Flourishing Florence (Firenze) and Food!


Florence, the city of art and culture, is a visit-worthy city in Italy.  This trip was part of our four days in Florence and four days in Milan trip.  We saw the main sites of Florence including the Statue of David at the Accademia in one afternoon.  Yes, we move very fast. Everything you want to visit in Florence is within walking distance from the train station. We included three day trips, Cortona, Fiesole, and Bergamo, outside the city in the four days we stayed in Florence.  There's a map at the end of this post.




One of the Duomo's fascinating entrances!










The magnificent Statue of David at the Accademia

Always have reservations in advance for the Accademia (purchase from their website) and you'll be able to enter very quickly.  Its located several blocks from the main Duomo and the walk is all on flat streets. 



                  Michelangelo's Pieta in the Accademia      David is the main attraction.





Many churches to see..






The beautiful Ponte Vecchio Bridge at dusk.



Arno River opposite from the Vecchio bridge




Santa Maria Novella Church is very near the train station along the walk to Pointe Vecchio bridge.






Located very near the Santa Maria Novella church along the walk to the Arno River, 
the designer stores are fun to shop or window shop at least. 


Since we chose to go out of the city in the daytime, we'd visit Florence sites during the evening...




There are plenty of cafes and shops along the walk to the Duomo from the train station.










Beautiful architecture and especially the old carved doors!







We loved our stay at the Hotel Albani Firenze-- the location was one block from the SMN train station.  We were near the central market where it all happens in the evenings and right off the Via Nazionale for dining.  

The food is absolutely wonderful all over Italy but we received several recommendations from the hotel staff that were perfect.  






Our dinners (two nights) at Ristorante La Fonticine on Via Nazionale were superb. Super Mario and his chefs will surely take care of your hunger needs.  He treats you very special with extra goodies brought to the table.  Great fresh food and busy so be sure to have reservations.  


More food...





You can't get better than the Centrale Market/food court located off the Via Nazionale, unless you're looking for a quiet little restaurant.  The Centrale Market is a huge warehouse full of individual stores and cafes with an enormous selection of delicious sweet and savory foods.  There's an open eating area so dining with your friends with different appetites is easy after you purchase your food at the vendors.  We went here several times and weren't ever disappointed.  An excellent selection of meats, cheeses, wines, pastas, sushi, pizza, etc., are available.  Be sure to see the "other" artsy David who joined us for dinner at the market!











The Eataly store at the Market is filled with Italian foods coming to California soon!



More food...




 

We also dined across the Arno River at 4 Trattoria 4 Leoni.  Not far from the PV bridge, this place provides a quality and more quiet meal.  The ambiance is beautiful with glass and rustic stone walls- make sure you have reservations for this popular place!


Just some words about the trains...
There are several train stations in most large cities.  We use the main SMN in Florence and the Centrale in Milan.  Purchase train tickets in advance for busy places such as Venice at the italo kiosks.  These are located in various areas of the stations.  Always check the binaro (platform) and times overhead on the schedule boards regularly as they change. Sometimes they don't even have them posted overhead until 15-30 minutes ahead of leaving the station. Be sure to "validate" your tickets in the little yellow or green boxes near the binaro before boarding the trains. 

 





I've circled the Accademia, Duomo and Ponte V bridge.  The SMN train station is gray.

There are plenty of day trips from Florence to see.  See my day trip tips.  I also review the restaurants at ciaotravelerblogspot on tripadvisor.

Thanks for viewing!

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