We decided to head to Florence after our trip to Pisa, which if you haven’t read about that you can here, and we honestly weren’t expecting too much. In fact, we even had an escape plan if it turned out to be like Pisa. The escape plan wasn’t needed, but we felt better knowing we had one.
We took the train to Florence, and it ended up only taking about 40 minutes. The train station in Florence is huge! It is easily the biggest one we saw the whole trip, but it is fairly easy to maneuver through so don’t panic.
We didn’t really have any plans because honestly we weren’t expecting much. The guys selling selfie sticks were everywhere, but not as thick and pushy as they were in Pisa.
After picking a direction and walking, the first sight we ran into was the Ponte Vecchio. This really was the only thing I wanted to see, and we walked across the bridge and did a circle around it. Drew and I appreciating history enjoyed the walk, but I think this was one of the sights that is way over hyped and it was, in a way, a let down because I had done so much research and had already seen so many pictures of it. I did manage to find an angle I hadn’t seen before in pictures, that was very exciting!
After the Ponte Vecchio we decided to just wing it and walk around. I remembered there was really majestic buildings I wanted to see, but for the life of me couldn’t remember what they were called so we couldn’t ask for directions or GPS them. Walking around worked out really well as we hit up all the spots we wanted to see.
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is a beautiful building to walk around. We circled it twice looking at the intricate details. Plan on grabbing a “caffè” and taking a moment in this location to enjoy. I stood staring at the building for so long, I didn’t realize I was in the shot of a movie being filmed. Drew had to get my attention and pull me away.
While the Santa Maria Cathedral was just breathtaking, Drew and I also slipped in and out of most smaller churches we stumbled upon, and let me just say the insides of the smaller churches were beautiful and very much worth a moment of your time.
I will say if you want to go inside any of the museums I would definitely buy tickets before you go because the lines were horrific. We did not go into the museums, but we did stumble onto an outdoor museum of sorts. It’s a free “museum” although there is not a reason to actually go inside as you can enjoy it from the street without the crowds.
Next, we stumbled onto the boar. If you have done any research on Florence you know about the boar, but if you haven’t it’s a statue of a boar in front of an open air market that predicts whether or not you will return to Florence. Drew put the obligatory Euro into the boar’s mouth and rubbed his nose while the coin fell into the grate below his mouth, so I am assuming we will be heading back to Florence, hopefully in the near future.
On the way back to the train, we stopped for another coffee and I jumped on Wi-Fi to see if we missed anything and much to my surprise, we only missed one building that I wanted to see. Guess what? That one was right around the corner from the train station. Literally. We had walked right by it without even noticing. Santa Maria Novella. After seeing it, I really must say when we first walked by it, I must not have had enough caffeine because how could I miss this?
Was six hours enough time in Florence? For Drew and I, yes it was, because we do not enjoy large crowds and this city is definitely FULL of tourists. For an average traveler, you might want to plan on spending at least a full day, if not two in Florence to see and enjoy everything.