What to Do in Florence, Italy

The view of Ponte Vecchio on the Arno River

I visited Florence five years ago, and fell in love with the city. It is the capital of the region of Tuscany and his home to beautiful Renaissance art and architecture, as well as various parks and gardens. It is also famous for its artisans, particularly in the areas of leather working and paper.

Read on for my recommendations!

 

Where to Stay

We stayed in a beautiful hotel called La Scaletta. The building itself is beautiful and full of history, but views from the rooftop restaurant are amazing. Best of all, there is a wonderful marbled paper shop called Il Papiro on the street below!

Hotel La Scaletta in Florence
Hotel La Scaletta in Florence
The buildings have such wonderful history
View from the window at La Scaletta

 

Where to Shop

Il Papiro is a wonderful paper and gift shop on the street below Hotel La Scaletta. They have a few locations around the city, and sell wonderful handmade marbled paper and gifts. If you’re lucky, the owner, Gianni Parenti, may give you a paper marbling demonstration!

And Company is another gift shop that came highly recommended by a friend. Sadly, they were moving locations when we went, and we weren’t able to go inside. BUT, if the beautifully cut paper “moving” sign is any indication, this shop is home to wonderfully creative one-of-a-kind gifts.

Paper Store in Florence
Window decorations at And Company

 

And Company Shop Window
Window decorations at And Company
What to Do

The Uffizi

Statues near the Uffizi
Statues near the Uffizi

Il Duomo

Il Duomo in Florence, Italy
Il Duomo—too much awesomeness to fit in the frame

Santo Spirito

Yellow buildings near Santo Spirito
Yellow buildings near Santo Spirito

Ponte Vecchio

The view of Ponte Vecchio on the Arno River
The view of Ponte Vecchio on the Arno River
Best Photography Spots in Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo is located on a hill near the Arno river, and has a wonderful view of Florence and the iconic Duomo. Pack a picnic and go for dinner to watch the sun set over the city below.

Best Photography Spots in Florence
The view of Il Duomo from Piazzale Michelangelo

 

Best views in Florence
Enjoying the view at Piazzale Michelangelo

 

Best views of Florence
A replica of Michelangelo’s David at Piazzale Michelangelo

Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, the Restaurant at La Scaletta is a wonderful spot for dinner with a view. The food is delicious and it’s a great spot to snap a few photos!

View of Florence from the rooftop
View from the rooftop restaurant at La Scaletta
 I particularly loved Florence because it is home to many artists, but one of the most memorable sights I saw there was the sun setting over the Arno River. The light reflected off the water and onto the yellow buildings, turning them golden in the sunlight. As you can see, this memory heavily influenced the design of the Florence print! It is now hanging on the wall of my studio, and whenever I look at it, I remember standing on the Ponte Vecchio, looking out across the Arno River as the sun set behind the city.
Florence, Italy block print featuring the Arno River
Florence, Italy block print featuring the Arno River

Published by Alex Hughes

I am a graphic designer from Dallas who loves printmaking, travel, illustration, soccer, and psychology. I love personality tests too--I'm an INFP married to an ENFJ.

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