HALF DAY COOKING CLASSES: PIZZA and PASTA
is now based in Arezzo, but the owner used to do this sort of thing in
Florence about a year ago and I think he could still have a presence in
Florence - send him an email and ask, you never know.
Jacopo Tendi has a base in Florence where he does cooking lessons: greve-in-chianti.com/tuscancookinglessons.htm
We did a class with Jacopo in his house in the countryside and absolutely loved it. He is great!
Here’s a great cooking class down town Florence: https://www.tuscan-cooking-class.com/ with a real Tuscan Mamma!
Giovanni's Italian Cooking Class by Food & Wine Academy of Florence
This cooking class was the awesome. Chef Andrea was articulate, smart
and funny. I and my teenage daughter enjoyed cooking and meeting fellow
wanna-be chefs.. We made tiramisu, pasta and ravioli. Chef showed us how
to cook bolognese meat sauce. Recipes were easy and required only a few
ingredients. After we cooked all pasta and ravioli, we all shared the
food family style. It was the best meal we had in Italy. Great activity
for couples and families. I now cook bolognese meat sauce at home
regularly. Its delicious.
there are many walking tours of this great city....i am presuming you
mean a self-guided walk, yes? There are two guidebooks that spell out
in detail with maps and pictures some nice walks:
--DK Eyewitness series
--Lonely Planet's "Florence Encounters" series (the best i found for everything in Florence--indispensable)
The city center and close by neighborhoods are completely walkable,
as well as across the Arno and into the Oltrano district. You can also
include a lovely walk up to Piazza Michelangelo and a wee bit farther,
pretty San Miniato. Best advice is to read up in a guidebook and once
you're there, get a good tourist map. Have a wonderful time!
"Florencetown" has a couple courses, which I hear are good. One is pasta making based and one is pizza making, both suitable for children!
Florence is beautiful, sophisticated and charming.
Armed with our
map we set off from piazza Santa Croce which is a magnificent marbled
iconic church. Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli are buried here.
We soon stumbled on the Uffizi Gallery, Italy's most renowned art gallery stuffed with art treasurers galore.
the nearby Piazza fella Signoria a replica of Michelangelo David is is
displayed here. A fantastic square brimming with sculptures galore.
Brush up on history to maximise your enjoyment.
We find Hitlers
favourite bridge Ponte Vecchio which he didn't destroy during the war
due to its beauty. It's adorned by goldsmiths and jewellers on either
side, it used to a fish market eons ago but they got shifted for the
upmarket traders. It's a lovely, picturesque place with plenty of photo
Onto the Pitta Palace which sits along the way on the
River Arno. It was once the residence of the Italian royal family when
Florence was the capital.
Next stop is the most favourite and
impressive Duomo. The statuesque marbled cathedral. We buy tickets to
climb the grand Campanile designed by Giotto. Inside we see the painted
dome fresco depicting the Last Judgement. This is truly magnificent.
€10 fee not only gets you up the Duomo but also the bell tower and IL
Grande Museo Del Duomo which is below the Cathedral. It has information
on the building and artefacts etc ..
After climbing the domes 463
stairs to the top ... I need oxygen never mind an ice cream! The views
over the city are tremendous.
It's a it scary coming down due to the people passing up and down the narrow steps. We both feel a bit dizzy on final descent.
We wander back to piazza Santa Croce where we enjoy fine Italian food and locally renowned Chianti wine.
Tuscan countryside is absolutely gorgeous. I love the the tall, thin
Cypress trees which are planted alongside driveways to act as a fence.
We must try this at home!
A fabulous day trip for a cruise ship but more time is needed to fully appreciate.
If you are looking for a guided walking tour, I can suggest looking at
Artviva. I did a very good 3 hour walking tour of central Florence. They
used earphones which I know sound geeky, but actually were very good as
the guide could whisper in the Duomo while other people had to silence.
Was able to ask a lot of questions also.
is synonymous with the Renaissance. It has more art museums packed into
a kilometer of its north bank than anywhere else in Italy.
cultural highlights include Boticelli’s Birth of Venus, and works by
Leonardo, Raphael, Carvaggio and Titian at the Uffizi gallery, the tombs
of the Medici Palace, carved by Michelangelo, early maps, clocks,
telescopes and pioneering devices at Galileo’s Science Museum and a
pantheon of heavenly sculptures on show at the Bargello.
there are the colorful houses, the silver and gold shops crammed onto
the ancient bridges crossing the Arno river. The boutiques and
gelaterias of Oltrarno. The cupola of the Duomo cathedral and the
sprawling flea market around the chapel of San Lorenzo.
the best views of the fabulous skyline head up to the Piazzale
Michelangelo, presided over by a looming statue of David, the immortal
face of Florence.
Florence, what to do and what to see in the city
Florence is so dense with monuments and
places of interest that it is difficult to provide a complete list. In
addition to the main attractions, which we attempt to summarize below,
we recommend taking some time to wander around the city, without a
precise destination in mind: this way you will stumble across less
travelled roads, yet ones that are greatly fascinating.
