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Florence, Italy: Your Essential Weekend Itinerary

The capital of the Italian region of Tuscany is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance resulting in its beautiful architecture and historical pieces of art that can be found in every corner of the city. While museums abound in Florence, simply walking through the crowded streets is like being in a museum itself. Check out a few spots to visit on your next visit.

Grab a Scoop (or two or three) of Freshly Made Gelato

Florence is a city to be enjoyed by walking. And while walking, you will come across a gelateria shop on almost every corner. Gelato is Italian style ice cream that is made with a higher proportion of whole milk to cream, creating a creamier taste, and is a must-have treat on the hot Italian days. The hardest part about eating gelato is picking your flavors as an order of a small cup allows you to choose two different flavors at once (our favorite is to combine a fruity flavor like raspberry with a dark chocolate). You can’t really go wrong at any gelateria you come across, but check out Carapina, located between the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio for an amazing light and creamy selection of flavors, and some of the best gelato in the city.

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Explore a Secret Garden

There is no doubt that the architecture and art in and around Florence is breathtaking- but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some nature at the same time. The Bardini Villa and Garden is a lesser-known garden in the heart of the city that provides a beautiful escape, with small grottos, tons of flowers and four hectares of green space, right in the center of town. The Garden encompasses three different areas: the Italian Garden with a beautiful baroque staircase, the English Wood, with Anglo-Chinese elements, and the Agriculture Park, with beautiful blooming flowers. It is described as a garden atop of hill surrounded by the medieval walls of the city- you must see it to experience the unique perspective on Florence.

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Learn about Florence’s Rich History- With an Entertaining Show

The Medici family was the ruling family in Florence for over three centuries, and like any ruling class, had a history full of controversy and intrigue. After walking the streets of one of the most historically rich cities in the world, the Medici Dynasty show will offer you a unique insight into 300 years of Florence’s history- all told through the eyes of the ruling family. All shows are performed in English and are performed in a Baroque Church. The story is told through humor and drama and will leave you with a better understanding as you step back into the city, filled with knowledge of its history.

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Have an Authentic Meal at one of the Oldest Restaurants in Florence

If you have made your way to Italy, you likely have an affinity for beautiful scenery, and good homemade food. When in Florence it is difficult to find any authentic restaurant that isn’t catered towards the massive crowds of tourists. At Ristorante Buca San Giovanni, you will find authentic Italian cuisine in an old Florentine Church that has served as a restaurant since 1882. The patio of the restaurant offers beautiful views of the Duomo, and the stone archways and carvings provide a constant reminder of the intense history of the city.

The city of Florence is rich with history and culture and has been named as one of the most beautiful cities in the world for good reason. Whether you choose to submerge yourself in the museums and galleries or simply stroll around the city capturing its unique charm, be sure to bring a great camera, walking shoes, and an appetite!

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