Unique Things to See and Do
- Bardini Gardens (less crowded!)
- Ponte Vecchio bridge (known for jewelry shops)
- Eby’s Cafe Bar
- The out of town mall (30%-70% off Fendi, Valentino, etc)
- Visit Dante’s house (now museum)
- Eat gelato! (Famous spots are Vivoli, Perche No!, Grom, and Festival)
As with every region in Italy there are unique flavours and customs with foods in Florence that you don’t want to miss. The region is known for tons of fresh produce, grilled meats, and mild cheeses. This is generally true to the whole Tuscany region, but there are a few unique dishes to try. Here’s just a few to get you started.
- Tuscan Bread – distinctly known for having NO salt baked into it. History states that it was originally made without salt due to the taxes and levies put on the city of Florence during the middle ages. The Florentines couldn’t get access to salt so they baked without it! It has been a staple bread ever since, although there are some people that debate history and say it was meant to be without salt in order to enhance the simple flavours.
- Affettato Misto - a dish similar to the French charcuterie, a plate of cold meats usually accompanied with vegetables.
- Trippa alla fiorentina - this is for the more adventurous traveler. Tripe is a popular dish in Florence and it consists of tripe sautéed in olive oil, onions and tomatoes, topped with parmesan cheese.
- Lamredotto – Street food! A peasant tripe sandwich topped with either a spicy red dressing or green herbed dressing. Foodies profess that the tripe is incredibly tender and staple Florentine food.
Flowers tend to be expensive in Italy, but every Thursday morning you can pick gorgeous bouquets fairly cheaply. The market is located in Piazza della Repubblica under the arcades, or “portici,” but it is only open till noon.
Getting around Florence
The best way to get around the heart of Florence is by foot/walking. There are many streets that don’t allow cars and it can be quite tiresome to find parking. There are buses that service the city, and they are fairly cheap. If you are taking a city bus, here’s a tip; the front and back doors are for “getting on” the bus and the middle door is for “getting off.” Tickets are sold anywhere you see an ATAF sign. Always validate your bus ticket, especially as a tourist as you are an easy target for the patrollers. If you’re in a pinch, you can also buy a ticket directly from the bus driver for a little bit more money.
That kissing in the streets is common everywhere in Italy!
Ready to plan your visit to Florence? Check out these popular guides and trips.