Starting in the city centre, the main monuments are easy to reach on foot. Piazza della Signoria, where Palazzo Vecchio
is located, is the beating heart of the Tuscan capital, the political
landmark of the city, once the residence of the Medici family and now
Florence's town hall and museum information office. The Salone del Cinquecento is the most majestic room, adorned by works by Michelangelo, Baccio Bandinelli, Vasari and Stadano. It once accommodated the representatives of the city council, before being converted by Cosimo I de’ Medici into his court.
On the façade beneath the arches of the
balcony is a series of crests painted in 1953 symbolising aspects of the
Republic of Florence. The best known is the crest of the red lily on
white background, which today remains the emblem of Florence.
Galleria degli Uffizi
is close by. The museum is located inside a building begun by Giorgio
Vasari in the 16th century for Cosimo I de’ Medici, it is one of the
most visited museums in Italy. The two floors of the Gallery house the
best collection in the world of Renaissance works and the largest
collection of works by Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo,
Raffaello, Tiziano, Botticelli and many other artists.
Above the Galleria degli Uffizi is the Vasari Corridor,
also built by Giorgio Vasari, who it is named after. It is an elevated
walkway linking Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti, passing by the
Galleria degli Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio, built to allow the Grand Dukes
to safely travel between their homes and government buildings. Today it
houses a vast collection of self-portraits and portraits from the 17th
and 18th centuries and can be visited only as part of guided groups
offered by the Gallery by appointment only.
Also near the Piazza della Signoria is Palazzo Pitti, which was the main residence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Today it houses a number of museums: the Palatine Gallery,
located in the noble palace rooms, and containing works painted in the
late Renaissance and the Baroque period, the Gallery of Modern Art
containing works by Macchiaioli, and the Royal Apartments, the Costume Gallery, dedicated to historic clothing, accessories, theatre costumes and cinematography, the Carriages Museum, the Silver Museum, dedicated to the applied art, and the Porcelain Museum.
Behind Palazzo Pitti are the four entrances to the gardens of the grand dukes, the Boboli Gardens,
which extend as far as Fort Belvedere. This is one of the finest
examples of gardens in Italy, an open-air museum with its
architectural-landscape design, and its collection of sculptures,
ranging from ancient Rome to the 20th century.
In the heart of the historic city centre is the most highly renowned church in Florence, Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Piazza del Duomo. It is hard not to miss the splendid cupola engineered by Brunelleschi as you walk around the Tuscan capital, a reference point to help you find your way around during your visit to the city.
Across from the Duomo, is the baptistery, Battistero di San Giovanni,
famous for its three bronze doors with relief sculptures. Inside is the
famous Universal Judgement fresco by Buffalmacco, which gave
Michelangelo inspiration for his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the
Shopping in Florence
In addition to being a city of art, Florence is a desirable shopping destination. One of the most prestigious areas is Via Tornabuoni,
known for its luxury boutiques by the biggest names in fashion,
including Gucci, Luis Vuitton, Emilio Pucci, and Salvatore Ferragamo
(who also has a museum here), and big names in international jewellery,
like Bulgari and Cartier. For luxury shopping, you can also visit Via della Vigna Nuova (adjacent to Via Tornabuoni) or Via Roma (the street connecting Piazza Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica).
If, on the other hand, you are interested in buying unique pieces, Via del Parione is where you will find several studios and unique boutiques offering everything from clothing to furnishings, and Ponte Vecchio, where the main gold merchants are located.
For other retail stores, many options are available: in Via dei Calzaiuoli, Via dei Cerretani, Via dei Banchi and Via Calimala, you can find Italian and foreign fashion chains, in addition to some department stores.
Another area known for shopping is San Lorenzo, where you can find a market by the same name. Here you can find accessories and clothing, all strictly made in leather.
If you are looking for wine or food
products, you will not be disappointed. If you want to buy a typical
local product, visit the morning market Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo (on the first floor you will also find a choice of booths serving typical street food of Florence), or the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio market.
In addition, there are numerous wine cellars
around the city for wine lovers, stocking classical or prestigious
wines that can be shipped straight to your home. The best known include Zanobini, also offering wine tasting.
Off the beaten path: Florentine hills
Tuscany offers breathtaking landscapes
and uncontaminated hills. If you are on holiday in Florence, you can
organise a trip off the beaten path to the Florentine hills,
coming close to nature and the artisanal traditions of this region.
Surrounding the Tuscan capital, there are numerous villages, each
featuring its own characteristic artisanal activity. Travelling through
the municipalities of Scandicci, Lastra a Signa and Montelupo
Fiorentino, you will find an itinerary rich with small, medieval
villages associated with the production and art of ceramics. If, on the other hand, you choose to head towards Certosa di Galluzzo or Impruneta, you can discover the old kilns where terracotta was produced. Overlooking Florence is Fiesole, a city rich with history and culture, where you can visit archaeological remains and a magnificent Roman theatre, in addition to witnessing a truly spectacular view.
During your visit, you can also see the immense expanse of vineyards
the area has to offer. Thanks to the great presence of local producers,
it is not hard to find a cellar where you can taste one of the most
highly renowned local wines, Chianti DOC.