No words will ever be enough to describe that beauty that is Maria del Fiori Basilica, Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile and surrounding buildings on Piazza del Duomo. Even more beautiful it the technology used to build it and at a time when no want had done anything like it before. Even more fascinating is the patience and time it took to bring the very idea to what we now have before us from the various artists and architects that have been a part of bringing it all together.
To truly appreciate it we wanted to take the views by climbing Giotto’s Campanile offering amazing views of not only Florence but Brunelleschi’s Cupola(the dome). Marveling over how beautiful Florence’s Cathedral is we totally forgot about the narrow stairs all the way up to the top of the Campanile.
This was yet another long weekend exploring another one of Italy’s many beautiful cities. This time it was Florence over a rather wet, cold and wintery long weekend with the Mister. I had visited Pisa before but never had enough time to go from Pisa to Florence. On this winter getaway, I had my eyes firmly on Florence. As our flight had been delayed we missed the last train from Pisa to Florence so we ended up staying in Pisa overnight.
We rented a place near the station so it was easier to catch an early train from Pisa Station all the way to Florence. Having settled into our apartment we embarked on an aimless stroll. Before we knew daylight had already gone and as if by magical of winter blues night had already befallen upon us way before 5pm but there is something magical about strolling through the streets of Florence in the darkness of evening. With all the street lights paving their way for more mysterious and aimless wonder.
With most of the tourists are gone by then and it almost feels like you are just going about your daily business as a local. Bars and restaurants filled with dinners enjoying Italian cuisine. Of course, having worked up an appetite exploring the city and catching amazing views of Florence after the 414 steps up Giotto’s Campanile we couldn’t resist tucking into a delicious pasta dish. I thought I would share shots from Giotto’s Campanile before we tuck into more posts from Florence.
Wearing: Coat by Very / Ring by Swarovski / Hat by Other Stories similar here, here& here /Earrings by Melissa Obadash
Florence Is Where Luxury Is Born – What to see and do in Florence
To say that people only come to Florence for the Duomo and Florence’s Cathedrals would be quite understatement. Italy has been drawing visitors to its cities for more than just the beautiful architecture. Cities like Venice, Milan, Naples, Palermo, and Florence became even more prominent with the introduction of luxury good from hats to jewellery to cosmetics and beautiful fabrics.
Prominent and wealthy families including those from luxury brand settling in Florence and around the sought after locations around the banks of the River Arno have helped elevate the city in much the same with architects and artists of buildings of the Duomo and Maria del Fiori buildings. While there are many reasons to visit Piazza del Duomo in Florence, the city brings visitor also for its influence in fashion. Florence has served as a home for fashion brands like Salvatore Ferragamo, Gianfranco Lotti, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, Stefano Ricci, some of which were also founded in Florence.
So, one cannot simply visit Florence to marvel at the architecture, once must also indulge in all the glorious offerings that Italian craftsmanship has to offer. With that in mind when you visit Florence be sure to check out the places below:
- Tour Uffizi Gallery with some 50 rooms filled with paintings from 13th to 18th century with famous paintings such as Madonna di Ognissanti, the Birth of Venus, plenty of paintings by Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raffaello and more so, not one to miss!
- The Mall – A luxury designer outlet in the heart of the countryside. Buses to the mall pick up close the train station.
- Via de’ Tornabuoni – This is I guess an equivalent to London’s Bond Street. Its where major luxury fashion houses and jewellery labels have their boutiques together with those on Via del Parione and Via Roma.
- Learn to cook the Italian way – Take an Italian cooking class and learn the art of love through food with tours like
- Explore Tuscany’s charming countryside on a Vespa. Explore the hills and end with delicious Italian Cuisine.
- Take in the Views of Florence from Piazza Michelangelo.
- Love Italian Gelato? Well, you can also learn how to make it yourself. See here.
Climbing Giotto’s Campanile
The Giotto’s Campanile has 414 steps leading up the highest point in the Bell Tower and some parts are a bit narrow but otherwise not as bad as some of the narrow church towers I have climbed before. Our visit to Florence was during a cold winter and wet winter so perhaps the climb up Florence’s Bell Tower was what was needed to warm up.
Entrance is 15 Euros and that includes the Cathedral, The Dome, The Baptistery, Crypt and Campanile.
Where To Stay In Florence
We rented an apartment in St Croce Piazza. St Croce Piazza has the famous St Croce Basilica with burials sights of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. The beautiful square surrounded by market stalls, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
It was perfect! A street behind and we had access to the river Arno and could see the popular viewing deck that is Piazza Michaelangelo. It was also a short walk to Maria del Fiori Duomo. For where to stay in Florence see here for hotels or if you prefer Italian apartments then check out apartment rentals in Florence here.
So have you been to Florence yet? What did you think of the city?
Such an amazing place to visit in December!
Fabulous pictures. I went to Pisa too and also didn’t have time for Florence. Now I really want to go! An italian cooking class sounds out of this world!