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Explore the best of Florence

Going for a short stay at one of the most aesthetical cities in the world? Here’s how you can explore the ancient place, in the Florentine way!

Sreyashi Ghosh

A mix of delights — good food, rich history and picture perfect architecture — Florence is every traveller’s dream. The Italian city is compact yet impactful. No amount of time in this mesmerising city would be enough. Although you may not be able to familiarise yourself with every lane and alley of the city, here are some experiences one should definitely not miss.

A visit to the Uffizi Gallery: Adjacent to Piazza della Signoria, Uffizi (oof-fit-zi) is one of Italy’s most visited museums. Home to priceless artworks by legendary artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. In high season, typically around June-July, the wait to get into the museum can run up to five hours. So, it is wise to book passes online or invest in skip-the-line passes, thereby reducing the waiting time.

Grab lunch at All’Antico Vinaio: Minutes away from the Uffizi Gallery, All’antico Vinaio is Florence’s most legendary street-food destination. The eatery serves some of the best sandwiches in the entire Tuscan region. All their sandwiches are made using local bread called schiacciata. At five Euros a pop, this outlet sees lines run for 20 to 30 minutes. The wait is tolerable, thanks to their house wine available for the customers. A good combination to try out would be mozzarella, rocket leaves, tomatoes, prosciutto and some truffle paste.

Load up on leather at Mercato San Lorenzo: One of the most famous leather markets in the world, San Lorenzo has shops of all sizes and variants. And not just leather, it is the ideal spot to pick up souvenirs and local handicrafts. There are a lot of opportunities to bargain, so try to snag a deal as goods are marked up initially.

Enjoy aperitivo: Otherwise known as the Italian happy hour, aperitivo has several places in town with several offers and endless spreads of mouth-watering cold cuts and cheeses. Aperitivo traditionally starts around 6.30pm or 7pm and runs on till the restaurant or bar starts serving dinner. Start your journey with a traditional Italian cocktail — like a Chianti wine, Bellini or Negroni. A few local bars to check out are Sei Divino, Il Santino and La Cite.

Overlook the city lights with some gelato: Named after one of the most important Florentine artists, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Piazzale Michelangelo gives a panoramic view of the gorgeous city that Florence is. Day or night, the destination is a delight. Although it takes a bit of legwork to get up to the square, the breathtaking view makes up for it! In the middle of the piazza, there is a monument made up of bronze copies of some of Michelangelo’s most famous works — the four allegories from the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo and the famous David — with his gaze directed towards the hills on the other side of the city.

(HT Media)

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