Activities

Day Trips from Florence

buy Clomiphene online fast delivery Travelling is the ruin of all happiness! There is no looking at a building after seeing Italy”

–        buy diflucan over the counter Fanny Burney

Florence is an enchanting place, but Tuscany, as a state is just as astounding. There are so many places and spots around Florence which you would regret to miss out on. Here, I am mentioning some places around Florence which you should visit during your trip to Florence.

Divertiti !!

They are:

  • Giglio & Giannutri Islands of Tuscany
  • Assisi, Cortona & Perugia
  • Montalcino, Pienza & Montepulciano
  • Volterra & San Gimignano
  • Pisa
  • Cinque Terre & Portovenere

GIGLIO & GIANNUTRI ISLANDS OF TUSCANY

Giglio & Giannutri are two different islands on the southern coast of Italy.  They are hidden gems; untouched by the Tourism Industry for the time being and unheard of by tourists. You will not be disappointed.

A boat leaves from the ancient town of Talamone (180 kms or 2 hours from Florence) on the Gulf. The boat ride takes an hour to Giglio Island.

Giglio Island

The best option to explore the island is to rent a scooter. Public transport is a cheaper option. I would suggest renting a scooter and riding off to your own sweet time.

If you make it early to the island, after exploring the island till the afternoon, you can leave for Giannutri Island which is a 40 minutes boat ride from Giglio.

Giglio Island

According to me, Giannutri Island is better than Giglio in terms of beaches and water clarity. There is also a Roman Villa on top of the hill which you can take a guided tour of.

View of Giannutri Island from the plane

These two islands are all about amazing beaches and wonderful views enriched with history and nature. You should surely consider visiting them if you are visiting Florence and have the time for it. Enjoy!

ASSISI, CORTONA & PERUGIA

If you love great landscapes, Cortona (2 hours or 150 Kms away from Florence), a hilltop, is the place for you. Assisi is the topmost point where you can revel in the glory of the great Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi.

A visit to Perugia is a must. The city is famous for its monuments and history. Gaze at beautiful fountains & relish its breathtaking views.

Assisi, Tuscany

The most spectacular monuments of the city are “La Fontana Maggiore” which is an example of medieval sculpture and Etruscan Arch of Augustus which is one of the largest monuments among the Etruscan remains. The Palazzo dei Priori and Rocca Paolina are also must-see(s).

Cortona

I love visiting towns and cities like this- such rich history hidden inside, extremely beautiful and oh-so calm. I JUST LOVE IT!!

The tranquility of places like this always leaves me spellbound. If you are one such person, at least a day’s trip from Florence should be a part of your plan.

MONTALCINO, PIENZA & MONTEPULCIANO

Tuscany is a land of wonderful places but what is it that defines the real Tuscany?

WINE & CHEESE!!

Montalcino

Wine & Cheese – this day focusses majorly on that. Montalcino (2 hours or 120 kms from Florence) is the place where you can sample wines and local delicacies. The city has an astonishing village with a fortress which is a must-see when in town.

There is something that makes you want to stay here forever; perhaps a certain fragrance wafting in the air. Although I don’t drink, the smell of wine is so mesmerizing that you can’t help but like it.

Val d’Orcia, Between Pienza & Montepulciano

Prepare to witness one of the most gorgeous landscapes of your lifetime – Val d’Orcia (The Tuscany you have seen in literally every photo before coming to Italy).

It comes under Pienza (30 mins from Montalcino) and Montepulciano (further 20 mins from Pienza), one of the most important places representing Tuscany.

Pienza is famous  worldwide for its renowned and traditional Pecorino Cheese.

Val d’Orcia

Montepulciano is famous for its local wineries and churches. Walking in the city is like walking inside a fairy tale or a movie with just happiness inside. This day trip was one of my personal favourites from Florence. Try not to miss it.

