CITY HIGHLIGHTS: Florence, Italy

Florence, a city that has won over the heart of many tourists and has ranked no 1. as “Best City in the World”, “Most Romantic City in Europe” and “Best Citytrip” on numerous occasions. With its rich history, culture, and the incredible Italian cuisine; Florence really does seem to have it all. Eager to find out why? Make sure to visit these highlights on your next trip to Florence:

Top things to do in Florence, Italy  

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1. Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens, situated behind the Pitti Palace, belong to Florence’ most frequently visited places. The garden, which was originally designed for the Medici Family, stretches over 45,000 m2, making it a pleasant walk on even the busiest of days. For almost four centuries, it was the garden of the great dukes of Tuscany and for a short period, even that of the kings of Italy. Nowadays, the garden is part of the World Heritage Site (UNESCO).

The garden is open every day of the week, except the first and last Monday of each month. Price for a ticket to enter the Boboli gardens is €10 ($11.3) from March to October (high season) and €6 ($6.8) in the remainder of the months.
Boboli Gardens FlorenceBoboli Gardens FlorenceBoboli Gardens FlorenceBoboli Gardens Florence

2. Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

The 10th largest cathedral in the world; the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or better known as the Cathedral of Florence. The cathedral, built in the 13th century,  is famed for its theatrical details carved in pink, white and green marble.  A stunning sight amidst the busy streets of Florence’s historical center. Whilst the exterior might be spectacular, expect the inside to be somewhat plain.
Entrance to the Cathedral is free of charge. 

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

3. Climbing the Duomo

The inside of the Cathedral of Florence might not be as impressive as the exterior does expect, the view from the Duomo, however, does not disappoint. Located on top of the Florence Cathedral, the dome can be accessed via a steep and narrow staircase aside the cathedral. It can be quite the climb, 463 steps up to be precise, but the view is worth the endeavor. Climbing the Duomo is very popular, hence reservations are required and, as it sells out regularly, it is wise to do so a few days in advance. Visitors are appointed a time sloth in which they can enter.
The price for climbing the Duomo is €18 ($20) and is part of an OPA pass, which also grants access for 72 hours to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Santa Reparata, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
View from the Duomo FlorenceIMG_8987

4. Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio, which literal translation means old bridge,  was built in 1844 and was originally intended for the Medici family. On the second floor, there is a hallway the length of one kilometer, which sole purpose was allowing members of the Medici family to get from one palace to another, without making an appearance amongst the people. Nowadays, the bridge is largely known for hosting some of the most expensive jewelry stores in the world.

5. Piazza Michelangelo

What’s better than wandering through the iconic streets of Florence? Staring at them from above. Piazza Michelangelo is a plaza, located roughly a 25- minute walk from the Duomo, that offers spectacular views of the city. To get to the viewing point it does take a small hike up, however, the path is completely paved. Along the way, there is a small park, which serves perfectly as a rest stop or for a picnic with a view.
Entrance to Piazza Michelangelo is free 
All prices as of June 2018, converted on in US dollar and EURO. 

PIZZA, PASTA & STEAK FLORENTINE – Where to find the best in Florence

9x where to eat in Florence

When traveling, it is always best to abide by the general rule ‘do as the locals do’ to guarantee yourself of the best experience. Which especially goes for the food on offer in your destination country.  So mm, when in Italy, “do as the Italians do” does that mean wine, pizza & pasta all day? HELL YES. Lucky you. What is not to love about wood oven pizza’s, a truffle pasta or a juicy steak. With hundreds of good-looking (and smelling) restaurants around, we guess it’s safe to say that we probably didn’t even cover half of the amazing places to eat in Florence. That said, we sure tried and here are the best restaurants we can recommend to you!

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1. La Buchetta

Pasta prepared in a cheese wheel (yes indeed, the entire thing) and after thoroughly stirred -absorbing as much cheese as possible- the portion is served on the spot and finished off with some freshly grated truffle. No wonder why restaurant La Buchetta ranks highly on TripAdvisor and is referred to as one of the best restaurants in the city. With the friendly staff and extensive wine menu to compliment your evening, a visit to La Buchetta should be on anyone’s itinerary.

La Buchetta dinner

La Buchetta dinner FlorenceLa Buchetta dinner Florence

For our dinner at La Bushetta, we paid a total of €81.50 ($95.7). Which included the pasta specialty, an entrecote, bread and good bottle of wine.

