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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy

I saw this exquisite chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady With An Ermine on the ground in one of the main plazas in Firenze. It started drizzling and I just had to take this photo before the rain washed it away!

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6 Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Florence FI, Italy
Escaping the crowds around Florence Cathedral one afternoon, I decided to wander along the Arno River and was rewarded with stunning views from the water's reflection. The picture highlights not only the clear, nearly symmetrical reflection cast...
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68r, Via dei Servi, 66, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Even with all the noted thinkers, artists, politicians, and powerful families who’ve called Florence home, Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the city’s most famous son. This homage focuses less on his artwork and more on Da Vinci’s forward-thinking...
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Get up early to avoid the crowds and catch some beautiful, soft light while experiencing a quiet Florence devoid of its midday chaos.
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Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This centuries-old "pharmaceutical workshop" gives visitors a chance to experience part of Florence's unique bespoke heritage. It was established by Dominican monks of the adjacent Santa Maria Novella church around 1221 and opened to the public in...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Watching the sun set from one of the bridges that span the Arno in Florence seems to be a popular ritual with both tourists and Florentines. But it's the Ponte San Trinita that seems the bridge that attracts most.
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Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on the first floor of the bustling central market, Nerbone’s food stall has been serving up steaming plates of warming nourishment to hungry market workers since 1872 and is a great place to find local color and rock-bottom prices. The...
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Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 8r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Cibreo is one of Florence’s top gourmet restaurants, but if you manage to get a table in the adjoining, much less formal trattoria (you can’t book and there’s always a line), you eat the same food at a fraction of the price. Chef Fabio Picchi’s...
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Via dei Michelozzi, 9/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In spite of featuring in all the guide books, this Santo Spirito favourite has a loyal local following, and the place is always packed out with a mix of tourists and Florentines who line up for good value, homecooked food. I would recommend...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
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Via dei Georgofili, 3r/7r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A useful address for a snack after a visit to the Uffizi or Palazzo Vecchio, this gourmet sandwich bar and deli, hidden away down a narrow lane, serves delicious panini plus the odd salad. The sandwich selection (made with focaccia freshly-baked...
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Florence is famous for many reasons: the Duomo, the David, the whole Renaissance thing.... Sure, these are great—but the pizza. Oh man, the pizza! I'm talking about a thin, doughy crust, fresh ingredients, and a flavor you can barely handle. I'm...
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Via dei Neri, 37/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
If you can't stand the thought of another plate of ribollita (and it happens to the best of us), this contemporary dim sum restaurant is a good place to come for a cheap lunch: 12 euros will buy you two courses plus unlimited tea and water. The...
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Via dei Neri, 74/R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy
Fresh as you can get and a great price. The baker was bringing in steaming loaves of oven-fresh bread from the bakery down the street while we were standing in line!! Prosciutto on focaccia with warm Parmesan spread and arugula was delicious....
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Piazza San Felice, 8r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Rosticcerias normally just offer cooked food-to-go, but this one is also has a basic restaurant space at the back, so you can choose what looks good from the hot food counter and grab a table at the back. The spit-roast chicken with roast potatoes...
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Via di Camaldoli, 2r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
This natural soup-n-burger joint lies far from the tourist hordes, on a quiet residential street in the San Frediano neighbourhood. The kitchen and takeaway operation (open lunch and dinner) stands on one side of the road while opposite there is a...
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Via de' Bardi, 17, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The centuries old art of Florentine bookbinding and papermaking is kept beautifully alive here by the charming owner--Erin Ciulla, who came from Canada to Florence to study the craft and stayed on. Since part of the tiny store is her workshop, I...
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Borgo la Croce, 44/r, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
For fabulous room fragrances, head for the Antica Officina del Farmacista where Dr. Paolo Vranjes works his magic producing perfume essences inspired by Florence’s long, rich history.
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50125, Sdrucciolo de' Pitti, 13/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In Florence's Oltrarno neighborhood, an area known for its craftsmanship, this modern store stands out. Run by a couple, the store is full of fabric and paper goods. There are books covered in silk screen designs, and elegant prints on bags made...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
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Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people head to this ex-art school to ogle the world’s most famous nude statue. Michelangelo’s David was carved from a single five-meter-high block of milky-white marble in 1504 and originally stood in Piazza della Signoria....
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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the best views of Florence can be savored from the Piazzale Michelangelo, a short walk across the Arno River from downtown Florence. For a fun afternoon head to the square and enjoy an enchanting panorama of the city, followed by a relaxing...
