Florence: the ultimate guide to really know the city

Read our ultimate guide to know what do to in a weekend in Florence, including the best places to stay, eat, and drink as well as secret local places to visit

VIRGINIA FOLONARI
Contributor

Florence. Dante's city, which made him fall in love as much as damn. Capital of the Italian  Renaissance.

The homeland of Italian language, where Manzoni rinsed his clothes in the Arno before composing “I Promessi Sposi". Narrated by Foscolo in "Dei Sepolcri" and by Montale, whom he frequented "Le Giubbe Rosse" in Piazza della Repubblica, known to be the coffee of the writers and artists.

If by chance at the beginning of the 20th century you had passed through there, you could have met most of greatest artistic personalities drink their coffee in the morning and discuss their most heartfelt themes. 

A friend told me: “if you come to visit me in Florence the first place I would definitely take you it would be the central market, where the owners are a little rough. Yes they look over the counter and yell: “Come on, ma'am. What are you doing today?"

And, as they say this sentence, cross their eyes with a colleague and giggle... they have their own way of relate." Over the years Florence has preserved its artistic value by adding talents to the list of its ambassadors in multiple fields, such as fashion for example!

It boasts the names of Emilio Pucci, Guccio Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermanno Scervino, Bertini and many others.


Florence is where things happened and every corner was the scene of something great. It was the center Italian cultural. The place where all the creative stimuli met each other. Source of inspiration for the whole world for centuries. Land where Brunelleschi performed his miracle.

But not only that, a few kilometers from the center are the Chianti hills in the middle of which Florence it lies as an artistic monument as a whole. A hybrid city, contaminated by impetuosity of the countryside and nature.

It is a cradle where traditions and habits have lived for centuries, where people know each other and yes they call by name.

My friend continues: "Then I would take you to Mostodolce, which is also close to the central market, where they make a craft beer, the Martellina, which tastes of honey and if you drink two you find yourself singing and dance in the middle of via Nazionale.

Let's assume we have drunk two of Martelline and we want to walk and sing. Then we go to the center, walk to Piazza Duomo, and then we continue in via Calzaiuoli. We arrive in the square Signoria and then we go to the benches under the Uffizi ”.


This is Florence, with a single walk you see history at its finest. It doesn't happen every day to pass in front of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise or to be able to go to bring your regards to Michelangelo's David. Not to mention the play of light at sunset, when the pink mixed orange sky is reflected on the water of the Arno.

Florence today is told by its citizens, linked to their traditions and their craftsmanship, to the attention to detail that makes them still among the best at doing things: a coffee, a pendant or shoes.

The boys have more souls. A more rock and punk soul, which finds its roots in the rebellious and self-deprecating impulse to differentiate oneself from the rest of the world and to live life as one roller coaster ride, and a more romantic soul inspired by the surrounding nature.

But one thing ties them all: they are all ready, even the girl in the floral satin dress, to get their shoes dirty in the mud. On the other hand, as I had already mentioned, Florence is as much the center as the neighboring countries they built around, immersed in the countryside.


“Then if you want you can go to Piazzale Michelangelo. You go up from the ladders, those immediately past the Rifrullo, you come up out of breath and with a tachycardia that seems like your heart is exploding. Then finally you sit on the stairs, the ones from which you can see the whole city, and enjoy the panorama. "

This is the soul of the Florentine city, which awaits you for a dreamy stroll. As Franco Zeffirelli said: "When I feel that depression takes over, I go back to Florence to look at Brunelleschi's dome: if the genius of man has gone so far, then I too can and must try to create, act, live. "

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