463 steps to the best view in Florence


Leaving La Spezia we took the train towards Florence with a quick train change over in Pisa. Here you can certainly stay for a visit to the leaning tower of Pisa, but with our tight schedule we headed straight to Florence’s main train station: Firenze Santa Maria Novella.

After picking up a city map from the nearby tourist information center, we oriented ourselves with yet another Italian city; cobblestone streets, narrow sidewalks, hidden lanes and streets by another name always prove to be an exciting adventure! For this we were happy to have once again chosen a hotel walking distance from the train station so after dropping off our bags, we set out to find David.

Yes I’m referring to THE David. Michelangelo created this impressive statue out of one piece of marble and it can be seen at Galleria dell’Accademia. We learned that you can buy tickets up to one day in advance to take the shorter ‘reserved’ line, but if not just jump in the longer line, as it was still well worth the one hour wait. After entering and walking through a few displays of intriguing old paintings you round the corner and enter a room where the high domed ceiling bathes David in this beautiful light. He’s much larger than either of us imagined, at 17 feet tall, his presence was totally captivating. And after reading the captions about Goliath Jen and I both realized at the same time …oh that David!

Next we walked a few blocks over to Florence’s beloved Duomo, the world’s fourth-largest cathedral, known for its red tiled dome. Climbing the 463 steps to the lookout at the top cannot be missed as you’re in for a treat; 360 degree views of Florence surrounded by the rolling green hills of Tuscany in the distance.

Then we enjoyed the perfect ending to a perfect day in Florence: dinner on La Spada street, known for its quaint, authentic Italian restaurants, complete with red and white checkered tablecloths, fresh pasta and delicious chianti wine, yum!

Thanks to our partners for making this visit to Florence possible: Air Canada Vacations, Eurail and Trenitalia.

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