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Piazza San Marco, 3, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Housed in the monastery of San Marco, this museum pays homage to the delicate, spiritual work of Fra Angelico who lived and worked here as a monk from 1435-1445. Some of his most celebrated paintings and frescoes are on show here: the famous...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Once home to the Medici princes, Palazzo Pitti is now our portal to Renaissance Florence. It is divided into six sections and, after three visits, I still cannot choose a favorite. The left wing is comprised of the Royal Apartments—a section that...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Sitting on a hill just south of the Arno with fabulous views over the city to the hills beyond, this is one of Florence’s most beautiful churches. San Miniato was built in 1015 and has an intricately patterned green-and-white marble façade with a...
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The grand Boboli Gardens are one of my favorite places in Florence, but they can be crowded. I like to start directly behind the Palazzo Pitti and climb to the top of the gardens. This section includes the Porcelein Museum and a small formal...
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Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
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Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica in central Florence has three of the city's most historic cafes. Gilli is one of them, and when you walk in, you feel like you are entering a piece of the city's history. The cafe was founded in 1733 but moved to its...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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Via Montebello, 58, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
During my last stay in Florence, I wanted to learn more about the artisan trades, and Bruscoli was recommended to me by a local. I am so glad it was. As I walked along the Arno River on my way to the workshop, I had no idea what an extraordinary...
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for...
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Via Maggio, 47, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This shop is delightfully curious. The displays mix paper art like collages and laser cut-outs with collections—cameras, desk chairs, or both. There's a wall display of antique Penguin books arranged in a grid to show their stark black and white...
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Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked behind the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence is Scuola del Cuoio—the school of leather. To get into the school, one must go through the church's side door, walk under the church's tunnels, and climb up a nondescript set of stairs. There,...
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Via de' Guicciardini, 1/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The only glove shop in the city to produce its stock on site, Madova’s exquisitely-crafted ‘guanti’ are made in a factory just behind the shop. There is a huge range of colours and styles range from simple, un-lined styles, silk or cashmere-lined...
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Via Guelfa, 5, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
The colors! The traditional art of Italian ceramics is celebrated in this shop, conveniently located, close to the Mercato Centrale. It's a joy to browse amidst the vibrant, hand painted goodies, that are reasonably priced. It's perfect for...
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Borgo Ognissanti, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
[NOTE: CLOSED] BM Bookshop has been selling books to Florence’s English-speaking community for over 50 years. Now under new management and glowing after a smart makeover, it is better stocked than ever. Come here to find a whole range of books...
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Borgo S. Jacopo, 12, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The scents that go into Ortigia’s gorgeous bath and beauty products are inspired by Sicilian plants (orange blossom, Sicilian lime, pomegranate, almond) and evoke the essence of this exotic, southern Mediterranean island. Beautifully presented in...
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Via della Spada, 34r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
It all started with the bottle of organic argan oil that Antje d’Almeida, the owner of Mio, bought on a trip to Morocco. The silky, scent-free oil was too good not to share, so she opened a shop and started selling...
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Piazza S. Lorenzo, 50050 Limite Sull'Arno FI, Italy
Over ten years ago, I took my first trip to Florence. I bought 2 leather jackets there, one of which I still wear regularly today. The other one is in great shape but slightly out of style. So on this recent trip 10+ years later, I was bound and...
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The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give its full name) is now a global brand, but this is where it all began, in a frescoed, 13th-century chapel in Florence. The place is as stunning as the products that are still made...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
When you go to Florence, don't forget to wander outside the "Centro Storico" to see how the "regular" people live. There are great photo opportunities in the outer neighborhoods that are both tranquil and "real".
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Florence: it's one of my favorite cities in Italy and in the world. But, the downside is that it can get ridiculously crowded. In fact, the last time I visited it was so crowded on the 'main side' of Florence, where the Duomo and all of the...
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Piazza di Santa Croce, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Standing in the Piazza Santa Croce, a statue of Dante looms over the square from the corner. Florence, where Durante degli Alighieri's journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise was to begin but not end. In 1829 a tomb was built for him in the...
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Via Borgo Ognissanti, 42, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Domenico Ghirlandaio's beautiful fresco representing the Last Supper is one of my favorite paintings in Florence, and luckily, most tourists ignore it, so you may find you have the place to yourself.