What to do in Florence? | Italy Travel Guide | Weekend in Florence, Italy | Europe Travel

What to do in Florence? | Italy Travel Guide | Weekend in Florence, Italy | Europe Travel

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Florence is one of the most amazing cities
I’ve ever visited. There are so many artistic treasures but there
is also much more to see and do. And I’m going to show you how to spend a fun
time in this beautiful Tuscan city: Hello and welcome to my perfect weekend in
Florence. And it starts with a typical Italian breakfast. That means cappuccino and pastries at the
bar in the traditional Café Scudieri next to Florence’s famous cathedral. Florence is considered the “cradle of the
Renaissance” and it is famous for architecture museums, which attract millions of tourists
all year round. My tour starts at the main cathedral with
Francesca Giordano as my guide: “Thanks for being my guide… Wow!” “You can see that we don’t have skyscrapers
here in Florence. It’s because it’s forbidden to build taller
buildings than the duomo which is the tallest building in the city centre, 116 metres.” “There is so much to see here. What are the main things that tourists should
know about the Duomo?” “The Duomo right now is like the 5th or 6th
biggest church in the world. And it’s an amazing Gothic structure.” These golden doors on the Florence Baptistery
were dubbed the “gates of paradise” by Michelangelo. They were created between 1425 and 1452 and
depict scenes from the Old Testament. Instead of standing in long lines to the museums,
Francesca takes me to well known spots in the city center including the Piazza della
Signoria which is filled with outdoor art. This is also where a replica of Michelangelo’s
David stands. “We have to remind that Florence is a Roman
city. We are actually walking on part of the roman
rest of the city, Piazza della Signoria was built on that.” The statues here are filled with political
connotations, erected during the time when the Medicis ruled the city. “And this is my culture tip. To discover Florence on a guided walking tour
as an open air museum.” Florence is not only known for its artistic
treasures, but also for its leather goods. I visit the “Scuola di Cuoio”, a family-run
leather school and business, located in a former monastery. Students can sign up for workshops to learn
the trade of leather craftsmanship. Beatrice Parri Gori’s grandfather founded
the school with Franciscan monks after World War 2. The aim was to teach orphans a trade. Now, some 15 artisans are employed here and
make all the leather goods by hand. Beatrice explains to me some of the history
behind this Florentine tradition: “How did Florence become associated with leather
goods?” “Florence has always been the main centre
of leather. Probably because of the location, because
we are across by the river, the fiume Arno, so a lot of tanneries were actually here in
Florence and that is how this tradition starts.” I find some nice examples of this tradition
that are hard to resist in the shop that accompanies the school. “And this is my shopping tip in Florence. If you’re looking for a nice souvenir, then
I recommend original Florentine leather.” In the late afternoon, I decide to treat myself
to something special, and the Grand Hotel Cavour has exactly what I’m looking for: “After a long day of sight seeing and walking
it’s time for an aperativo and I recommend one at a terrace overing the beautiful Duomo. So, chin chin!” Hotel Cavour’s terrace offers a bird’s eye
view of the cathedral and the Palazzo Vecchio. My second day in Florence begins with a challenge
of sorts: “It’s hard not to feel inspired in this city. Really ambitious tourists can learn to take
art or coooking classes. So I’ve decided to learn how to make a typical
Florentine dish!” And this involves going to the Sant Ambrogio
market where I meet my cooking teacher “Cesarine” Cecilia Bendinelli. “Hi… you’re going to show me how to cook!” Tourists can book a private cooking class
with her. Cecilia first shows me what ingredients we’ll
need for a typical Florentine meal. “So tell me, what are we going to cook today?” “Today we cook crespelle alla fiorentina,
a typical florentine dish. Made with crepes, stuffed with ricotta and
spinach.” I’m used to simply making reservations, but
here I’m inspired to learn! After buying the necessary produce, we head
to Cecilia’s home. Once there, I put on an apron and things get
started: I’m quickly realizing what I’ve gotten myself
into but I’m still excited to learn something new. “And we stir and stir and stir!” “15 minutes!” 15 minutes seems more like a life time! Making the crepes involves a bit of wrist
action and after a few tries, I do finally get the hang of it! Next I fill the crepes with the spinach and
ricotta mix and prepare them for baking. The final touches are made before the whole
dish gets put into the oven for 30 minutes. “And this is my activity tip for a weekend
in Florence. A private cooking class.” All we need now is some dessert. “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice
cream!” Gelateria Vivoli is a family run business
that’s been something of an institution in Florence since 1939. “Can you tell me what makes Florentine ice
cream some of the best in the world?” “Gelato is born in Florence from this guy
called Bernardo Buontalenti. He was an architect during the Catharina de
Medici court in 15 th century – so we try to continue the tradition of this frozen dessert.” “Is there a gelato that is specific to Florence,
that you can only get here?” “It’s called Creme Fiorentina. It’s a creme custard. There are few ingredients such as whole milk,
fresh eggs, and sugar. That’s it! You can say in my case there is a special
ingredient that comes just from us, a secret or a special touch.” “That’s great! I’d like to try some.” “Is he going to have ice cream… he loves
ice cream! Do you love ice cream?” But this looks to good to share with a dog,
so I’ll keep it just for me! “And this is my culinary tip for a weekend
in Florence. Authentic Florentine ice cream!” Another Florentine original is the wooden
doll Pinocchio. Its creator Carlo Collodi was born in the
city. In this shop in the center of town, tourists
can spend some time with the lying little boy in all sorts of capacities. “Now this is more my style!” Next up, I head to the most famous bridge
in the city. The Ponte Vecchio. It dates back to the 14th century is filled
with small shops, mostly jewelers, in keeping with centuries’ old tradition. My final destination is the Piazzale Michelangelo
which overlooks the city. From here you have the best views of Florence. This is my special tip for a weekend in Florence. Watching the sunset over this magnificent
city from the Piazzale Michelangelo. And that wraps up my tour. Join me again as I explore more exciting European
destinations and until then it’s happy travels.

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7 Comments

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this florentine adventure. Me and my mom love Meggin very much so it was exciting that she is showing us around Florence. Love watching your shows.

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