VOLTERRA & SAN GIMIGNANO

Every 4 out of 5 towns/villages in Italy feel like you have stepped into a dream or a book. Volterra (80 Kms or 90 Minutes) is one of those hill-top towns that would make you realize the actual beauty of small Italian towns. It is called one of the most charmed Tuscany Towns. The boundary walls of the city were built in the 4th century B.C and stand tall strong as ever.

Volterra

Do not miss the Main Square, Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra Cathedral, The Museum of Alabaster (The reason Volterra is famous all over the world) and the Medicean Fortress. You can choose to taste various types of cheeses at local shops. You also have the chance to taste some wine at local wineries just like every other town in Tuscany. 😛

After an amazing time at Volterra, you can go ahead to see a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano (40 mins from Volterra) is a medieval city filled with picturesque alleys, various vantage points offering breathtaking Tuscan views.

Piazza Pecori

Also, you cannot miss the Piazza Duomo, Church and Piazza della Cisterna. They are absolute beauties.

FACT: THERE IS A VERY FAMOUS KIOSK FOR GELATO WHICH HAS ALSO WON MANY AWARDS – GELATERIA DONDOLI. GIVE IT A SHOT!!

PISA

Pisa has always been a dream for me. I remember the first time I came to know about the phrase “Wonders of the World”, I have always wanted to visit them all. Currently. I am just left with 2. Cool right?  😛 😉

View from the Tower

Pisa is just an hour away from Florence by road /rail.  I would suggest you to go early in the afternoon in order to witness the Sunset at The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

View from the Tower

Visit the Cathedral, The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Monumental Cemetery. Take your own time to climb the Tower (It’s not a race, is it?) as it can be little tiring and claustrophobic for people.

Another view from the Tower

Witnessing the sunset there is a GREAT option as the White stone of the Tower turns orange as soon as the sun starts to set. It is a site not to be missed and a sight to behold. Below is the image clicked from my iPhone during the sunset.

Grazie!

Michelangelo Square – A Skyline Paradise

“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”

–      Pico Iyer

The Skyline of Florence has always been something Italy has always boasted of. I know it’s not a view of the Central Park of New York or skyscrapers of Hong Kong, but you don’t get to see these many cute red houses with a big red dome at the center either in New York or in Hong Kong.

The Ultimate View from Michelangelo Square

I strongly feel that this fascinating view of the city from Michelangelo Square is surely going to change your idea about what a skyline should look like. Trust me, it’s as beautiful as any other skyline in the world.

Also, it is the best way to end your trip in Florence. You would want that vista to be the last memory of Florence.

You can also hike (basically walk) up to this point but I would suggest you to take a taxi or a bus if you don’t want to suffer a lot.

A Tower Viewer placed there gives you a nice view overall. Of course, only if it is working (because 90% of it doesn't work around the Globe). 😀

What to do here?

  • For photographers, it’s a dreamland. From time-lapses to panoramas, you can capture everything from here. If you have a nice zooming lens, then our beloved Dome is already posing for you.

Have a look at some photos below.

Click here to read about “Best ways to visit The Dome”

Another View
View from almost the top of the hill
  • For Families, it’s a great viewpoint to click your Snaps and Stories- be it with The Dome or Michelangelo.  Also, there are stalls here to shop, to eat ice-cream and birds to play with (chargeable). Your kids will love this place to hang out and you would love this place to have wine with your loved ones at sunset. Couples can also come here and have a nice romantic evening.
There are people giving out birds for some time to get yourself clicked in front of The Dome.
A perfect picture for any family.
Annnnnd a Snap is a must...
Annnnnd one more...
  • For locals, it’s a usual place to hang out, have a few beers and talk about how to go for a holiday to other countries while we sit here and talk about how to efficiently visit Florence. How cool that is? 😛
Addio! Firenze ti mancherà !

Short Trip to Florence – Cradle of Renaissance

“The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo

  • Mark Twain

Whenever I am visiting a place, I am always confused between the places to see and places to skip because one cannot cover everything and you also have to do things according to your interests.

