Not too long ago I shared a post about how to make the most of a visit to Florence. It has some great ideas of how to have a great time, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share some of the best places to visit while you’re there. These suggestions come from a humble traveler who loves to explore, I hope if you get your own chance you’ll enjoy them as much as I did!
Pizza from the heart
Gusta Pizza – Any time spent in Italy would not be complete without some fabulous pizza. I won’t claim to know all the ins and outs of Italy’s regional pizzas (I can direct you to a great site here), but in Florence Gusta satisfies the pizza craving. I had a delicious Calabrese, absolute perfection with some spicy salami and a bottle of the house red – perfetto! And bonus if you ask them, they’ll make your pizza in the shape of a heart!
The perfect cappuccino
Gucci Cafe – In the heart of the Piazza Della Signoria lies the Gucci museum. I’ve read it has some fabulous and iconic fashion pieces, although I must admit this museum didn’t top my list to visit. What was a surprising pleasure was the cappuccino I was served at the Gucci cafe. It has plenty of seating inside, but the real treat is sitting outside in midst of the piazza’s lively atmosphere and the views of the Fountain of Neptune. With the added bonus of outdoor heaters & cozy blankets the lattes can be enjoyed during any season, and yes every cappuccino comes with the cutest sugar Gucci signia.
A tender blueberry steak
Acqua Al 2 – A mouth-watering blueberry steak, you read that right ‘blueberry steak’. The TripAdvisor reviews of this place speaks for itself, but I couldn’t write a post of Florence recommendations without including this restaurant on my list. Their blueberry and balsamic steaks are both amazing (yes, I tried both) and worth the visit.
The perfect truffle dish
Osteria Santo Spirito – Yet another amazing restaurant which can’t be missed, and the food should be enjoyed outside if the seating is available. Although I had a few different dishes at Osteria I indulged in the truffle gnocchi twice, because it was THAT good! I love the location of this restaurant too, in the shadow of the unembellished Santo Spirito and within short walking distance of the Boboli Gardens.
Experience the beauty
Palazzo Strozzi & Uffizi – Strolling through the Uffizi was a dream for me and I felt breathless and amazed in the presence of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (despite the crowd of art lovers). Although the Uffizi was more than I expected the surprising experience for me was a wonderful exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi (it’s not a year round exhibit, but I would definitely check into their exhibits when you travel there). Picasso said, “the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls’. The Divine Beauty exhibit proved this statement remarkably true. The exhibit left me speechless so I’ll have to let these photographs of some of my favourite pieces speak for me.
Gelato with a view
Edoardo – There are very few pleasures in this world better than a creamy gelato, anyone who has tasted this delicious treat would find it hard to disagree. When searching for the best gelato in Florence look no further than the iconic Duomo. The Edoardo is right on the doorsteps of the Duomo and their pistachio flavoured gelato is as amazing as the supreme cathedral (another bonus: the gelato & cones are organic).
An amazing cityscape
Piazzale Michelangelo – The views from Piazzale Michelangelo are incredible and hard to beat. There are plenty of cafes nearby where you can take in the view with a refreshing aperitivo, but fair warning these can be more expensive than you’ll find throughout Florence, but all’s fair since you’re also paying for the view.
Just a hint of sweetness
Caffe Royal – This is a wonderful little cafe with some great hot drinks and flaky pastries. I recommend indulging in an apricot croissant sitting near the window on the river. Can you tell I enjoy places with a lively atmosphere and special views?
Sink your teeth into this
All’Antico Vinaio – This is a dynamite little shop with some mouth-watering sandwiches. The seating is somewhat limited, but it’s the perfect place to grab some sustenance while en route to your next city site. I highly recommend any sandwich with truffle oil from here.
A treasure to take home
Solo A Firenze – I really enjoy taking some time to explore the local shops when I travel and Florence is full of wonderful options. I loved browsing the leather markets and paper shops the most. My favourite shop had a variety of paper and stationary along with a lot of lovely handmade jewelry pieces and trinkets. I fell in love with this beautiful ring with Florence’s flag symbol, which doubles as a stamp if I’m ever in the mood to adorn my cards with a wax seal.
Have you been to Florence? Do you have your own favourites?
Originally published May 13, 2016