Florence and Cinque Terra were location two and three of our fabulous two-week vacation through Italy. Florence has stayed, by far, my favorite place to visit. With the Tuscan scenery and no lack of places to eat, it becomes one of my top places to be. Here, they have many different dishes that they are famous for, such as, their bread and anti-pastas. Although, I only had the pleasure of trying their bread, anti-pastas, and pizza dishes, I would still give Florence an A. There are also, various tourist attractions for both handicapped and those who are more than able bodied. The Duomo, the Tower, and the Pitti Palace are for those who don’t mind taking multiple steps and ramps to get some breath-taking views. There are some fun and cultural places to visit like the Leonardo DaVinci Museum which has all kinds of fun gadgets to play with, the Uffizi where you can see The Birth of Venus, and The Academia Museum where David is in all his glory (All handicap accessible). The fun thing here is that these were all interesting and weren’t stuffy.
Happiness discovered in the Fleur De Lis. One place I have always wanted to visit was the Amalfi Coast, but unfortunately, because of our itinerary layout, this wasn’t possible this time around. Instead, we went to the equally as amazing Cinque Terra (Five Earths), which was only a stone’s throw away from the main city of Florence. I would recommend this if you have the means and some free time and looking to catch some sun. We personally, did a tour that took us there and back with the option of lunch, but we opted out to gain some extra exploration time. Because of the extra time acquired, we were able to go to the beach and dip our feet in the water, and had a chance, of course, to shop for local flavors like their amazing pesto and lemon infused delicacies.
5 Things That I Learned in Florence and Cinque Terra
- Negotiating… In Florence and Cinque Terra, there are a variety of markets and stands all selling the same thing. First off, when shopping for those inexpensive souvenirs make sure you don’t buy from the first vendor, as soon as you arrive. Take the time to look around and investigate best prices and materials. Get to know how much things cost before you go to buy. And when you are ready to purchase especially in these open air markets, know that you don’t have to take the first price offered… negotiate for a lower price!
- Get the Firenze card. Depending on which one you get you will have free/priority access to the museums for up to seventy-two hours.
- Take tours and classes. Make sure if you have the time and the means that you take at least one of these. I personally, had the time of my life taking a pizza and gelato making class. Last time, I was here I took a full-blown cooking class. Although you may have the knowledge to cook, it is a cool way to meet new people, learn the right way to cook these local dishes and get to eat delicious food that you had a hand in making.
- The city has a calming charm about itself, but like any city, you should always be aware of your surroundings. On this trip, a drunk young man grabbed my derriere. To his surprise, he got a firm slap to the face! Florence is sort of known for mean being forward. The city is pretty safe and this was the only incident but you should always be aware of pickpockets, and what is happening around you.
- Last but not least, make sure if you like home remedies and smells that you go to the Santa Maria Novela Pharmaceutical. This is where you can find all your teas, soaps, and of course scents in various flavors, smells, and shapes.