National Geographic stated “a city-size shrine to the Renaissance, Florence offers frescoes, sculptures, churches, palaces, and other monuments from the richest cultural flowering the world has known.” After spending our Italy trip to Florence, I completely agree with this! However before the trip, I had serious doubts about visiting Florence. I don’t remember talking about it in the prep class so I had no idea what to expect. It wasn’t an Italian city I knew about. I knew about Milan, Venice, Verona, Pisa but I really didn’t know much about Florence so I was disappointed slightly when I found out we were going there. That being said, I think Florence is amazing and worth the visit!
We took a three day trip and our first stop in the little Tuscan town of Orvieto. We had a couple hours where we visited the Orvieto Duomo and walked through the town. The duomo is an Italian gothic style cathedral which is so different from French and English gothic. The exterior has stripes and its colorful! Seriously it is incredible. Also side note, a duomo is a cathedral with a dome, but most refer to the Florence duomo. That being said, Orvieto’s is so cool. After we finished in the cathedral, we had about 90 minutes to walk through the rest of the town. We didn’t make it too far from the cathedral though because we found the cutest little ceramic shop. We spent nearly the entire time in there because it was so pretty. EEK I love ceramics and I want to go back and buy all the plates and mugs.
WE MADE IT TO FLORENCE! THE CITY OF THE RENAISSANCE! Ah I could go on and on about my new found love for this city. We spent two nights at the cutest little bed and breakfast. It was called Casa Santo Nome di Gesu and I ended up in the big bedroom with almost all my friends. It was on the outside of the city but not far. We just had to walk across the ponte (bridge) and we were in the city. We had these awesome passes called the Florence card which allowed us to get into everything. It’s like a prepaid pass so we didn’t have to pay the entrance fee every time we walked into a new museum. I love museums and the British Museum was pretty spectacular but it was here in Florence where I realized how enjoyable museums are. They show a vast amount of history in a small space and it tells a story. They teach about specific people and time periods. It’s incredible to walk through the past and see what life was like back then.
THE ART! Florence is the heart and birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. We are so lucky to the Medici family. They funded most of the artists and allowed them to be built. Thanks to them we have incredible pieces of art. I studied them while in Florence but for most of the pieces I didn’t know much about them before. I linked articles about each of the works in case you want to know more.
We did a lot in Florence and I dont remember everything. But I looked back at the schedule and emails my professor gave us while in Florence. I am moving apartments right now so I don’t have my textbook from Rome or my receipts from the museums. I did more than the stuff on the schedule but since that’s all packed away, I’ll just share the schedule.
- Florence Bapistry
- San Lorenzo & Medici chapels
- Ponte Vecchio
- Santa Trinita
- San Marco
- Uffizi Museum
- Palazzo Rucellai
- Bargello Museum
- Brancacci Chapel
- Palazzo Vecchio
- Florence Leather Market
- Science Museum
My favorite thing we did in Florence was either the Uffizi Museum or the Duomo. The Uffizi is incredible and full of so many fantastic artworks. It should be one of the first stops whenever you visit Florence. It seemed like the entire Renaissance is in that museum and it’s worth the visit. The Duomo was so cool though. It has a really neat story about it too. For a long time there wasn’t a dome until Brunelleschi came up with a solution. He built basically two domes on top of each other. The coolest part is you can climb up the inner dome to the outside to see the entire city. It’s beautiful and so amazing!
So I am a big fan of Florence. Like Rome, Florence is a city built around the history. I agree with Nat Geo about how Florence is a shrine to the Renaissance and just walking through the city you learn so much. I didn’t realize how much I was going to love the city but when I came home from Europe my family asked me what I liked and I always said Florence was the place I liked more than I ever imagined. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I read this book Love and Gelato this summer. It’s set in Florence and is super cute. But now I want to move to Florence and fall in love with a cute Italian boy where we eat gelato every day. lol I love you Florence. CIAO