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Cultural Summer Escape: Why This Stunning Italian City Is A Top Destination Right Now 

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Though long sightseeing trips might not be what most of us think of when we plan for the perfect summer getaway, some places are just too iconic to pass out on, even as temperatures rapidly increase.

At least that’s what Tripadvisor discovered on its latest edition of Travelers Choice Awards – classic European city breaks are as in-demand as ever.

And among the mega-popular hubs we’ve come to expect from these kinds of rankings (think Rome, Paris, and London), there was one Italian city that, while popular, in my opinion, doesn’t get nearly the level of hype it deserves, and that’s Florence.

Woman overlooking Florence

Most of you know the Tuscan capital as the cradle of the Renaissance and (rightfully) assume that it’s a treasure trove of history and culture, but as someone who’s been able to take it all in firsthand, let me tell you – nothing you can imagine does justice to the wonder that is this city.

So today, we’re diving right into all of the reasons why this often-overlooked Italian gem needs to be on your bucket list ASAP.

Incredible History With Landmarks To Match

You don’t have to be a history buff to know that Florence’s historical allure is second to none, and you don’t have to be an avid architecture lover either to appreciate just how breathtaking the city is.

Aerial view of Florence

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve never been to the Tuscan capital, so let’s start with the most unmissable sights first, shall we?

A Florence trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Duomo, otherwise known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, this is nothing short of an architectural masterpiece that, bonus points, also promises you some of the most breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding Tuscan countryside (always assuming you’re willing to climb the 463 steps to the top of the dome).

Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

Other must-include stops in your itinerary include The Uffizi Gallery (you know, the place where you can see The Birth of Venus), Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze (you can see Michelangelo’s David here), Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, as well as Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.


As incredible as that itinerary might seem, it’s also exhausting.

Tourists walking around Florence

Luckily for you, there’s no shortage of great places to restore that energy.

Amazing Food, Too

I was about to say that true to Italian form, the food in Florence is incredible, but the reality is that thanks to those heavenly Tuscan influences, the culinary scene here is even better than what you’d find in most other parts of Italy.

Make no mistake, dishes here are as simple as they come – think steaks, pizzas, soups, and sandwiches – but it’s the freshness of the ingredients and the combination of flavors that bring everything to that next level.

Pizza in Florence, italy

Don’t believe me?

Just try some Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a hearty bowl of Ribotilla, or a lovingly-made Schiacciata and see for yourself.

Don’t forget, no meal is complete without a glass of Chianti and a gelato to boot.

… And You Can Take It All In On A Budget

One of the things I’ve loved the most about not only Florence but Italy in general is that your trip here can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.

A woman sits on a ledge overlooking the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence, Italy

Sure, there are the 5-star hotels and fine dining experiences that make an Italian getaway that much more picture-perfect, but taking in all the culture and history Florence has to offer doesn’t require all that.

Out of all the major attractions, Uffizi Galleries is the most expensive to enter at just a little under $30 (which is still pretty reasonable considering what you’ll be getting in return).

Everything else is either under $15 or entirely free, so you shouldn’t have to worry about spending too much on sightseeing.

Public Square in Florence

Hotels are a bit pricier, but you can still book a great place for under $100 a night.

Public transportation is well-run and reasonably priced too – just make sure to book your tickets online and go for a longer-term package, if possible (a monthly pass for unlimited travel costs less than $40).

Every Other Major Italian Destination Is Just A Short Train Ride Away

If you didn’t already, you should absolutely know that Italy has one of the best train systems in Europe, and in Florence, it’s easy to take advantage of that.

A Trenitalia train in an Italian train station at sunset

From here, you can get to Rome in 1.5 hours, to Milan and Venice in 2 hours, and to Naples in 3 hours (check out the official Trenitalia website for more information) – it doesn’t get any better than this!

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.