Eating in Florence
We were hungry! When in Italy, being hungry is a good thing for us…Italian food has always been our favorite! We found a place back in the Piazza Della Signoria to eat outside and enjoy the view! While eating we saw a rainbow arched over the Palazzo Vecchio. I got a photo of it, but you have to really look because it’s faded a bit…take a look to the left.
It was yet another beautiful Italian moment shared with my husband as we celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary!
Ending Our First Day On The Ponte Vecchio Bridge
We ended our, what seemed to be eternal day, on the Ponte Vecchio bridge!
***cheesy, mushy alert***
It was a beautiful setting…musicians playing beautiful Italian music softly as we stood on this beautiful bridge looking out onto the Arno River as the day turned into night holding each other tight, beyond romantic!(*sigh*) Florence was my favorite place in Italy, I can’t wait to go back someday with our children:-).
See, I warned you;-) a bit cheesy, right?! Lol!
Below is a picture of Love Locks on Ponte Vecchio bridge.
I hope you can join me again next time to see us climb up 463 stairs to the top of the Duomo in my part 2 blogpost of Florence, Celebrating in Italy! So for now, Arrivederci… and remember, Travel’s only A Dance Away! TADA!