Florence is a stunning place to visit. Unlike Rome, it doesn’t have too many ‘attractions’ to visit. By that I mean grand historical sculptures like in Rome. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of Basilica to go in and see and the cathedral is really something else, however, Florence is more art and paintings and detail.
If you read my Touring Italy- Rome post you will get all the tips and tricks for visiting Italy. So I wont bore you with all the details again but here is what we did in Florence and Pisa.
Florence mainly consists of old buildings, buildings which we would call in a conservation area and listed so do not be fooled in to thinking you will get a sound night sleep if you are staying in the centre. Single glazing covers the majority of buildings and bins get emptied and drains pumped between 4-7am… pack your ear plugs.
Now this was an event day for us but first of al here are the facts. The Uffizi gallery is stunningly beautiful, be sure to take your camera here! It costs around €16.50 to enter and you can spend hours in there. The queue is around an hour, however, be pregnant you are allowed to go straight in so you are not standing for too long, the Italians are quite considerate in Florence. The ceilings in the entire places are incredible. There are 2 main corridors to walk down and see plus all the individual rooms. There is a restaurant there which is quite basic but will do for a small snack.
Be sure to pack lots of water! Whilst on our visit my body decided to give up on my and the baby and I fainted, thankfully not too dramatically. Phil (thank god) managed to totally catch me so the baby and me were absolutely fine and skipped hitting the marble floors like a sack of potatoes. I am so thankful as it would have easily been and A&E trip. The staff were good. They got me a chair and offered me a doctor but they didn’t really know what to do. I was only out 30 seconds so not too much drama. Baby and me are all fine but regardless if you are pregnant or not it can get very warm inside so water is an essential.
Florence Cathedral, Baptistery and Bell tower and Duomo
The cathedral is stunning but a very quick place to walk round. It is free to enter and not hugely busy but worth the trip inside to see the paintings and windows. The reason these 4 places are lumped together is because they are all in literally 10 foot of each other and you can buy tickets to enter all. The Duomo or dome is so impressive, we watched a documentary about it one evening and it is amazing. Unfortunately we did not venture up to the top as you had to book 2-3 days in advance and it takes a while to talk up the thousands of steps, not ideal with 26c and 20 weeks pregnant. The same with the Bell tower also. The views from the top are incredible apparently but I just didn’t have the energy. Tickets are only €15 per person which cover you for all of these but be sure to book when you are there for a few days later. The ticket office in the bell tower will tell you when there are available slots.
Ponte Vecchio Bridge
This famous bridge I want to say is free… I mean there is no entry fee or charge but each side is lined with expensive jewellery shops so it is as free as your will to not purchase anything! The bridge is quite busy but mainly with the older generation ooing and aahhing at all the pretty rings but it is still a lovely place to go and window shop with beautiful views from the centre along the river.
Now without realising we walked for 40 minutes to reach these gardens, said to be stunning, this was before we realised you had to pay €15 to enter each! We decided against it in the end as we felt we could stare at grass and bushes for free any day of the week. Looking back if I hadn’t been so tired and had done my research maybe we should have just paid it. If I were to go back I would make sure to go here. So don’t be fooled into thinking all places of ‘natural’ beauty are free.
Leaning tower of Pisa
The tower is really the only thing to see in Pisa so we did not stay too long here. It is free to see but costs to walk to the top. Between getting your ticket and leaving you have a 30 minute slot so be prepared to climb all those stairs quickly!
Eating around the tower is actually a lot cheaper than in Rome and Florence and even with a view of the tower you will only spend €30 for lunch instead of €50!!