Cultural Getaway in Florence, Italy

Cultural Getaway in Florence, Italy

From the sky, the roofs of Florence beam as bright as the sun, blanketed by millions of red terracotta tiles protecting historic buildings and landmarks built upon the ancient city. But as amazing as the Italian city looks from the sky, it’s at ground level where you’ll want to experience Florence.

Florence is an unparalleled adventure trip, brimming with exciting landmarks to see and food that will make you want to never leave. It’s time for you to pack, because you won’t want to miss another second in Florence, Italy!

Read on for things to do, places to stay, and where to eat while you explore Florence, Italy.

See the Sights

There is much to do in Florence! But if you want to visit the best sights in town, here are a few special landmarks that await you.

The Jewel of the City – Florence Cathedral

Piazza del Duomo | 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

If Florentine residents were to pick the most notable place in Florence, it’d surely be Florence’s grand cathedral. The Italian gothic building, designed by Arnolfo del Cambio and completed in the 1300’s, is one of the most revered cathedrals in the world. It’s hard to miss, too—it’s one of the most massive and breathtaking architectural phenomenons in all of Florence.

Ponte Vecchio

Reaching across the river Arno, the Ponte Vecchio is an old and historic bridge built as early as 996 AD—it’s definitive origins are not known. Along the bridge are street vendors, art, tiny shops, and even a few snacks. Don’t forget to take a family photo here!

Boboli Gardens

Piazza Pitti, 1 | 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

Spanning over 45,000 square feet, these meticulously-kept gardens are as palatial as they are beautiful. Roll around in the grass, grab a cup of coffee, and breathe in the lovely scents from trees, plants, and flowers from all over the world.

Food the whole family will love

If you threw a rock in Florence, it’d likely land in front of a world-class restaurant. But we have a few favorites perfect for a hungry stomach.

Ristorante II GuscioVia dell’Orto, 49 | 50124 Firenze FI, Italy

If you’re tired from seeing Florence’s landmarks and want to sink into a beautiful dinner, make way for Ristorante II Guscio. The famed wine selections from all over the world effortlessly pair with Tuscan and Italian classics, making for a culinary experience that’ll be hard to forget. Make this stop your nice evening out.

Trattoria MarioVia Rosina, 2, Florence | Tuscany 50123, Italy

This little Florentine eatery may be easy to miss, but it’s worth the treasure hunt. This often-busy restaurant is light on the wallet and heavy on the flavor—come for lunch, but get here early. The best options tend to sell out quickly, and seats fill up fast!

You can’t say no to dessert

Keep the kids (and yourself) happy with a tasty treat. Explore some of the options below for authentic Italian sweets!

Gelateria La CarraiaPiazza Nazario Sauro | 25/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy

If you and the family are shopping for local favorites, look no more. Gelateria La Carraia boast some of the smoothest, most luscious gelato in all of Florence. Grab a cone and watch your little ones light up with a smile (put a smile on your own face, too—you deserve it!)

Try the Delizia Carraia—a creamy treat with chunks of white chocolate, a pistachio sauce, coffee, and a mousse tiramisu. Find this gem off the Ponte alla Carraia, the second bridge west of Ponte Vecchio (on the Oltrarno side).

Bar PiccioliVia Borgo Ognissanti 118R | 50123 Florence, Italy

Florence is famous for gelato, but if you’re craving a delicious pastry, head to Bar Piccioli to recharge with a creamy coffee while munching on a homemade struffoli, zeppole, or torta caprese.

Art & Culture

Florence is bursting at the seams with museums, art, and culture. Whether you’re in Florence for a day or a month, be sure not to miss our following favorites:

Statue of David

Galleria dell’ Accademia de Florence |Via Ricasoli, 58/60 | 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

One of the most recognizable statues in the art world is Michelangelo’s statue of David—and the statue itself draws in 1.5 million people per year! The 17-foot depiction of the biblical character—the shepherd that defeated a giant warrior—is indeed on display in Florence, but there are a few copies throughout the city. The real David is viewable at The Galleria dell’Accademia. Time it right—the gallery is closed on Mondays!

Palatine Gallery

Galleria Palatina | Piazza de’ Pitti, 1 | 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

There are a number of amazing museums in Florence packed to the brim with awe-inspiring works of art. But the Palentine Gallery, located adjacent to the Boboli Gardens, has less of a crowd and spares no expense at the enlightening displays of magnificent art. Since the locale is a smaller museum, art is organized in a different way and not according to chronology—it’s designed for an intimate setting and a sensory experience.

The best places to stay in Florence

As an old-world city in a new-world era, Florence is teeming with ancient lodging and modern hotels. Here are a few exceptional hideaways:

The Westin Excelsior | Piazza Ognissanti 3 | 50123 Florence Tuscany, Italy

If an authentic Florence stay is what you and your family seek, the Westin Excelsior is one of the best selections in town. The hotel itself is a cultural experience, with finishes like stained glass and hanging tapestries. Sitting smack in the middle of Florence and on top of the Arno River, the Excelsior’s rooftop bar boast 360-degree city views—have a glass of vino as you stare out into the captivating city!

Authentic Florence with AirBnB

Be in the heart of Florence while staying in a restful abode. If a relaxing stay is what you’re looking for, try this AirBnB rental—it’s an authentic Tuscan apartment with exposed brick and a glass door leading out to a lovely garden for the kids to roam around in.

Unparalleled Views and a Unique Setting

Instead of a typical hotel or home, stay in a fully immersive Florence hideaway. Casa Barthel, a family-friendly home build atop a tree, is surrounded by olives and pines and is only 15 minutes away from the city center.

