Florentine Tips & Tricks for a Great Holiday

Destination: Florence and Cinque Terre
Travel Companion: Rawan (and Nagham)
Duration: 5 days
Budget: 1,800$ pp  
Florence is way more famous than for me to come and share a lengthy post full of tips for you. But here are 10 easy quick ones that I really recommend and / or think would be super helpful:

360 View of the Duomo & Florence - Photo by my friend R. Khairallah

1. Do a walking tour: Florence is one of the most history-rich Europeans cities. Even if you're generally not a history buff, I promise, you will hear some great stories in that tour. You will look at the Duomo differently after you learn about so many small secrets and details of features you haven't noticed before.

2. Obviously visit the Duomo, if your knees are better than mine, take the hundreds of stairs and go up the tour for a 360 view!

3. Buy a Firenze ticket for 3 days (if you're planning to be there for at least 3 days) as it allows you access to museums.

4. Did you know that Michelangelo's statue of David has been in its place for 3 centuries? They actually built the museum around it! On that note, I recommend you visit Galleria Dell'Academia, it's a small museum but worth visiting. Also buy your ticket either online or few days before when you intend to visit, because you will save money and well, find a time that suits you.

5. When you do the walking tour, you will realize that another super important pillar in Florence is the Basilica di Santa Croce, why? Because Machiavelli, Galileo, Michelangelo and so many others are buried in this basilica and their burials are literally amazing pieces of art, a combination of painting and sculpting. And also for a nice walk in nature, visit Boboli Gardens that also showcases modern art blended in the nature and its gardens.

Al Poggio - Chianti - Tuscany

6. If you decide to do a road trip to Cinque Terre, I recommend you leave in the early morning, pass by Pisa on the way and have lunch there, you should get to Monterosso al Mare (1st town) sometime in the afternoon, take a dip then have your dinner. The next day, buy one train ticket (that covers all 5 towns). Of course, you can also hike from one town to the other (if the weather permits, and you're fit!). Try to have breakfast in the 2nd town: Vernazza where you go up Castello Doria for a 360 view. Then head to the 3rd town Corniglia for ice cream, have lunch in 4th town Manarola, and finally have a drink in Riomaggiore which is the 5th town.

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7. If you decide to do a road trip to Chianti or Siena for some wine tasting, my only regret is that I only spend one day there. If I had to do it again, I would spend at least 1 night, but ideally 2 nights and just immerse and enjoy the serenity and beauty of Tuscany. Rent yourself a villa with a view or stay in one of Tuscany's beautiful castles.

8. If you want to have a good pizza, I can recommend one place with certainty while keeping in mind, I only eat marguerita pizza - the original of course ;). Try a place called: Brio Pizzeri.

9. For Ice Cream, people have different tastes. For me, I only eat chocolate (and sometimes dark), so comparing is easier. And without a doubt, Venchi was actually super delicious, there's ice cream and there's Florentine ice cream!

10. Cute towns that you can do day trips to from Florence are Greve and Portonevere! You can combine this with your Tuscany winery road trip!

You can also watch the movie I made about our time in beautiful Florence!



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