Florence immediately catches the imagination of those who visi it, with streets lined by imposing buildings, the alleys, the slow flow of the Arno River, the crowded squares and the big museums. The center of the city is the Piazza del Duomo, the monumental complex of Basilica Santa Maria del Fiore, crowned by the majestic dome by Brunelleschi, the Baptistery of San Giovanni and Giotto’s bell tower, masterpiece of Florentine Gothic architecture. After Piazza del Duomo, it is a must to go to the equally important Piazza della Signoria, the historic center of civic life with the fourteenth-century Loggia dei Lanzi, the Fountain of Neptune and the Palazzo della Signoria; next to this, you can see the wonderful, crowded Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museums in the world.
Very impressive is also the medieval district of Santa Croce, dominated by the Basilica of the same name, famous for the frescoes by Giotto and preserving the tombs of many famous Italians, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Through the ancient and picturesque Ponte Vecchio, littered with historical goldsmith shops, you can get to the quarter of Oltrarno, where it meets the scenic square dominated from the Palazzo Pitti, the residence of the Medici and Lorraine, with the wonderful park, Giardino di Boboli.
The Italian Traditions itinerary in the Tuscan capital can only continue in the narrow streets, where its most authentic trattorias, historical exercises able to resist the passing of time, places with a nice atmosphere, an indistinct voices, transmit the typical Tuscan through a nice plate of T-bone steak, a glass of Chianti and a lot of hospitality and good humor. In via Isola delle Stinche, near the Piazza Santa Croce, there is the Trattoria Pallottino, an institution that combines the charm of wooden decorations with the typical Tuscan cuisine: pappa al pomodoro, ribollita, steak cooked to coal and other succulent specialties.
In via Rosina, be patient to take a place at Trattoria Mario, among the best in the city, where the menu, handwritten, remained to the same as it was in 1953, when the restaurant opened its doors: pappa al tomato, ribollita, fiorentina, pork loin and peculiar bean of the day. In Piazza de Rossi, stop in enoic paradise Le Volpi e l’Uva. To welcome there is a blackboard with the many wines of the day, and (few) tables “alla barra” outside where you can taste the cheese and meat selections, hot hardpan at will, even to the lard of Pata Negra. In the heart of the Oltrarno neighborhood, go to Olio & Convivium, the combination of a restaurant and a shop with fresh products and wine.
On Lungarno Torrigiani, however, try burgers, strictly Tuscan Chianina meat at zero km, at the Lungarno 23. In the city that boasts of having “invented” the ice cream, do not miss the chance to try some of the best ice cream stores. Among the many, we suggest Gelateria Cavini, Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani, famous for the Buontalenti cream, and Marco Ottaviano Il Gelato Gourmet, an excellent gourmet ice cream.