Therefore, you must prioritize your travel according to your needs and likings.

That is why, here in this blog, you can have a look at the places you should visit during your 2-3 days trip to Florence.

Starting with………..

Of course, there are many other things to see and do in Florence but in a short trip of 2-3 days, you gotta prioritize.

Read further and know what to do in Florence in 2 or 3 days.

THE DUOMO COMPLEX

Undoubtedly, one of the most visited spots in Florence is the Duomo Complex. Without visiting the entire list of things among the complex, your visit to Florence is incomplete.

The list consists of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, The Dome, The Opera Museum, Giotto’s Bell Tower and The Crypt of Santa Reparata.

CLICK HERE TO KNOW HOW TO SEE THE DUOMO COMPLEX IN 2 DAYS

Therefore, there must be certain way to visit all the monuments efficiently. That’s what I am here for. Go ahead and read.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

The entire Duomo Complex can take a long time to complete. But, your goal here isn’t to complete it but to let it run inside your veins for weeks to come. To efficiently see all the monuments that are part of The Duomo Complex, CLICK HERE.

PONTE VECCHIO

It’s not always “tall towers” or “large piazzos” that you must see. Sometimes, you also gotta take out time for something simple. Something old. Something that has been through a lot and something that has been mentioned by great people from the past in their books. Here, in Florence, that’s Ponte Vecchio

One of the most well-preserved bridges in Florence and Italy is a sight not to be missed. It was Adolf Hitler’s favorite thing to do in Florence. Just sit on its top floor and gaze at the Arno Lake. That’s what he did when Mussolini invited him to Italy. It is one of the important reasons why he spared this bridge during the attack on Florence in WWII.

The View, Hitler fell in love <3 with.

There are many shops, cafes and restaurants around the bridge which can keep a tourist busy for several hours. The area around it is also very lively with continuous live music and musical Merry-Go-Rounds. It’s a great experience.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT PONTE VECCHIO.

River Arno with four bridges over it

MICHELANGELO SQUARE

Skyline of Florence has always been something Italy has always boasted about. I know its not a view of the Central Park of New York or skyscrapers of Hong Kong. But you don’t get to see these many cute red houses with a big red dome at the center either in New York or Hong Kong.

A Tower Viewer placed there gives you a nice view overall. Of course, only if it is working (because 90% of it doesn't work around the Globe). 😀

Therefore, I strongly feel that this fascinating view of the city from Michelangelo Square is surely gonna change your idea about what a skyline should look like and trust me, it’s as beautiful as any other skyline in the world.

Another View

Also, it is the best way to end your trip in Florence. You would want that view to be the last thing you remember about Florence.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MICHELANGELO SQUARE.

DAY TRIP TO PISA (OPTIONAL)

There are many day trips which you can take from Florence. But, a day trip to The Wonder of the World should undoubtedly be on top of your list.

To know other day trips from Florence, CLICK HERE!

Pisa is just 1 hour away from Florence by road or by rail.  I would suggest you go early in the afternoon in order to witness the Sunset at The Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is a sight not to be missed. The image above shows the ‘no filter’ image I click from my phone at sunset. 

View from the Tower

Visit the Cathedral, The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Monumental Cemetery.

Do take your own time to climb the Tower as it can be little tiring and claustrophobic for few people.

View from the Tower

Witnessing the sunset there is a GREAT option as the White stone of the Tower turns orange as soon as the sun starts to set. It is a site not to be missed.

DAY TRIP TO MONTALCINO, PIENZA & MONTELPUCIANO (OPTIONAL)

Montalcino (2 hours or 120 kms from Florence) is the place where you can get to taste the sampling of wines and some local delicacies.

The city has an astonishing village with a fortress which s a must-see place in the town. There is something in its scent that makes you want to stay here forever. Even though I don’t drink but that smell of wine is so attractive that it urges you to like the smell of it no matter what.

