Studied abroad in Cortona, Italy, not too far from Florence. Tuscany really is God’s country and a blast for those wanting to walk everywhere, interact with locals, and drink wine!
Beautiful Firenze! An incredible place to take in the art and the splendor of the past and present in Tuscany and Italy. Can feel a bit touristy, but mostly overwhelmingly pretty.
Florence is one of my favorite places in the world and I cannot wait to go back. The old mix with the new, as you meander intimate corridors scattered with high-end fashion retailers only to emerge in a number of grand, historic piazzas. For anyone interested in Renaissance history, culture or even shopping, there is something to be found, though you're probably luckier if you, instead, find yourself lost.
Our local guide for Florence was Elisabetta (+39 335 6674163) who we connected with through our local guide from Rome. She was FANTASTIC! (She is reachable on WhatsApp for those who only have data plans or WiFi) The second time I visited Florence was on a cruise, the closest port is Livorno where Elisabetta picked us up in a very clean, comfortable Mercedes van. She filled our journey into Florence with a great background history of the city and catered our day around our “must see’s”. She drove us all over the city, dropping us off at the closest point possible to everything we wanted to see, and everything she suggested we should see (her drop off points are much closer than the drop off point when traveling in a large tour group because of the vehicle size). She even accompanied us into museums where we had previously purchased our own tickets without a guide to give us the true experience. As I said this was my second visit to Florence and it was a completely different experience to my first. Having a local expert guide in a small group was amazing. Must see’s: Michelangelo’s David: housed in The Galleria dell’ Academia- purchase your tickets ahead of time online: the walk up line wraps multiple blocks! Piazzale Michelangelo: beautiful panoramic views of Florence! Santa Croce Church: Marvelous church with the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo located in a large square with many authentic Italian restaurants Florence Cathedral: locates in the Piazza del Duomo, it is one of Italy’s largest cathedrals, the 4th largest in the world. You can even climb to the top of the dome! Yes climb! There is no lift! Must reserve your timed ticket online Piazza della Signoria: main square of the city- includes a David replica, fountain of neptune and lots of shopping nearby!