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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> Florence, Italy recommendations
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03/24/2011 03:41:59 PM · #1
I am heading to Europe for work next week and am planning a weekend in Florence, Italy. The purpose of the trip is for art, food & wine. Any recommendations for the area. I'll only have 2 days so I'm hoping to squeeze in as much as possible.
03/24/2011 04:09:05 PM · #2
Look and ask me for locations of You're interested
03/24/2011 04:13:46 PM · #3
Ditch Florence, Siena's where it's at! It's about an hour or so away by bus and it kicks ass. I've got a few Florence shots in my portfolio too.
03/24/2011 04:29:45 PM · #4
1) Uffizi gallery -- A must see museum. By many considered the most famous museum in all of Italy. Get the tickets early.
2) Galleria dell' Academia -- Where the real statue of David is (by Michelangelo). Photography is prohibited, I mean seriously prohibited. There may be 2 places in all of Italy where when they say "no photography", they seriously mean it. One is this place and the other one is the last supper in Milan.
3) Ponte Vecchio -- The famous bridge with all kinds of jewelry stores on it.
4) Il Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore -- Turn around and take a look at the famous tall doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti right across from it. The real door panels are kept in a museum nearby.
5) Campanile - Bell Tower which is right next to Il Duomo. Climb it!
6) Cross the Ponte Vecchio bridge and hike a little to go up to Piazzale Michelangelo. From there you have a panoramic view of the entire city. A must see for any Photographer. Be there by sunset!
7) Piazza della Signoria -- In there you will find all kinds of statues outside including a replica of the statue of David. You can take as many pictures as you'd like and is open to public.
8) Museo del Bargello -- If you still have time that is. In there you will see a much different and smaller status of David designed by Donatello in bronze. I love this statue!
9) Watch the Rick Steves' Italy before going there. You can get it from Netflix.
10) There are more but I don't think you will have enough time but if you do, here is another one: Boboli Garden

One advice: Get all your museum tickets online before you get there.

Have fun, you will love it!

Message edited by author 2011-03-24 18:23:24.
03/24/2011 05:03:28 PM · #5
I second all of Allen's suggestions, especially the Duomo and the walk up the hill to catch the sunset. If you are interested in architecture and reading, Ross King wrote a great book on the drama around the dome's construction, a good background on Florentine history and a fun read.

Also on the books and architecture angle is my favorite over looked gem in Florence the Laurentian Library which features Michelangelo's stairs, the touchstone for post modern architecture. It has the advantage of being a quick visit and the market place of San Lorenzo is just outside that used to be a good place to buy beautiful leather jackets (for you) or gloves(as gifts) for cheap. It seems to me that there aren't alot of people who own cars in town, so they put that money into leather jackets and strut around in this year's fashion.

Florence also features the best store displays in the world. The level of care that shop keepers put into stacking cans and draping cloth for sale is brought to an art form here.

Message edited by author 2011-03-24 17:10:37.
03/24/2011 05:07:49 PM · #6
A word about the Duomo: bring your Tamron. 17mm won't be wide enough.
03/24/2011 05:14:29 PM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

A word about the Duomo: bring your Tamron. 17mm won't be wide enough.


Oh yeah! I agree. I remember I was barely able to squeeze in the whole thing with my 16-35mm all the way zoomed out. Actually I ended up with no foreground at all, was just able to capture the building itself (barely).
03/24/2011 05:18:15 PM · #8
Thanks for the link to that Library, Brennan. I never knew about it. Hopefully next time for me :)
03/24/2011 05:21:10 PM · #9
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

the market place of San Lorenzo is just outside that used to be a good place to buy beautiful leather jackets (for you) or gloves(as gifts) for cheap.

+1 That's where I got my jacket, and I'm not generally a shopper tourist.
03/24/2011 05:30:47 PM · #10
Originally posted by scalvert:

A word about the Duomo: bring your Tamron. 17mm won't be wide enough.


