Florence is one of my favorite cities in Europe. It has that distinct, quintessential European vibe of culture, history and slow living. I visited there with my family in the summer of 2009.

There are so many fascinating sites to see in Florence. I think what struck me as the most alluring however, are the colors and textures of the city. A view of the landscape reveals terracotta-roofed buildings and old cobblestoned streets and bridges. I felt very grounded there; as if the city sprung up from the earth itself.

Of all the numerous must-sees, I did pick favorites. Here are my top 3!

piazza della signoria, Florence Italy 2009

piazza della signoria, Florence Italy 2009

This plaza is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by café’s, the town hall and Loggia dei Lanzi; an open-air display filled with sculptures and ensconced by archways. And, just down the street is the Uffizi Art Gallery where you’ll find Botticelli’s famous Birth of Venus painting.

Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

I can’t decide if this is my favorite spot in Florence, but its close. Boboli Gardens is a park in the city filled with beautifully trimmed hedges, 16- 18th century sculptures and meandering pathways and grassy spots perfect for a picnic. Certain corners of the park also yield breathtaking views of the city as well.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The most iconic building in the city has to be Il Duomo del Firenze, or Florence Cathedral. The architecture is inspiring and detailed, both inside and out. The view from the top of the dome gives a great impression of the city where you’ll ask yourself, “When can I move here!?” Also, I found it particularly exciting to stand at the final resting place of two of the most famous pioneers of art and science, Michelangelo and Galileo!

Bonus pics from my trip

I DID take a short day trip to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. At one time you could take a tour inside but this was under construction during my visit. Bucket list… Check!

I DID take a short day trip to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. At one time you could take a tour all the way to the top but this was under construction during my visit. Bucket list… Check!

Ponte Vecchio, popular bridge filled with shops, Florence.

Ponte Vecchio, popular bridge filled with shops, Florence.

Have you ever been to Italy?

Leave a Reply