What do these names, familiar to anyone who has studied history, art, or literature, have in common? All of them were natives of Florence, and their presence endures in the city today. As the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and an epicenter for high culture, Florence has become one of the artistic trea- sure troves of the world. You can barely walk along the streets and piazze without running into famous works (or their replicas), and the myriad museums are rivaled in number by dozens of churches that house priceless artwork and frescoes all their own. But this city is so much more than that: you can sip regional Chianti at the many cafes and bars, enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine in trattorias and ristoranti, and view spectacular live performances of everything from music to theater. This is a city of purely Florentine sights, tastes, and customs, and if you allow yourself to embrace that culture, you’ll no doubt leave feeling like a true fiorentino.
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The Florence Top 5
Though you’d never know it from the inside, the Bargello was once the first public building in Florence: a brutal prison. The statues here seem to know this—most are mid-kill, mid-struggle, or mid-sprint.
Museo di San Marco
The entrance courtyard features barely-there frescoes and some portraits that prove people had bad picture days before Facebook, too.
This bridge has been called the “old” bridge for, oh, 400 years or so, ever since the Florentines built a second bridge over the Arno and had to find a way to distinguish this one from their new ponte.
Imagine you’re a 17th-century Medici strolling through your gardens—but don’t imagine your way into a corset, ladies, because the gardens are raked at a surprising incline.
Construction of Florence’s Duomo began before anyone had come up with a solution to actually build and support the signature red dome that now pokes its head above the city.
The hostel I’ve been staying at for the past week has a TV in the common room that plays pretty much nonstop music videos (like how MTV used to before it started exploiting the agonies of pregnant teenagers). So in addition to seeing a lot of gauzy old throwback videos from the ’80s and ’90s (hey, that Michael Jackson kid can really dance!), I’ve also been listening to a lot of Italy’s top radio hits, which (spoiler alert) aren’t in English. And they’re total jams that everyone should be listening to! Oh, but you can’t understand what they’re saying? Well […]
Not exhaustive by any means, but as a professional tourist, I kinda know some shit about them. So in homage to my travels and my work (and because I finally remembered that I actually have a blog), the next three posts will be dedicated to the best Italy has to offer – from what I’ve seen anyway. To start things off, my top picks for budget food in Italy. Let’s go.
Best gelato: Gelateria del Teatro, Rome. Tucked away in the heart of Centro Storico, only the most worthy can wander the small streets long enough to find this. Try the […]
Here are the top five words to know if you want to order food and pretend you’re slightly Italian.
Prego: A versatile word, kinda meaning please. What the person taking your order will say. Respond with food.
Vorrei…: “I would like…”. Fill in the blank with what you’d like. Pizza, arancino, sexy Italian waiter. Up to you.
Questo.: “This.” When vorrei fails because you have no idea what the name of that pastry is. Just point and say *questo *and you’ll be golden.
Il conto?: “The check?” You’re gonna pay for that.
Grazie: “Thank you”. Self-explanatory. And then you can congratulate yourself on a job […]
From what I have experienced over my short visits to Florence, Rome, and now Venice I have also encountered Italians with these characteristics. However, it’s hard for an American like me without a fundamental understanding of the Italian language besides “ciao, parla inglese?, and grazie” to distinguish between a heated argument and a friendly agreement.
Yesterday as I was exploring the streets just north of Piazza San Marco after arriving in Venice earlier that morning I passed by two older men, one with a classic bulging belly, shirt taught and tucked in, the other rapidly balding, but tall and lanky (I […]