2. I Fratellini

When laying eyes on I Fratellini for the first time you instantly know that this is something precious. Perhaps one of the tiniest sandwich shops around, that also does not shy away from doubling as a bar, is tucked away in one the many side alleys in Florence. Easily overlooked by some, but a precious find to others. I Fratellini first opened its doors in 1875 and continues to serve guests with heavenly sandwiches and wine to this day. No matter which sandwich you choose, the price is set at €4 ($4.7).  It’s tiny, it’s basic, but it’s perfect. Compliment your meal with a glass of wine for only €2 ($2.3), whilst having a chat with the friendly hosts.
I Fratellini Florence

3. Pizzeria iCamaldoli

Pizzeria iCamaldoli, located in the bustling center of Piazza del Mercato, is a small pizzeria with food and wine for incredibly decent prices considering its location. With a local bottle of wine (good wine) going for €8($9.3) and delicious pizza’s topped with fresh ingredients, this place is truly a little gem. The interior might be slightly different compared to the rest of their Italian neighbors but don’t let that fool you. Sometimes good things come unexpectedly, which especially goes for Pizzeria iCamaldoli, serving us the best pizza we had during our trip.

Pizzeria iCamaldoli

Pizzeria iCamaldoli FlorencePizzeria iCamaldoli Florence

For a late lunch at Pizzeria iCamaldoli we paid a total of €38 ($44.4). This included a bottle of wine, beer, a bottle of water and two pizza’s.

4. La Posta

A stone’s throw away from the Florence cathedral, in a surprisingly cozy alley, lies restaurant La Posta. Drawing immediate attention with its intimate outdoor terrace, which is heated at night, this is the perfect place to give the local celebrity a try: the steak Florentine. Meat with a side of meat; is what to expect if this is your first time ordering the juicy steak. The steak Florentine is signature to the Firenze region and therefore available as a specialty at most restaurants. Keep in mind that the steak Florentine can only be ordered by the kilogram (starting at a minimum kg), so it’s quite the bite. Adding to the experience, the meat, once prepared according to your wishes, is cut directly in front of you at the table.
La Posta Florence
La Posta FlorenceSteak Florentine

For our dinner at La Posta we paid a total of €109 ($128). This dinner included the steak Florentine (€60), a pasta, bottle of wine, bottle of water and a shared dessert.

5. Trattoria Zà Zà

In the heart of the city, you’ll find Trattoria Zà Zà. Due to its location and the good recommendations the restaurant receives scattered online, it’s no wonder this place thrives on tourism. The waiters speak perfect English and the service is fast and efficient. Their interior is what keeps the vibes of the restaurant warm and cozy. And, not to forget of course, the food is excellent. Every item we ordered of the menu was cooked to perfection. If possible, try to make a reservation on forehand, because Trattoria Zà Zà is popular with tourists and locals alike, it would be a shame if you miss out on a table at this lovely restaurant.
Trattoria Zà Zà FlorenceTrattoria Zà Zà Florence
Price of our dinner at ZaZa for two: €70 ($82,2). Which included another steak Florentine (for 1 pax this time), a truffle pasta, bottle of water, beer and several soda’s. For more information click here.

6. El Gato E La Fulpe

So, if we would have known that the Tiramisu would come out like that, and tasted the way it did, we would have probably skipped dinner altogether and just ordered ten of those. But, luckily we didn’t. Because we came to this cute authentic Italian restaurant, which is mostly visited by locals, for the pasta. Cooked perfectly al dente and with a large variety on the menu; this definitely is the place to visit for all pasta lovers (and tiramisu lovers for that matter, hehe).
El Gato E La FulpeEl Gato E La Fulpe
 For dinner for two, we paid €45 ($52.8) which included a truffle pasta, beef specialty, bottle of water, tiramisu and coffee.

