Florence,  Italy,  Travel in Wanderland

Italy Travel: First Visit to Florence

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Italy Travel Florence Panorama shot of Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

The beautiful Tuscan City of Florence is best known for its Renaissance art and architecture and the magnificent landmarks that will surely take your breath away as soon as you see them. Most of the iconic sights of Firenze is in it’s Historic Centre, therefore it is easy to explore this beautiful city on foot. During our three-day exploration, we never had the need to take the train or any form of transportation. The only exception was the bus ride to Barberino Outlets, and that’s because it was outside the city of Florence.

Florence or Firenze is an easy 1.5-hour train ride from the Roma Termini Station. It’s easy to book train tickets online but because we want more flexibility with our departure time, we booked our tickets using one of the kiosks at the Roma Termini Station instead. We chose Italo Treno mainly because there was an employee standing beside its kiosk who helped us in booking the tickets.

Italy Travel Florence View from train ride from Rome to Florence
The train ride to Florence

We took the 12:15 PM train and arrived at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station at 1:46 PM. The train station is within walking distance of our guesthouse. And since we left most of our things at our Airbnb apartment in Rome, we only have one baggage per person, with enough clothes and things for a three-day stay in Florence.

We chose First Class because of its excellent location and spacious rooms. It is right in the Historic Centre and a few steps away from the magnificent Il Duomo. The hotel is located in an old building with a working elevator, so you don’t need to worry about bringing up your luggage. Check-in was a breeze. We were certainly pleased with our choice, the rooms were indeed spacious and so is the bathroom. We even met a “kababayan” (fellow Filipino) working at the hotel. Free breakfast is also included for all guests on the reservation at a cafe, a couple of blocks from the hotel.

After leaving our things at the hotel, it is time for (late) lunch. I knew that the Mercato Centrale was close by so we headed out, passing by the leather market itself. Let me just say, Mercato Centrale is a foodie’s idea of heaven!

Italy Travel Florence Piazza San Lorenzo
Piazza San Lorenzo

Italy Travel Florence Mercato Centrale

Italy Travel Florence Antipasto

The food options at Mercato Centrale are not limited to Italian dishes only. There’s also dim sum, sushi, noodles, burgers, etc so if you’re looking for comfort food after a long day of walking, you’ll definitely find something to eat. The prices are a bit on the expensive side, which is to be expected. It was still quite an experience and a really great first meal in Florence.

The rest of the day was spent walking around the Historic Centre. Our visit to the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery is scheduled on our last day and so we just took our time to really enjoy the streets of Florence.

Suggested Tour: Guided Tour to Duomo with Fast Track Entry

Italy Travel Florence Carousel
Piazza Della Repubblica

Italy Travel Florence Pensione Pendini

Italy Travel Florence Piazza della Republicca
Piazza della Republicca
Italy Travel Florence Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio at the Piazza Della Signoria
Italy Travel Florence Uffizi Gallery
Outside the Uffizi Gallery
Italy Travel Florence Outside Uffizi Gallery
Statues at Loggia dei Lanzi
Italy Travel Florence Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio
Italy Travel Florence Il Duomo
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower or Il Duomo di Firenze
Italy Travel Florence outside First Class
Outside of First Class Guesthouse

For dinner, we went back to Mercato Centrale for more delicious food.

Italy Travel Florence Pasta Mercato Centrale
Rigatoni Pomodoro
Italy Travel Florence Cannolli Mercato Centrale
Pistachio Cannoli

Shops close early at 8:30 PM but the streets are still well-lit. We spent another hour walking and just enjoying the evening.

Italy Travel Florence street night

Il Porcellino or the bronze fountain of a boar is a must-stop when in Florence. It is located near the Ponte Vecchio at the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo. Tradition says that you place a coin on the boar’s mouth while making a wish and when it slides and goes on to the grate, your wish will come true. And like the tradition of throwing a coin on to the Trevi Fountain to guarantee a return to the city of Rome, it has been said that rubbing Il Porcellino’s nose would guarantee a return to Florence. I am definitely rubbing that nose!

Italy Travel Florence bronze boar

Italy Travel Florence Ponte Vecchio

Italy Travel Florence Ponte Vecchio shop

Italy Travel Florence Ponte Vecchio

We were completely mesmerized by Florence’s beauty. It instantly became one of my most favorite cities in the world. I’m ready to see more of Firenze!

Check out the rest of my trip using the links below. I have also listed some Florence Travel Essentials you can book in advance for a better travel experience.

Florence Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
Eurail Global Pass (Flexible Days)
MyWebspot Pocket Wifi Rental – I have personally used their services before and they are great especially their customer service!

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This blog post is Day 6 of my Italy Travel Diary Series. To read about the rest of my trip, click on the links below:

Day 1: Arrival in Rome – Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps
Day 2: Colosseum and Roman Forum
Day 3: Vatican City (Papal Blessing/Angelus) and the Historic Centre of Rome
Day 4: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and Square
Day 5: Naples Bus Tour/Pompeii Tour
Day 7: Barberino Designer Outlet
Day 8: Accademia and Uffizi Gallery
Day 9: Last Day in Rome – Night Views of the Colosseum and Castel Sant’ Angelo

Rome Airbnb Review: Spanish Steps Luxury Apartment
Sample Rome/Florence Itinerary: Rome for First Time Visitors
Rome, Italy: Photo Gallery
Florence, Italy: Photo Gallery





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