Florence is a popular place to visit, attracting over 10 million visitors a year—for good reason. The city of Florence is a cultural playground for anyone interested in art, but those visiting may be fascinated to know that almost a third of the entire world’s relevant art treasures reside in Florence! If it’s arts and culture that you seek, Florence is your dream family trip.

The off-season for visiting Florence is typically November through March, and there are special sales to take advantage of in January where you can buy high-end luxury items for cheap. Although you may be missing bright patches of sun, it may be in your interest to make your way here during these times to escape the crowds, inflated pricing, and long lines streaming out of shops.

Whatever period of time you decide to visit, one thing is a must—you and your family surely need to come and experience all this beautiful, ancient city has to offer.

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Not easy to make a list of things to do/see in Venice as the city is packed with great places and historic sites. There are, of course  the most visited ones which symbolize the city and can’t be missed during a first stay (piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge …) but there are other places far from mass tourism and more authentic that particularly charm us.

We have listed some of our favourite addresses and spots for a weekend in Venice:

A labyrinth of medieval alleyways and canals

All travel blogs will tell you, the best way to visit Venice is to get lost. And if they say it again and again, it’s because it’s true! Venice is part of several islands and it has only 5 districts. So, the chance of getting lost is very low.

The Dorsoduro district

You don’t need to venture far from San Marco to find quiet streets and fantastic restaurants at reasonable prices. The Dorsoduro district is one of our favorites. It offers without doubt the most beautiful views of Venice. We love to walk along the Grand Canal and the Canal della Guidecca. For ice cream lovers, we recommend taking a break at the Gelateria da Nico to taste their famous Gianduiotto, a chocolate-hazelnut ice cream served with whipped cream.

Vaporetto Tour on Grand Canal

The best view of the palaces is from the canal, and much of it doesn’t have embankments to walk, so the water is the only way to see some of them. Board near the Doge’s palace and ride the entire circle to get a view of the whole city.

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By the way, gondolas cost 80 euros for half an hour as they are regulated by the city. If you’re not willing to spend that much on a short gondola ride take a local boat. It looks like a gondola, but costs you less.

Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio

San Giacomo dell’Orio square is situated in the Santa Croce district. This place is full of venetian charm and away from the tourist flow. When the school is over, the square gets crowded with Venetian kids and their parents who meet to spend the afternoon together.

Stroll through the Acqua Alta bookstore

In the Acqua Alta Bookstore the imagination takes off. This old and picturesque bookstore is a paradise for kids: it looks like an enchanting world in which the only rules to follow are those imposed by creativity and imagination.You will find books from the past and the latest releases, used and new, stored in the most disparate places like gondolas, an old boat or a bathtub. And when you climb on top of the staircase made of books you enjoy the nice view of the river.

Libreria Aqua AltaCalle Longa S.M. Formosa 5176/b |30122 Venice | Italy

Art is everywhere!

Venice has many incredible museums and exhibitions and some of them organize kids free workshops and recreational activities to bring children closer to contemporary and modern art.

Here are our top two:

Peggy Guggenheim Collection: Kids days is every Sunday from 15:00 to 16:30, the museum organizes free laboratories and fun activities that are designed to allow children to discover (between 4 and 10 years old) the contemporary and modern art.

Collection Peggy Guggenheim | Dorsoduro | 701-704, 30123 Venezia VE | Italie

Palazzo Grassi: ST_ART is the creative laboratory of Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. They offer a series of appointments and activities dedicated to children and their parents. Participants experience contemporary art through laboratories that develop a sense of observation and stimulate practical skills.

Palazzo Grassi |Campo San Samuele, 3231 | 30124 Venezia VE | Italie

Take a drink near the canals

After a long day of sightseeing and strolling around the city, we take a well deserved glas of Prosecco! Direction Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti or Osteria al Squero. The drinks (or sucoo d’arancia for your kids) are accompanied by Cicchetti (tapas Venetian). Enjoy the evening sun outside, on the banks of the canal, while the city reveals her true charms.

Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti | ABC Fondamenta Toletta | 1169 ABC | 30123 Venezia VE | Italie

Osteria al Squero | Dorsoduro 943-944 | 30123 Venezia VE | Italie

Burano, Murano or Torcello?

The lagoon of Venice has more than a hundred islands. This makes it difficult to choose between the great classics (Burano, Murano or Torcello) or other less known, and more preserved islands.

The island Murano, Burano and Torcello can be reached easily by Vaporetto . Burano, with its colorful little houses, seems straight out of an illustrated storybook, Torcello is one of the most important archeological sites in Venice and Murano is known for its glass work.

Of course, all tourists do it, but it would be a shame not to see Murano’s talented artists. Your kids will be delighted to see the glassblowers at work. Thanks to the incredible skills of the craftsmen, the incandescent material will take shape in front of their eyes, turning into a precious glass creation.

Venise is without any doubt a unique city, but the problems with the overtourism is still not solved. The number of tourists has been increasing in double digits since 2010. The giant cruise ships, which unload thousands of passengers over Venice, are just adding to this problem.

As a conscientious traveler, you can not close your eyes to this problem, and before you book your week-end, you’ll probably give it some thought. Especially in the summer months, Venice is packed with tourists and a walk around Piazza San Marco can turn into a nightmare. The Municipality of Venice launched a campaign on sustainable tourism in Venise at #enjoyrespectvenezia and recommends to visit the city during low season. We can only agree as we visit Venise in March and it was just perfect. You avoid long queues, massive tourist crowds and annoying salesmen.

With the cooler weather and shorter days, a kind of passivity lays over Venice, where everything goes into slow motion. The atmosphere is relaxes, the bars are quiet and a visit is certainly more pleasant.

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