Val d’Orcia, Between Pienza & Montepulciano

Val d’Orcia (The Tuscany you have seen in literally every photo before coming to Italy) comes under Pienza (30 mins from Montalcino) and Montepulciano (further 20 mins from Pienza), one of the most important places representing Tuscany.

To know other day trips from Florence, Click Here.

Val d’Orcia

I hope this blog gave you an idea about what to do on a short visit to Florence and you must have also understood that do not make “SHORT” trips to Florence if you want to experience the real Tuscan breeze and beautiful atmosphere.

Goditi la Toscana!

Conquering the Duomo Complex in 2 Days

“Everything about Florence seems to be colored with a mild violet, like a diluted wine.”

–          Henry James

The Duomo Complex is undoubtedly one of the most visited monuments in Florence. Without visiting the different structures in the complex, your visit to Florence is incomplete.

Therefore, there must be a certain way to visit all the monuments efficiently. That’s where I come into the picture. Allow me to enlighten you.

Your series of monuments should be in this order:

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Day 1)
  • The Dome (Day 1)
  • The Opera Museum (Day 1)
  • Giotto’s Bell Tower a.k.a Giotto’s Campanile (Day 2)
  • The Crypt of Santa Reparata (Day 2)

THE BASIC RULE IS…

WAKE UP EARLY MORNING

Make it your mantra in order to experience the fantastic Duomo Complex of Florence in the most efficient way possible. Though all the tours do not begin before 10 AM, still, don’t you want to capture the amazing sunrise from the Michelangelo Square? If you do, wake up early.

Click here to read my blog on Michenlangelo Square.

Make sure you are back at the Duomo Complex by 10 AM to start your day.

Bring your printed or electronic copy to the ticket office in Piazza San Giovanni and collect your tickets from the office. They will tell you about your guide (if you have booked a tour) and where and when to find her/him. Usually, all the tours begin at 10:30 A.M.

To begin your day, assemble at the centre of the square where you will notice a white octagonal monument with large bronze doors. That’s the Baptistry of San Giovanni. You can have a good look at the doors and click some nice pictures until the guide shows up by 10:30 A.M.

NOTE: THE BRONZE DOORS ON THIS OCTAGONAL MONUMENT DEPICT THE LIFE OF JOHN, THE BAPTIST, WHO IS THE PATRON SAINT OF FLORENCE. THIS STRUCTURE MARKS A STRIKING RESEMBLANCE WITH THE PANTHEON IN ROME.

The 2-Day Half-Marathon Begins. :p 

DAY: 1

CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE

You should start with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Tourists without a guided tour will have to read about the history of the cathedral in advance to understand it and have an overall better experience. I always suggest taking a guide right there instead of booking one earlier. This way, it’s cheaper (you can bargain) and relatively hassle-free.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE’NT BOOKED A TOUR WITH ANY TOUR OPERATOR OR SO, REMEMBER TO PRE-BOOK THE TIME TO ENTER THE DOME.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

If you have a tour booked, you will have the privilege of skipping the queue and you’ll save a lot of time! The tour people will obviously be fascinated by the stories told by their guide such as the attempted assassination of Lorenzo and Giuliano during a mass, about the Medici Family and the history of the famous cathedral.

NOTE: YOUR SECOND STOP COULD BE THE NORTH TERRACE, THAT IS IF YOU BOOK GUIDED TOURS THROUGH CERTAIN COMPANIES. IF YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE NORTH TERRACE

THE DOME (CLIMB THE DOME)

One of the most anticipated and tiring things to do in Florence and in Italy is to climb the 463 steps of the Brunelleschi’s Dome.

Click here to read my blog on Brunelleschi’s Dome.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

463 steps are one too many. You better be prepared to complete it somehow because at some places the stairs get so narrow that only one person can pass. At some points, you might have to squeeze yourself to one side just to give passage to other climbers. After 15 minutes or so of continuous climbing, you will witness a spectacle so enthralling- the skyline of Mighty Red Florence from a height of almost 100 meters.

