I started my journey to Florence, Italy with a 20 euro bus ticket, a duffel bag, and no plans. For me, this is the best way to approach almost every trip. While traveling, I like to experience the city in a less touristy way than most. Of course, I still visit the main attractions of a city because they are known for a reason. I also like to discover places off the beaten path. Part of the reason planning isn’t necessary, is because the locals will know what is worth seeing more than any tourist book. Oh, and I felt like I already knew all of the major landmarks from playing and watching way too much Assasin’s Creed.
I arrived in Florence and made my way to the Locanda Daniel hostel. (amazing staff) The first day I visited the Dome of Florence Cathedral, the Campanile, and Galleria dell’Accadamea. The Campanile has a 414 step climb to the top, if you are brave enough to take the journey. I promise you will not be disappointed; the view is breathtaking. If you are planning on visiting, I would highly recommend the 15 euro ticket that gives you entrance to the campanile, the dome, the baptistery, and the museum; it is definitely worth it!
When dinner time arrived, there was no question about where to eat. The American Diner! We had all been cheeseburger deprived for too long. There is also one of the world’s best gelatarias in Florence, the Vivoli Gelateria! (try the hazelnut or pear)
The final day was spent exploring the magnificent Boboli Gardens. It is a perfect place to bring a lunch, have a picnic, and enjoy the view.
Overall, Florence was a lot more laid back than many cities I have visited, but still had everything you could want in a city, from the food, to the shopping, and the architecture.