After six weeks of scouring Italy for nightlife unsuccessfully, you would think we would jump at the chance to find dance floors in Florence – a larger and therefore more promising city, compared to others we visited. However, we have given up on the party circuit in order to focus on Italy’s strengths, beauty and history. Yes, there are a few guidebooks on these subjects, but we have a few recommendations of our own.
1.Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Get a panoramic view of Tuscany — from the famoulsy beautiful green hillsides to the Duomo and mountains beyond — from the “other side” of the Arno River. Go at sunset to see the most gorgeous rays of light shine down on the city or during the day to experience the true Tuscan sun. Local musicians will entertain you with their guitar music.
2. Great Hostel: Ostello Archi di Rossi
Great free breakfast, cheap dinners, clean, excellent Internet and computer service and paintings and hand painted art on the walls. For 25 euros a night this is a great option.
3. Rent a bike
You can rent a bike right outside the main Santa Maria Novella train station for just 1.50 Euros per hour. On the weekend many of the streets in the city’s center are almost completely empty of cars, which makes exploring on bike a peaceful and easy way to explore the city.
4. Visit the Duomo – for free
There are a couple of ways to do this.
1) Attend Mass. Sarah asked whether one could go for part of the service, take pictures and leave. People seemed taken aback by the question…but the consensus was that it is possible even if not socially acceptable.
2) Queue up for a free tour. These are led by passionate art history majors (upside) but they do not include access to the dome itself (major downside).
We recommend that art lovers do as Perrin did and pay the 8 euro admittance (4 euro for EU citizens) to take the 464-stair trek to the top of the dome. Once there, you are atop one of the highest, most central points in the city, and get a real eyeful of the full beauty of Florence. Moreover, you get a close look at the massive interier of the dome (the cupola), which was painted by Brunelleschi. Perrin did this and thought is was the best art she has seen in Italy. The devils and monsters were particularly creative.
As far as party recommendations go, we will simple pass on the word-of-mouth tip that dance club “Central Park” is a fantastic time. Just don’t try to go out on Sunday, as clubs here close for the Holy Day.