The Dome

Take your time to digest the beauty of this view.

OPERA MUSEUM

You cannot pre-book anything here to skip the queue. This Gallery has many great collections like documentaries of The Dome and a variety of wood models. The amount of time you spend in the gallery depends solely on you. A person like me can spend hours inside.

Opera Museum, Florence

By the time you exit this gallery, have your lunch and get a Cappuccino, it will already be around 4 or 5 P.M. and by this time, all the other attractions or monuments in The Complex will have closed for the day. That’s where our Day 2 comes into action,

DAY: 2

GIOTTO’S BELL TOWER (GIOTTO’S CAMPANILE)

Only LEGENDS can climb both Bell Tower and The Dome on the same day but normal people tend to do things normally. HAHA! I wouldn’t suggest you to climb both The Domeand The Tower on the same day. The Tower has 414 steps to the top and is a measly 10 meters shorter than The Dome.

View of the Bell Tower from The Dome

Basically, it will give you an amazing chance to photograph The Dome from a very close distance just like you were able to capture The Tower from The Dome.

If perchance, you have to choose, I would suggest you to choose the Bell Tower Climb  as it is easier (lesser and wider steps). Thus, it feels easier in comparison with the suffocating Dome Climb. Plus, The Dome’s presence in your photographs will be more precious or Insta-worthy.

Cathedral, Bell Tower & Dome all in one frame…

It is obviously not compulsory to climb both the monuments, but doing so will make your Insta-game stronger.

NOTE: IT IS OBVIOUSLY BETTER TO CLIMB THE TOWER IN THE MORNING TO AVOID THE RUSH, UNLESS, YOU WANT TO CAPTURE THE BEAUTIFULLY IGNITED DOME DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS IN THE EVENING TIME.

THE CRYPT OF SANTA REPARATA

This is said to be the original Cathedral of Florence; built in 5th Century AD. As it’s a small place, it won’t consume a lot of your time. It’s not necessary to visit this place but if you are a person like me, you will not miss a single site in Florence even if you have less time.

The Crypt of Santa Reparata

Some people have the audacity of seeing everything a city has to offer.

#BeLikeThat

NOTE:  MAKE SURE TO NOT MISS THE BRUNELLESCHI’S TOMB IN HERE. IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT TO FIND. IT IS SORT OF BEHIND THE GIFT SHOP. SO, BETTER STAY FOCUSSED. 😛 DON’T GO THERE IF YOU ARE CLAUSTROPHOBIC, BUT I WOULD SAY. “LIFE IS SHORT, SEE THE OLD ROCKS”.

The Crypt offers various artworks, preserved walls and different architectural marvels.

I hope this method of mine helps you to visit the Duomo Complex in the most efficient way possible. I believe it will.

Have a wonderful time in Florence.

Vita dal vivo, dimensione del re !

Basic Rules to Visit The Dome

We travel because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But, something inside our minds has changed, and that changes everything.”

– Jonah Lehrer

It is often heard, how people claim that one cannot see everything on our planet. I only have one question for them all: Have you even tried?! I concede that it is next to impossible to have explored all four corners of our big ’round’ world (Take that Flat Earth Society!) in one lifetime. Everyone has a bucket list which is essentially the list of places to visit and experience, visiting Florence cancelled out one of many things on that list for me.

View from Michelanglo Square...

Growing up listening to the fact that Florence was one of the most beautiful cities in the world; be it architecturally, culturally or historically. It is undoubtedly one of the most well-preserved cities of the world. Hence, the utmost beauty. Brunelleschi’s Dome is the most iconic structure in Florence and one of the most in the world. The panoramic skyline of Florence is incomplete without The Great Dome.

FACT: Duomo Complex: It is the combination of Brunelleschi’s Dome, The Baptistry of San Giovanni, The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Campanile (Bell Tower) and The Crypt of Santa Reparata & Opera Museum.

