To be honest, there is so much going on every day, from visiting museums, to walking by the river at the timeless Pointe Vecchio, towards Michelangelo Piazza, then dinner with the Florentine steak (first time I had decent meat since Germany! ) and grilled vegetables...and before you know, you hit the bed, as your feet are killing you from the cobble streets, and you're off to the dream realm as the nighttime Italian street sounds are serenading you to sleep.
But there are a few things I have to mention:
1) It's really worth it to stay right downtown, the closer to the train station, the better. I lucked out and, after reading all the affordable hotel reviews, we booked this great one, called "Hotel Globus"- it was beyond the best! Like I mentioned, it took us less than 10 minutes to walk there from the train, so considering the cobble street damage to your suitcase wheels, I'd say every minute counts. Not only was it close and affordable, although the rooms were on the small side, (but we never came home before bed time anyways, why stay inside when you're in Florence?) but they also took our bags up the stairs for us and had one of the best free breakfasts I ever had, where, when you ask for coffee, you don't get a cup of "drippy", you get a fresh-brewed half litre pot to yourself! with warm milk! They even printed our itineraries for us. I mean, beat that!
2) I was quite worried about the not getting into the museums without a reservation, but it turned out much easier than I'd thought and read online prior to. Most of the museums let us in right on the spot and the Ufizzi Gallery has a separate window for buying the reserved tickets for a specific time. We showed up around 11 and the next available tickets were at 1, so we had a few hours to walk by the river and see the smaller museum nearby. So unless you really know your schedule by the hour, I wouldn't bother buying tickets online prior to your trip.
3) Train transportation is the cheapest and easiest way to get from one tourist site to another, but don't bother with the rail passes, they usually don't pay off, unless you are travelling very long distances. I booked my tickets a few months in advance and there were a few discount offers going on at the time, so it's worth checking them out or even signing up for newsletters to track the ticket sales.
And, with that, here are some pictures:
|A courtyard next to the San Lorenzo church|
|View from Piazza Michelangelo|