(View of the Duomo)
(Best Gelato I've Ever Had)
(Piazza de la Repubblica)
(Gorgeous Statue from Piazza della Signoria)
(Spritz from Giacosa)
Florence is hands down one of the best cities I've ever visited. If you love art, food, shopping, architecture, or taking long beautiful walks this city is for you. From the second I got off the train I was blown away by the gorgeous buildings and bustling city life. Since Florence is rather small and a pedestrian city you can walk to every major attraction. For the art lovers, like myself, you'll find yourself in heaven with the Uffizi, Duomo, Accademia, Archaeology Museum, and so many more! Make sure to book tickets for the major museums in advance since the lines can be 1 to 2 hours long. If you don't have time look for the companies who sell reserved tickets right in line. They only cost 5 Euro more than a regular ticket and will save you hours of your valuable time.
The food in Florence is the best I've had in Italy. The restaurants, markets, and boutique food shops are incredible. Make sure to have some pizza and pasta while you're there. I highly recommend prosciutto, cheese, and arugula pizza pictured above and fresh pear and cheese pasta. If you're looking to take some pasta, olive oil, or anything else food related back home with you make sure to check out Enoteca Alessi. They have the most amazing selection and experts who can help you find what you're looking for. Gelato is a must in Florence! Be sure to try Grom or Vestri. Never go to the tourist trap gelaterias with neon colors. Ask where the best places are because it will be worth your while. Another one of my favorite things I tried in Florence was a spritz. It's an incredibly refreshing before dinner drink that everyone in Italy seems to love.
For those who love shopping welcome to paradise. Florence has everything from major Rodeo Drive style shops on Via de Tornabuoni, to eclectic vintage boutiques and everything in between. Two of my favorites were Dixie, a reasonably priced Florence based clothing store, and Consigli di Anna for some incredible Florentine jewelry. Fashion in Florence was much trendier and younger than I had seen in the rest of Italy. People there really embraced casual cool hipster trends like fedoras, scarves, boots, flannel, studded purses, and lots of black! The people who lived in Florence really made their style look laid back and effortless, but with an attention to incorporating new trends. If you want to explore your inner cool artist wardrobe this is the place to do it.