If you really want to make the best out of your trip to the Duomo Complex, you must give 2 days to these 5 wonderful monuments. Just pay attention to these basic details that I have mentioned below after which you’ll be all set.

Click here to know more about how to “Conquer Dome within 2 days” here.

Cathedral, Bell Tower & Dome all in one frame…

The Dome, being a very famous landmark of Florence, is destined to be crowded. So, allotting 2 days for the complex is the best option to experience a hassle-free visit, bearing in mind these suggestions:

  • Wake up early
  • Book your ticket / tour in advance (20$ Entrance Ticket).
  • Know the opening and closing hours.
  • The Dress Code.

Follow these 4 things and you are good to go.

Wake up Early.

Like any other landmark destination in the world, this is bound to be chockablock with hundreds of tourists. If you wish to skip the crowd, be the early bird and catch your worm.

You can only get this kind of photo when you visit the Duomo Complex early in the morning.

Book your ticket/tour in advance.

Whether you choose the entrance ticket (around 20$) or a private tour (around 40$), do so in advance, You can book the tickets online or you can purchase in on-site.

The Dome

You can climb The Dome, too. It would serve you good purpose if you followed the steps written below.
The ticket to climb The Dome must be procured separately and a time slot must be pre-booked in order to skip the queues. You have to use your ticket to book the time slot at the ticket booth or online. It is quite commonplace to run into unavailable time slots during peak seasons.

A prudent suggestion: book your climb slot(s) as early as possible. My first time to Florence was just for 2 days and I was unable to go to the top. Imagine being in Florence for 2 whole days and not getting to climb The Dome. PATHETIC! I hope you don’t have to go through this upsetting experience. If you have pre-booked a private tour, you will anyway be skipping the queue. So YAY!

 

NOTE: THE TICKET TO CLIMB THE DOME MUST BE PURCHASED SEPARATELY.

A Merry-Go-Round (The area near The Dome is very lively with great shops, cafes and live music)
You can have a splendid time here. Drink Cappuccino in the country which gave birth to it.
Live Music (This pair was so entertaining. They were playing music with tin, trays and normal wooden sticks. So talented, these two. Percussion has come a long way.)

FACT: The area around The Dome is very happening. Great shopping, various activities and such a happy atmosphere to experience. Enjoy the sheer bliss of roaming around The Dome and soak it all in.

Opening Hours

Each monument in the complex has variable timings which are subject to change in keeping with the weather and some other factors. Therefore, it’s better to check the website for latest timings.

https://www.museumFlorence.com/

Early morning is the best time to visit The Dome. You can take your own time to enjoy the serenity of the environment around The Dome. You can witness the Sun rays falling on the shiny white marble of The Dome. It makes for quite a sight to behold.

Now, just imagine what it would be like to stand on top of The Dome (with the least crowd possible) and take in the beautiful skyline of Florence. Take a look below to see how it appears from the top.

View of the Bell Tower from The Dome

NOTE: If a museum is supposed to close at 6, be there latest by 5 to be the last group to enter. Like any other monument of the entire world, the best time to go to The Dome is in the morning. “The Earlier, The Better”. THIS MUSEUM IS CLOSED ON FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH.

Dress Code

The dress code to be followed is very much like the one in Vatican City. Proper attire is one of the most important things to be kept in mind when visiting The Dome.

NO SKIRTS (Nothing above the knee)

NO BARE SHOULDERS

NO TANK / SPAGHETTI TOPS (Carry a scarf otherwise)

Click here to know how to visit all the 5 monuments of the complex in the best possible way without leaving any stone unturned.

Cheers to these amazing 2 days of your life!

Ti auguro il meglio!

Subscribe for email

Subscribe for email

Inspiration
of the day

“A plane ticket is the answer.

Who cares what the question is.”

–  ANONYMOUS