7. Cornelius Pizzeria

Cornelius Pizzeria is a great spot to enjoy a pizza in the mid-day summer heat. Offering a small outdoor terrace that faces the sun for the largest part of the day, They have a diverse menu on display but we advise you to opt for the yummy wood oven pizza’s. After all, it is a pizza place. Furthermore we ordered a decanter of wine, whilst enjoying the sun on the terrace, but frankly, we have no clue why we did this. Decanters are hardly ever a wise choice, so don’t make the same mistake and go with a bottled wine instead. That said, the pizza is great!
Cornelius PizzeriaCornelius Pizzeria

8. Konnubio

The stylish restaurant & wine bar Konnubio will catch anyone’s eye just walking sheer past it. Catching a glimpse of the inside is enough to see that the interior reflects one of the few modern takes on Italian restaurants in Florence. But, once inside, the glimpse you’ve got is nothing compared to what you get to see. From the green tiled bar to the sun-infused dining area surrounded with green leaves; this has to be one of the prettiest restaurants in Florence. Konnubio operates four different concepts throughout the day at set times and is closed in between. Starting with a breakfast experience, healthy lunch from 12:00 until 15:00 and finishing off with a fine dining menu and cocktail bar in the evening. 
 For more information visit

9. All’ Antico Vinaio 

Okay, gigantic queues in front of restaurants can only mean one thing right? The food must be extraordinary. What about a gigantic queue outside of a sandwich shop? Well, that’s a first, but 100% what you’ll encounter when going for a visit to All’ Antico Vinaio. These sandwiches have become such a phenomenon that All’ Antico Vinaio now has three different locations,  all across from each other, all with an equally long queue. But don’t let the queue scare you, it isn’t without a reason that these sandwiches are so popular. Plus they have become accustomed to working fast and you’ll be out of there in no time. With a sandwich, the sheer size of a pizza for solely €5 ($5,8) a piece, make sure not to plan this stop as an in-between snack.


For more information on locations visit

 *All prices as of 11 July ’18, in EURO and US dollar, converted on

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HOTEL TIP Florence – Hotel Pendini

Where classical music plays on vinyl,  the rooms are decorated with floral wallpaper and the furniture is antique. Hotel Pendini, a stone’s throw away from all the major sightseeing spots in Florence, is an ideal base for any tourist visiting Florence. The hotel first opened its doors is 1897, as the upscale Pensione Pendini, and has been run by the family ever since. Nowadays, the hotel is still by many perceived as city history, setting high standards to uphold the class it once opened with.

Already there and hungry?

Hotel Pendini lounge

Central location

Popular landmarks such as the cathedral of Florence, Basilica of Sante Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Uffizi Gallery and the renowned Ponte Vecchio bridge are all within a short walking distance of the hotel. And, as to expect from such a central location, so are all the restaurants, shops and gelato you could possibly wish for. Or, after a long day of visiting the historic sights, chill out in hotel Pendini’s very own authentic Italian lounge,  decorated with hints of gold and vintage furniture throughout. 

Lobby Hotel Pendini


Fun fact: the location of hotel Pendini is now perceived as one of the best areas to stay in Florence,  with neighbors such as  Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and Cartier. BUT, back in the day, this particular neighborhood was known as the ghetto of the city and the square it is situated on was just a local market. Then, late in the 1800’s, Italy decided to clean up Florence and, in an effort to imitate some of Paris’ elegance and fine historical buildings, built the grand arch that is featured in the photo above. When the work on the arch was completed, a very rich lady which happened to be part of the Pendini family decided to start a residence for travelers in the attached building. The grand arch still proudly bears the Pendini name today.


Room interior

Usually, we like our hotel rooms to be styled somewhat modern, but this -the vintage cellphone, golden beds, velvet curtains, and bright floral wallpapers – somehow just all work. All rooms of the hotel are featured with air-conditioning, television, and free wifi. Furthermore, the room above in specific had a lounge, desk, and closet which aren’t showing in the photo. The same goes for the bathroom, which might look small but is in reality rather large.

Bathroom hotel Pendini

Breakfast at the hotel is served every morning from 07:00-10:00, with some good complimentary Italian coffee brought to you by the attentive staff members.

What is a night at Hotel Pendini in Florence going to cost you?

For our 4-night trip (Thursday till Monday) we paid a total of  $637.36 (€ 527,40) with breakfast included. With high review scores, such as the 9.1 on, the hotel is incredibly popular and always sells out early. Being on time is therefore highly recommended, also budget wise as it tends to get more expensive as you wait. Curious to whether it is still available and what it might cost on your desired date? Click here to check out the prices.


Rooms prices starting from €95 ($108)

More information

Have you ever visited Florence? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 ↓

* All prices as of 30 April ’18, in US dollar and EURO, converted on 

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