I spent the first quarter of 2022 living in Florence, Italy. Here are my notes:
- I recommend visiting in the shoulder or off-season (I was there from January to April). The weather is mild, and there aren’t as many tourists as in the summertime.
- We stayed in the neighborhood of San Frediano. I recommend it for long-term stays. The neighborhood is populated by locals, but still within walking distance of the city center. I also like the Santo Spirito neighborhood, but it’s much more touristy.
- The Mercato Centrale is the place to go if you need a break from traditional Italian food.
- Walk through the Piazza della Signoria after dark. The statues and buildings are beautiful to view in the moonlight. And you won’t have to jostle with tour groups for space.
- The Duomo is the most stunning building I have ever seen. Buy tickets to go up the dome and down to the crypts. Make sure you visit the Opera del Duomo Museum. It’s well worth it.
- My two favorite places to read a book are in Parco di Villa Strozzi and on the Pescaia di Santa Rosa.
- Speaking of books, the trains are a great place to get reading done. Make the time to visit Siena, San Gimignano, Bologna, and/or Cinque Terre while in the area.
- The pasta and pizza are amazing, but I miss the gelato most. Gelateria La Carraia is spectacular.