Places I recommend seeing at least once:
- The David is in the Academia. Some people may get confused and there are some rumors that it’s in the Uffizi, but it is not. There can be a line and there will be people that approach you and offer you an opportunity to skip the line if you pay extra, IT IS NOT WORTH IT! The line moves relatively quickly and the David is truly incredible to see. I know that I could have spent hours just staring at the details of the sculptures.
- Piazzale Michelangelo is up on the hill. It has a large copper statue that is a copy of the David. It has one of the best views of the city and is especially great at sunset because a lot of the young Italians hang out there on the steps and drink wine. It’s a great way to see the city skyline, sunset and mingle with the locals.
- Palazzo Pitti is a wonderful palace where the Medici family moved to from their old palace, rightfully named Palazzo Vecchio. This palace has a lot of museums & the beautiful Boboli Gardens. This can be a great place to study, relax and catch some sun, mingle with the locals (unless they’re too busy making out on the lawns) and explore the beautiful greenery in this city of ancient stone.
- Piazza Republlica was my absolute favorite plaza to sit in and unwind. They have the beautiful carousel in the square, a lot of restaurants with out door seating and musicians and bands rotating in and out to play their music for the people passing by. Just make sure to ignore the gypsies and the Kenyan men and women. They try to become friendly with you (ask your name, where you’re from), then they’ll offer you a gift and say “Take it! It’s on me!” but then they’ll come back and make you pay them. They’re just beggers so ignore them and pretend you don’t speak English.
- There is a wonderful horseback riding trips through one of the beautiful Tuscan vineyards that has some of the best wine and food you will eat. If you’re not into horseback riding (even though the horses are only walking) they also offer a Vespa tours and cooking classes along with the tasting, check them out here.
- Palazzo Vecchio is the first palace that the Medici family lived in and is kept pretty intact. If you can take a tour of it, it’s kind of incredible. You can even go onto the roof and get a cool view of the Duomo. The most valuable part of this building is that it has a water bottle refill station for sparking and still water. The stations is on the left side of the building (near the Gucci Museum). FUN FACT: if you go to the front of the building, behind the fake David statue, there is an engraving in the side of the building. One night when Michaelangelo was drunk with his friends, they dared him to do a self-portrait, behind his back.
- The Oblate Library has a beautiful rooftop patio with a cafe and an awesome view of the duomo. Its very relaxing and a great place to do homework while catching some sun.