From the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, my family and I took 2 day trips to Florence and Siena. You can read about the rest of our stay in Tuscany here.
Florence is a mecca of art, culture, food and shopping! I perceived it to be a lot cleaner than Rome, but equally as hot!
We started wandering through some markets to get to Piazza di Santa Croce. At that point we were really just trying to decide where to eat! #priorities. We walked over to Ponte Vecchio Bridge to eat at Trattoria Ponte Vecchio. The owner was sooo nice and helpful and the food was excellent (order some bruschetta!). This restaurant seems like it could be a tourist trap because of it’s location, but it’s not!
We explored the shops on Ponte Vecchio Bridge, snapped pictures, and continued onto Piazza del Duomo. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is there, along with the famous dome that dominates Florence’s skyline view. From there we walked through Piazza della Repubblica (the one with the carousel out front!) and onto the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the famous David statue.
The Galleria dell’Accademia is the most simplistic museum I’ve ever been to. No ceiling paintings, no notable architecture, just white concrete walls. But as you walk in, the David is the main focal point! I didn’t include pictures of him on here because, ya know.. #nudity. Haha! I do suggest buying tickets to the Accademia in advance because the lines were SO long. We were able to skip the lines because we had a reservation, which was about 12 euros. The other famous museum in Florence is the Uffizi Gallery. We walked past the outside of it but didn’t have enough time (or energy! haha) to explore inside. We did, however, visit many candy and pastry shops in Florence! They’re on pretty much every corner. We stopped at Amal for gelato and it was amazing!
My favorite part of Florence is the Piazzale Michelangelo. They have a bronze replica of the David statue in the middle of the space that overlooks all of Florence. The view is stunning!
We ended up going back to Greve in Chianti for dinner that particular evening, so unfortunately I don’t have any dinner recommendations for y’all for Florence 🙁 . However, here is a good list for your reference!
I can’t explain to you what it was about Siena that was so mesmerizing to me, but I really, really loved it! I told a few of my friends that I liked it so much, if I ever had a daughter I’d give her the middle name Siena.
If you didn’t know, the city of Siena is enclosed by a fort which is what makes it so unique. In the Piazza del Campo, there’s a clock tower (Torre del Mangia) that visitors can climb up and get a view of the entire town and it’s surrounding fort. [The line was super long and we hadn’t booked tickets in advance, so we didn’t end up doing that]. We had lunch in the piazza, and then went to the famous Duomo di Siena church and it’s accompanying library, the Libreria Piccolomini. Unlike most churches in Italy that are free, this one requires a 4 euro entrance fee.
We spent the rest of the afternoon perusing the local shops. My favorite was a candle store of hand-painted candles called La Fabbrica delle Candele. I bought a few for myself and for my friends here! There was also a really amazing chocolate store called Nino and Friends. It had a HUGE chocolate fountain in the display and lots of samples so yeah.. it’s worth the stop 😉 .
Tips in Florence:
-Wear walking shoes.
-Reserve tickets to see the David at Galleria dell’Accademia in advance.
-Remember “frizzante” water means sparkling! Stay hydrated.
-Stop at Piazzale Michelangelo to get a panoramic view of all of Florence.
Tips in Siena:
-If you want to climb the clock tower, book tickets in advance.
-There are only a few entrances to the fort, so you may have to drive along the wall for a while to find one.
-Budget 4 euros per person to see the Siena Cathedral.
What I Wore
What’s your favorite day trip you’ve ever taken?? Let me know in the comments section below!