Author: Yellow Duckie
Entering the 3rd day of my road trip to Italy, we have made our way to Florence. Upon descending from the hills on Perugia, Florence offered us a different view of Italy. It's a city bursting with life and excitement. Unavoidably, this place is tourist infested. Getting around in Florence is extremely easy and cheap, in fact it's free! All you need is a pair of strong functioning legs :), I may have scared you by saying this but honestly, Florence is best explored by foot. So grab yourself a tourist map that marked a recommended walking trail and you'll never be disappointed!

Word of advise if you want to visit Uffizi, the hot spot of Florence and to catch the actual "David" sculpted by Michelangelo in Academia, don't bother saving the reservation fee as you will be glad that you paid the extra to avoid standing in a never ending line just to get the ticket.

While in Florence :
1. Have lunch at Nerbone
Mercato Centrale, San Lorenzo
At Nerbone, I realised that Italian doesn't just feed on Pasta and Pizza (although no doubt that these two takes up a huge market share in their daily meals). This place has been in operation serving hot lunch since 1872! Recommended dish: Their succulent beef burger. One thing I've noticed about the food in Italy (so far) is that it is really SALTY! I am not too sure if salt is a cheap commodity here or it's just the Italian tongue preference. The guy behind the counter is really helpful, ask him what's nice and he will give you the best recommendation.

2. Take up the Challenge in getting to the top of the Duomo
Please take note that to enter the Basilica, there is a seperate entrance fee charged but I suggest you could skip the Basilica and head straight up to the Dome and enjoy the view of Florence from the top! The dome, as it was said, to be the largest cupola ever built at that time! Not to forget that half way through your climb, you will be rewarded with one of Michelangelo's masterpiece: The Last Judgement. How he paint on the cupola, it is still a wonder to me. Not to worry too much about how many steps you'll have to climb, it's just 400++.

3. Uffizi: Not to be missed
I understand that not all are art lovers but this place is a manifestation of masterpieces painted by great artists. I must admit that half way through, I had an overdose of La Madonna e Bambino ( Madonna and Child). You can find all types of La Madonna e Bambino, from the most conventional form: paintings, to wood craving, gold scultpures to any manner of potraying La Madonna e Bambino you can think of! If you are using the Audio guide, just make sure which room you are in and which painting you are admiring at or you'll fail to find the blind guy in the painting...well we eventually found him in another painting.

4. Piazza Della Signoria
For non art lovers that doesn't see the point in paying to get a glimpse of what's inside Uffizi and Acedemia, yet want to indulge in a little bit of italian art, this is the right Piazza to be. Please take note this is not a substitute to Uffizi and Academia! This serves as just a teaser. It feels like they have moves part of the sculptures museum out to the open. Pretty interesting set up.The sculptures here are quite a work of art. Oh those nice tight butt!

5. Shop for leather goods
Leather goods are definitely cheap here. Not only they are quality leathers, they come in all shapes and sizes to cater for all your needs. Get it here in Florence as the same bag in Rome may cost you double.

6. Ponte Vecchio
Stroll across this history piece of landmark: stone bridge with jewelry shops situated at both sides of the bridge. Although it was almost destroyed in the last storm, this bridge sustain through and still standing tall until today.

7. Piazzale Michelangelo
All walking trail in Florence will lead you here by Sunset. But before that, you may have given up hope as the journey from Ponte Vecchio may seems unending and not to mention that it seems quite deserted. Plus, your legs would have start to fail you but trust me, it's worth the effort getting here and you don't necessary have to get here by Sunset. Alternatively, hop on a bus that gets you here. The panaromic view of Florence town from up here is simply breath taking.

8. Enjoy a cup of Gelato in Festival de Gelato
Via del Corso 75r, just off Via dei Calzaiuoli
Often times, people say that when there are too many choices, it make life tougher in decision making. This place is where you will find yourself in such situation. Boasting of 50 flavours, this place has the most gelato flavours offered and you will be overwhelmed by life toughest task - deciding which flavours to savour!

9. Outlet Malls
Via Europa & Leccio.
Do not be too excited about Outlet Malls if you are not a fan of branded goods such as Gucci, Prada, etc. This is a paradise for all branded good admirers and collectors. The one that I went to was known as The Mall. Buses to The Mall has got their schedule so check out their schedule at the main bus station in Florence. But word of warning, the central bus station in Florence was quite challenging to locate even with a map at hand, so ask around for directions. You can get your branded goodies here at half the retail price in town.

Although I only spent 3 days in Florence, I am not too sure why it feels like eternity here. Perhaps the town is so accessible by foot that it felt like I've been to every corner of Florence in my 3 days visit.

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