Travel on the Side

Monthly Archives: August 2017

I can’t quite decide on the word I would use to describe Palazzo Pitti–the Pitti Palace. Opulent would work. So would sumptuous. Decadent? Yep, that would be good too. All are appropriate descriptors. Palazzo Pitti is Florentine Renaissance wealth in a nutshell: money, power, and lots of art. Home base for the powerful Medici family, Palazzo Pitti is located in the Oltrarno section of Florence, just a short walk from the Ponte… Read More

Continuing an on art theme, the other big draw in Florence for art is, of course, the statue of David by Michelangelo. Housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia, the David statue captures all of the superlatives: is it simply AMAZING. After entering the museum you start making your way with the masses (yes, it will be crowded!) and then you round a corner and there it is–at the end of a long corridor is the statue… Read More

Art lovers naturally gravitate to the Uffizi Gallery. For everyone else, a visit to Florence should not be considered complete without at least a look-through at the Uffizi. It’s simply the essence of Renaissance Florence. The art tells a story, but so too does the building itself. Located near Piazza della Signoria and right next to Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) is housed in the old Medici family offices (uffizi). Portions… Read More

While chaperoning the college group in Florence, one of my favorite activities we did was to take a cooking class. One morning, we got up early, met at Piazza della Repubblica and then walked over to Oltrarno to In Tavola Cooking Academy. Located on Via dei Velluti behind a non-descript door, the friendly chef met us and put us right to work! Most of the students had very little cooking experience (thank… Read More

I will admit to being a total tourist the first time I saw Florence’s Duomo. I walked around the whole thing just looking up. Walk and gawk…walk and gawk. It’s simply massive whether you are at street level or at the very top on the cupola. If you’re in Florence, be sure to take in the Duomo at various times of the day. Morning breakfast in Piazza del Duomo, or how about… Read More

A perfect ending to a perfect day in Florence is capturing the sunset. Piazzale Michalangelo, located in the Oltrarno (“beyond the Arno”) neighborhood of Florence – is the prime viewing spot. Located on a hill south of the historic center of Florence, you can take a taxi or drive up to Piazzale Michelangelo. However, the better way is to hike up! Start along the Arno River. You can walk from either Piazza Giuseppe… Read More

The birthplace of the Renaissance in one day? I’m going to be honest here…this premise is crazy. I had three weeks to savor Florence. It at least deserves an overnight. But hey, I did Venice in one day, which now seems laughable. So, maybe this is your only option. So, do it right! Here are some suggestions for Florence in a day. Tip #1: Narrow it Down to Two Major Tourist Sites… Read More

Summer has flown by! Part of the reason it went so fast is that I spent most of June in Florence, Italy. It wasn’t a vacation per se. It was work. I spent three weeks chaperoning a group of college students for the university where I work. Managing twenty college students–yep, that’s work all right! Students were taking their required cultural experience course. They had a lot of options and places to… Read More