There are two key reasons why Florence, one of the World’s most beautiful cities’, attracts UNESCO millions of tourists annually – art and architecture. Supporting attractions include restaurants, shops and markets.
The biggest attractions are probably:
- Michelangelo’s “David“, at the Accademia di Belle Arti
- Botticelli’s “Birth of Venice” at Uffizi Gallary
- Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori
- Ponte Vechio (Old Bridge)
One of the personal highlights for Marilyn was the Gucci Museum with its ninety year history of Gucci fashion.
The main downsides for Florence are probably the crowds and the costs.
We observed tourists from around the World and most noticeably Americans, Japanese, French, and Germans, plus, of course, Italians.
Personally, we stayed in a quite boutique hotel about twenty minutes walk South of the Old City. We were fortunate to find the delightful area South of the Arno River, to the West of the Old Bridge – this abounded with more competitively priced restaurants and bars. Be warned that North of Arno River, near the major tourist attractions prices are very high.
Yesterday, we left the city of Florence and explored some of Tuscany by car. We followed the amazingly beautiful countryside of the famous Chianti Trail on Tourist Route TR 222 to Siena, passing through famous Chianti towns. We stopped for lunch in Castellina in Chianti and spent the late afternoon in Siena.
Siena has rivaled with Florence for centuries but is very different, with main attracting including:
- Piazza del Campo – often regarded as the most beautiful square in Italy
- Duomo – the Cathedral, a stunning Gothic building built in the thirteenth century
Siena is more comfortable than Florence, with more space and far less crowds. It also has a wonderful selection of shops.
For us, the most vivid memory of Florence and Tuscany will probably be Michelangelo’s five hundred year old statue of Davide….