Walks of Italy Tours Florence
Walking outside is a great way to experience Florence without spending a fortune.
Walks of Italy tour guides show you some indoor and outdoor places to see that are not always the typical Florence sites including a food tour, trip to the farmer’s market and craftsmen showcasing their talents.
Why Visit Florence?
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love Florence Italy. It is not my favorite place in Italy but it is one of my favorite cities and a must see for anyone going to Italy for the first time. Even on a pretty day the city is a little dark but the sense of history and the beauty of the city should not be missed. Plus, as I have said before it has the best gelato of anyone city I have visited.
When you go to Florence you spend so much time at the Uffizi, the Academia, the Duomo, the grand palaces and churches that you may reach a point where you just want to spend some time outside.
Rick Steves’ Guide to Florence
Rick Steves video covers Michelangelo’s David, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, Fra Angelico and crosses the Arno to where Florentine artisans live, work, and eat.
Here are 5 outside activities to enjoy in Florence, Italy
#1 The Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli)
Located on the other side of the Arno River from the historic center of Florence the Boboli Gardens are huge and beautiful. The Boboli are located behind the Pitti Palace which was built by a wealthy merchant Luca Pitti around 1440, but it was the famous Medici family that made the palace famous. The gardens offer a beautiful view of the historic center of Florence and the Duomo. In the gardens you will find fountains, a wide open avenue lined by cypress trees, a moated garden with statues and fountains and the Orangery filled with citrus plants. There is a small shop that serves coffee and snacks. To get to the top of the garden you can either walk up the center staircase or take a path that winds its way to the top (it also contains some stairs and is uneven in places). The Boboli gardens are about a 15 minute walk across the Ponte Vecchio. There is an entrance fee.
#2 Piazzale Michelangelo
The Piazzale Michelangelo is the best place to get a panoramic view of Florence. The Piazzale Michelangelo is located on the other side of the Arno from the historic center of Florence. To get there you walk up a long series of steps. The steps are spaced wide apart so you step up (or down) then take a few steps before you step up again. The views on the way up to the Piazzale are worthy of a stop every now and then. As you walk these stairs you will be passed by joggers running at an impressively fast pace. When you get to the top you will be rewarded by not only beautiful views but a wonderful gelateria with excellent gelato.
#3 The Other Side of the Arno
Everyone walks along the Arno near the Uffizi Museum but walking along the other side gives you better views of Florence and is less crowded. Another advantage is you get to walk across the Ponte Vecchio and look in the windows of the little shops selling beautiful gold jewelry. I like to take this walk either in the early morning before the crowds come out or in the evening when you can watch the sun set over the river.
#4 Walk from Piazza della Signoria to Galleria dell’ Academia
You are going to want to see both the Piazza della Signoria (it is where the Uffizi is located and is near the Ponte Vecchio) and The Galleria dell’ Academia (where Michelangelo’s David resides) anyway so you may as well make a walk of it. This walk will take you through the heart of what is considered the historic center of Florence. On this route you will walk past the Duomo, the church of San Lorenzo (and the Medici Chapel) and along the main shopping area of the city. If you make it a round trip walk you can end in Piazza della Signoria and sit on the steps and listen to musicians play their instruments and sing while you enjoy a snack.
#5 Visit an outdoor café
You are in Italy on vacation! Sit back, relax and enjoy a cappuccino or a glass of wine and watch the world go by.