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A Second Chance at Florence (Firenze)

When I think back at Florence, I am grateful for what I was able to see in so little time. Now that I have experienced the “must-see” list of Florence, I would like to see a more relaxed version.

Renaissance Art

I would start early at the Uffizi Gallery, and it will probably take at least two hours to do a quick walkthrough. It has the largest collection of Italian Renaissance masterpieces in the world, which includes Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s Doni Madonna, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation. There are also works from Raphael, Botticelli, and Caravaggio.

Renaissance Gardens

I would spend the most of the day relaxing and walking through gardens. On the south side of the city there are several gardens you can visit. On our last day in Florence we stayed at Ad Astra, a perfect hotel get away from the tourists. Our room’s window overlooked Giardino Torrigiani’s 16-century private garden with a Romanesque tower. The garden was so peaceful and inviting, and the birds happily sung to us in the morning. Giardino Torrigiani is the second to largest garden within the city walls, after the Boboli Gardens.

The Boboli Gardens

The Pitti Palace gardens, known as the Boboli Gardens, were established by the Medici family in the 15th-16th centuries and defined the Italian garden style sought by the elite European courts. The layout of the gardens include Renaissance statues, large fountains, and grottos (manmade caves). I would not mind getting lost in these gardens and possibly visiting the palace if there is time to spare.

Giardino Bardini

The less crowded, less touristy garden might be the best fit for me. Giardino Bardini is a 17th-century restored villa including a museum, restaurant, and garden. This is a hidden gem and is not well known by locals and tourists. Giardino Bardini is best for repeat visitors to Florence that don’t have a tight agenda and have time to stroll or attend art exhibits.

Piazzale Michelangelo

This 19th-century piazza got its name from the bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David, but what interests me is the panoramic city view. It is said to be the best place in the city to enjoy the sunset.

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