The Elegance of Florence, Italy

In Europe, Far, Inspiration, Italy, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, Unesco by Janis0 Comments

Tuscany’s Renaissance charm.

Our spring break in 2011 was to the beautiful city of Florence in the heart of Tuscany. The lure of the ancient cobbled streets the imposing Duomo and the medieval Pont Vecchio were sights I just couldn’t wait to see and experience. And yes, of course, the delicious Italian food.

Not only was Gary and I going to discover Florence in our long weekend, but we knew that Pisa was only a short train journey away, so we were definitely going to include a visit there as well.

The Italian flag projected on the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

After sitting down together and browsing through our travel books, we made a hit list of where in Florence we’d like to visit; and with this being Italy we wanted to dig deeper into the historical stories that it held.
We knew we were in for a treat.

History & Culture

Florence like Rome is oozing with history, and although this wonderful city was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC, it is Renaissance that Florence is so synonymous with and is considered to be its birthplace.

Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I, Florence, Tuscany, Italy


As so often with our mini breaks we are drawn to a city by its intriguing architecture and Florence & Pisa was no exception.

Florence Cathedral: Or Il Duomo di Firenze as the locals would say is a stunning cathedral and a true centrepiece for the city. I highly recommend taking a look inside, but also you must try and get to Giardino di Boboli (gardens) to catch the iconic city view across the rooftops.

The Cathedral of Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Giotto’s Campanile: An intricate gothic bell tower that stands proudly within the Piazza del Duomo. It is quite an amazing structure and is a towering 84.7 metres (277.9 ft.) tall.

The tower of the Cathedral, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Baptistery of Saint John: Another eye-catching building within the same piazza is the octagonal Baptistery of Saint John. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city dating from 1059, take a wander around to the east doors to see the “Gates of Paradise”.

The Baptistery of Saint John, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Ponte Vecchio: The famous bridge that straddles the River Arno, was one the sights that I was particularly looking forward to seeing. I’d often seen it on TV or in books; however, it was fascinating to walk across the medieval bridge, in the footsteps of so many others.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

From the outside of the bridge the little shops, almost appear to be just clinging on.

The shops on the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Did you know?

That the Historic Centre of Florence has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982.

Piazza’s & Fountains

Florence has some beautiful piazza’s large and small and it’s so heart-warming listening to families and friends enjoying the hustle and bustle of these communal places.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the all the fountains and statues dotted around the squares and dream of that well-earned Prosecco.

Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
A fountain in Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Florence is such a lovely city to just wander around, so many little lanes to be discovered, turning one corner after another into a little piece of history.


The Uffizi Gallery: Was established in 1581 is probably the most well-known gallery in Italy. Full of some fantastic ancient masterpieces, particularly from the Italian Renaissance period

Strolling around the Uffizi, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Word of advice

Arrive early as the Uffizi Gallery is very popular, or buy your tickets online here and join the ‘Fast Track’ line.

Food & Drink

  • It has to be gelato if I’m in Italy
  • Ohh yes pasta of course
  • A charming Chianti (now I’m beginning to sound like Hannibal Lecter!)
The gelato shop, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
A typical stall at the market, Florence, Italy

Movie memories

Hannibal: Talking of Mr Lecter, parts of Hannibal were filmed in Florence and seeing some of those film shots I was tempted all the more to visit.

Why not?

Start creating your own Italian adventure and discover the ancient city of Florence yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.

A little further afield

Pisa: I was so pleased we visited Pisa, and it’s only around 50 minutes by train from Florence. Although the main attraction is the bell tower or the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ as it is better known as (which is pretty amazing), however, Pisa’s Duomo and Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo are equally attractive.

Battistero di San Giovanni, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

It’s such a pleasant place to stroll around.


The Piazza del Duomo and the buildings within it, were inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.

Inspired to visit Florence?

Does the food tempt you? Would you like to see the Uffizi? Or take yourself off to Pisa? Or all of the above?

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The Elegance of Florence, Italy

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Have You?

Visited Florence? What was your inspiration?

About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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The Elegance of Florence, Italy was last modified: February 27th, 2018 by Janis