And it is dark in there, using a mini tripod or a bean bag to allow longer exposures is a good idea, the interior is huge, so you can usually get away from the crowds if you aren't at the choke points. The walk up into the dome is a separate ticket and wait, so if you think you want to do it, get the ticket when you arrive. The wait to go up can be quite long, and not for the claustrophobic, but the view from the top of the dome is impressive, and the view half way up looking down into the cathedral from the collar where the dome begins is absolutely stunning.
03/24/2011 05:35:02 PM · #11
Thanks for all the recommendations. I will definitely do the little hike to get the panoramic city shot. Now I'm hoping my meeting on Monday in Rome gets cancelled and I can spend another day in Florence.
03/24/2011 06:05:27 PM · #12
If in Florence, DO NOT miss Il Battistero just across form the Duomo. Other than Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, the inside is a glimpse of heaven. And you can spend there 5' or en entire day.
//www.imdb.com/title/tt0473434/

Message edited by author 2011-03-24 18:08:32.
03/24/2011 06:29:45 PM · #13
Also, get a pizza!
03/24/2011 06:52:21 PM · #14
Originally posted by expatdawn:

Thanks for all the recommendations. I will definitely do the little hike to get the panoramic city shot. Now I'm hoping my meeting on Monday in Rome gets cancelled and I can spend another day in Florence.
Don't forget to get the tickets to Uffizi before you leave! I did not know about that and missed out on Uffizi. But I was there in September, March might be quieter?
03/24/2011 06:53:03 PM · #15
Originally posted by scalvert:

Also, get a pizza!
Isn't pizza a New York invention?
03/24/2011 07:33:31 PM · #16
Originally posted by marnet:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Also, get a pizza!
Isn't pizza a New York invention?

I live near NY. The pizza in Florence was outstanding.
03/24/2011 07:41:51 PM · #17
The best gelato is there, don't miss it.
03/24/2011 09:10:28 PM · #18
Florence (Firenze) is one of the 3 or 4 best historical towns in Italy. I've been there a couple of times - I'm Italian but I live at 5 hours driving from there. There are a lot of things to do and see, as many suggested you before me. All the region, Tuscany, is wonderful, especially for its famous hills. There's a place, one hour driving from there, called Crete Senesi. There are amazing and strange hills along a 20kms unsurfaced road that's always full of photographers:

//www.photo4u.it/viewcomment.php?pic_id=453281

Another 30 minutes driving and you can see this famous cathedral, San Galgano:

//www.photo4u.it/viewcomment.php?pic_id=451729

But I know you have only a few days to stay...

About food: I know we invented a lot of bad things (like Mafia) but I guess we have the best food in the world. We invented pizza (that's wonderful all over Italy) and our Ice Cream (Gelato) is uncomparable. You don't need advices, everything is more or less good.

P.s. pay attention to the prices - Firenze is the most expensive town in Italy with Venezia.

Ciao
Alex
03/24/2011 09:36:17 PM · #19
Wow, both those pictures were jaw-droppers! I have to make that drive next time I am there.
03/25/2011 12:21:55 AM · #20
There is plenty of great info already posted to keep you busy there for awhile so I will not add much to the clutter but will mention that transportation around the old part of town is quite easy with good electric bus service to almost everywhere close in. Make sure you get out at night and wander the area around the Uffizi as there are almost always night musicians there and it has a fun atomosphere.

As for getting a picture of David most people get this one, outside near the Uffizi:

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But this one, the real one inside the Academia, is possible with a bit of stealth:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15000-19999/19936/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_602225.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/15000-19999/19936/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_602225.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2011-03-25 00:22:49.
03/25/2011 12:22:41 AM · #21
Right when you get out of the train station (Firenze SMN) turn left and walk to this corner.

There is a photo booth here (shown in this picture as a metal box), that uses real film.

You've got to wait 5 minutes for your black and white pic, just like in the old days...the 80s! :-DDD

Kidding, but it is romantic and fun and a small thing, but since it's so close to the train station it's worth it!
04/02/2011 12:28:23 AM · #22
I've lived in Florence for about 5% of my 60 years on the planet. One of my favorite places.

Check out many of my best photos and associated commentary here: //www.digitalquixote.com/World-Photos-Europe/Italy-2004-2007
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