Florence lives up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A wealth of world-class attractions, however, attracts millions of tourists all of whom are eager to visit the same places as you. With a good map and some reservations in advance you can make your visit to the city more enjoyable and have an unforgettable experience.
Florence, the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany and by many considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the world has several nicknames that reveal its role in history â "Cradle of the Renaissance", "Art Capital of Italy" and "Athens of the Middle Ages". The city truly impresses on every step, especially the historic centre of Florence that has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
The historic centre of Florence is undoubtedly the most beautiful part of the city where you can find virtually all the main attractions from the impressive Duomo, Florence Baptistery, Giotto's Tower, Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo and many others. Another great thing about Florence's historic centre is the fact that is it relatively small in size which means that you can easily reach all the top attractions by foot. However, you will need a map not to get lost in the city's streets which are very charming but all look alike to every first time visitor of Florence. And resist the temptation to go to the Duomo at night without a map. You will easily find your way to the spectacular cathedral because its massive dome can be seen from almost anywhere in the city but you can get easily lost on your way back even if your hotel is only a five minute walk from the Duomo.
If you plan to visit Florence for a weekend or few days only, you should get up early in the morning and go sightseeing immediately after breakfast. The historic centre is very compact but you can easily run short of time if you want to visit all the main sights at a normal pace, stop at few shop along the way and have a traditional Italian meal. You should also keep in mind that Florence is the second most visited city in Italy after Rome and that all tourists are headed towards the same places as you. The Uffizi Gallery alone sells more than 1.6 million tickets per year which means that you you can lose a lot of your precious time on standing in lines. Some museums and galleries such as the famous Uffizi Gallery enable you to book your tickets online or make a reservation in advance over the phone but there is no way to avoid long lineups everywhere including to the spectacular Duomo.
The summer months, especially July and August can be very hot, while the temperatures in the city are higher than along the coast due to lack of prevailing wind. However, high temperatures in Florence during summer should not pose any major problem unless you really do not tolerate heat. The brilliant street design enables you to walk in a shade virtually all the time although you are recommended to slow down your walking pace and carry along plenty of water.
Florence sightseeing is an unique experience and you will definitely not regret if choosing this beautiful city for your next vacation destination. If you do not plan to return to Tuscany in the near future you should also take advantage of close proximity of Pisa and visit the famous Leaning Tower and the spectacular Duomo di Pisa. You can get to Pisa from Florence in less than an hour by a train or bus.