So this post is our light-hearted view of FlorenceIt has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on this beautiful Tuscan city.
The sections to explore;
- Let's Start with the Truths
- So What's This Trivia Then?
- Local food & drinks
- What's to See & Do
- In Popular Culture
- And our thoughts
- Value for Money
- Getting around town
- Our Highlights
You can click on the link to jump to the section, and to return, just click on the title.
Let’s start with the Truths about FlorenceFirenze is the capital city in the Tuscany region of Italy and sits on the banks of the Arno River.
The LocationThe Three C's
The city of Florence can be found amongst the beautiful Tuscan countryside in central Italy. Surrounded by rolling vineyards and charming farmsteads and is around 174 miles (280km) northwest of Rome.
Firenze was founded by the Romans during 1st-century BC. During its chequered past, it has been a Republic and a seat of the Duchy of Tuscany.
The Medici family a significant Italian household played a prominent role in Florence, particularly through the 15th & 16th centuries. The banking family were also at the political forefront with four heirs becoming Popes.
Florence suffered a devastating flood in November 1966, when the River Arno burst its banks. Many people died, and the city suffered significant cultural losses.
The Historic Centre of Florence was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1982.
On the 26th May 1993, there was a terrorist attack by the Italian Mafia, in which 5 people died and caused extensive damage. This included damage to several houses and artworks within the Uffizi Gallery.
Where's Florence in the world?
Florence Up Close
Florence is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. Therefore, with so many magnificent pieces of architecture, museums and piazzas to discover, it makes an excellent location for a mini-break.
Firenze is easily negotiated on foot and so many tempting ice-cream parlours, it’s ideal chance to burn off some of those extra calories too.
It’s good to talk
So, what’s this Florence Trivia then?Regarding Florence and it’s beating heart of culture and sophistication.
Did you know?
- The ‘Opera’ is believed to have been born in Florence, over 400 years ago during the Renaissance period. This was by a small group of academics named Florentine Camerata.
- There’s a 1km private walkway called the Vasari Corridor which crosses over the Ponte Vecchio. This was commissioned by the Medici family in 1565. It links the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace on the other side of the Arno River.
- Florence Nightingale ‘Lady with the Lamp’ was born in Florence in 1820, and yes, she was named after the city.
- The First Empire of France once governed Florence from 1808 until 1815.
- Florence was the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1870.
- There’s an ‘English Cemetery’ in Florence which is owned by Switzerland. It’s named the English Cemetery as the majority of the burials were for protestants.
- When you think of Italian fashion, Milan will probably spring to mind; however, Florence can certainly hold its own. With a history of textiles, the stylish locals certainly know how to dress to impress.
- The number of influential people that were born or resided in the Province of Florence is incredible. Here are just a few Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, Dante, Raphael and Galileo.
Food and drink
I adore this dessert. The dish is dome-shaped, a bowl is lined with thinly sliced cake, filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, nuts and candied fruit and then chilled.
I didn’t realise that it was traditionally Florentine; otherwise, I would have been on a mission to find it. Hey ho, one for next time.
If you're lured by beautiful Renaissance architecture and the incredible Ponte Vecchio, I urge you to visit Florence. I found this DK Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide invaluable, they're extremely informative, easy to follow, and the pictures and maps tempt you into a voyage of discovering.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our mini-break to Florence, now you can grab the revised copy.
What to see & do in Florence
In the movies
Where we stayed in Florence
Value for Money
Our value for money index.
Don't forget we're Londoners, and that means our baseline is quite high.
In an Italian city like Florence, which prospers on tourism, it may often feel overpriced. Nonetheless, there are always places where locals eat and drink to search out.
Also, I find with dishes like pasta and pizza, these are usually reasonably priced.
Getting around town
What's it like discovering the city? Is it walkable? do you need to use public transport? did we leave with weary feet?
In the heart of the old city, it is very easily walkable, which is how we navigated Florence.
We also visited Pisa for a day and caught a train there. This was reasonably straightforward and cheap. We were also prior informed to ensure you stamped your ticket when you got on the train.
As you can be fined.
Janis's Hi's & Lo's
Gary's Hi's & Lo's
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