Romantic, enchanting and utterly irresistible, Florence or Firenze as the Italians call it is a place to cherish art and gourmet.
There are only a few cities that are so compact in size or so packed with extraordinary art and architecture masterpieces at every turn.
It’s a city you won’t mind getting lost because it will take you to new discoveries that aren’t written in the guide books.
It was my second visit to Florence and I love the place even more. We didn’t do the classic touristic activities because we felt like wandering around and be outside due to the amazing end of summer weather.
Florence is made for walking due to its overwhelming beauty.
Unsurprisingly, the entire city centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
1. All’Antico Vinaio
The best sandwiches in the world! Made with good care, fresh products, best combinations of ingredients and very much worth the wait.
There is no doubt that there will be a line but don’t worry, they work very fast.
I recommend enjoying your sandwich at the river with the stunning view to the Ponte Vecchio.
We ordered the schiacciata del boss and schiacciata di Manolo.
Adress: Via dei Neri, 76
2. Wine & bites
Florence is surrounded by wine-rich hills and is a gourmet paradise where eating and drinking exceedingly well is mandatory. And that’s exactly what we did.
At the end of the day we went to a wine bar and enjoyed regional wine with a nice cheese and charcuterie platter and shared our impressions of the city.
These are the places that you’ll only get in Southern countries and you wish you could experience the vibe in Nordic places.
I highly recommend Le Volpi e L’Uva and Il Santino. The Italian vibe is high and the mix of great wines and delicious bites are the perfect combination for a good start of the evening.
Le Volpi e L’Uva: Piazza dei Rossi, 1R
It Santino: Via Santo Spirito, 60/R
3. The Boboli gardens
The Boboli garden is more than just a garden, it’s a historical place for Florence. The ‘green architecture’ decorated with sculptures inspired many European Royal gardens like Versailles.
It’’s a lovely place to walk, have a rest, take nice pictures and get out of the crowded city centre for a while.
4. The Student Hotel
Normally I don’t stay at spectacular-worth-to-mention places but in Florence we did and I have to admit that it made our stay even more special.
The Student Hotel is a hub for co-living and co-working where travellers, locals and students get together to learn, stay, work and play.
The colors, activities (piano, ping pong, keyboard, electric guitar, food trucks, photo booth, swings), rooms and service are beyond expectation and I’m not even mentioning the roof top pool.
The roof top pool is the cherry on top of the cake. With the most spectacular view to the city and the Duomo it’s on my list of best views and vibes I’ve ever experienced.
Even if you’re not staying here I highly recommend to take a visit because even as a guest you can enjoy a great amount of what the hotel has to offer.
5. Piazzale Michelangelo
This hill is definitely in every city guide but I still want to accentuate it because it exceeded my expectations.
The view to the city is breath taking and at the top there will be musicians to make your brief stop even more worthwhile while enjoying a Moretti beer from the kiosk.
On the way down we took some side paths that looked cosy and it took us to some cute wine bars with a small terrace outside.
6. Gelato is life
It’s impossible to come to Italy and not eat ice cream. In Florence the ice cream was absolutely exquisite!
Our favourite was La Caraia. I don’t think it matters which flavours you choose, they’re all amazing.
I always recommend to keep some spare room in your stomach for a nice gelato dessert.
Gelateria la Caraia: Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25
It doesn’t matter if you see the sunset from Piazzale Michellangelo or from a bridge, I can ensure you won’t be disappointed by the sunset. I was amazed by the palette embracing every known shadow of soft pink, purple and orange.
The light and mood changes every time. Check at what time the sun will set and make sure you’ll take some time to enjoy the magic colors at least once.