Florence, Italy | Things To Do

Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy I’m circling back to our adventures in Italy and sharing some of the memorable places we found in Florence. Our apartment located near the San Lorenzo Leather Market was also just steps from Mercato Centrale where I had the best vegan “burger” of my life. Even my carnivorous loving husband thought it was amazing. Veg & Veg is located on the second floor where there are dozens of other scrumptious and tempting places to grab a bite. If you’re traveling in a group, the Mercato is a great place to suit everyones taste.


Another favorite (read: most favorite) was La Menagere – a beautifully decorated and relaxing bistro, coffee bar, and flower shop that also hosts jazz musicians and other events in the evening hours. I could have gone here every morning. Their coffee was perfection, affordable, and the staff with their hip beards and dapper aprons were quite friendly. We enjoyed sitting among the locals reading their novels, clicking away on their laptops, and visiting with friends. It did not feel touristy in the least bit. I hope you stop by if you get the chance. You won’t regret it. See how inspiring the interior is… Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-10

Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-23

Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-22

We also loved Za-Za Trattoria with it’s dark cozy interior, romantic small tables, and fantastic collection of antique paintings and portraits. I don’t have any photos for you because it’s one of those places that are more memorable if you’re fully immersed in actually being there. We loved listening to the Italian conversations surrounding us, sipping chilled glasses of house wine, watching piping hot pizzas come out of their enormous oven, and feasting on the most delicious pasta and grilled steak you can imagine.

Of course, no trip to Florence should be without a visit to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. She is remarkably the most famous and beautiful landmark in the entire city. Simply stunning! Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-1

It seems as though every square inch of her is covered in marble with gorgeous hues of pink and green. And what was surprising to me is that she seemingly appears out of nowhere. You’ll be walking down a small street, turn the corner and pow! It’s like a magnificent jewel box tucked in the middle of the city. Inside the frescoed ceiling of the duomo will take your breath away. Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-2

Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-4

Florence is a very walkable city. In fact, we didn’t rent a car or hire a taxi during our entire stay. I think on foot is often the best way to explore new surroundings. It gave us plenty of time to meander and take in the views. A few highlights were Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Strozzi Palace, Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella, and the Galleria dell’Accademia. Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-14

Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-6

Aside from the infamous leather market (which we passed through so many times the vendors nicknamed me California) I enjoyed popping in and out of the small local shops. There were two that really caught my eye and my Euros – Mio Concept Store had beautifully curated gift and home decor collections. I especially loved their unique eyeglasses and handmade lighting. And everything at Ub Firenze was inspiring – they had a nice selection of vintage wares, lovely dresses and accessories, small collectible trinkets and in the very back – this room filled to the brim with antique wallpaper. Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-18

Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-20 And although the leather market is quite touristy, it’s a fantastic place to people watch! My husband bought several belts and a beautiful travel duffel that I’m sure he’ll have for a lifetime. I bought the softest leather tote bag and decided to bring home a few more as gifts. They folded up tightly and didn’t take much room in our luggage…always helpful when space is at a premium. Heather Bullard | Florence, Italy-21

If you’re planning a tour through Italy, I would recommend a couple days in Florence. It should be plenty of time for you to see the highlights and experience the city’s culture. Have you ever been? Would love to add your favorites to the conversation!

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13 Comments

  • Tania // Run to Radiance

    I just got back from spending 3 weeks in Florence…it was so amazing! I miss it already. I’m hanging on to this post for my next trip back—thank you!

    February 22, 2017 at 7:36 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Wow, I can imagine you explored the entire city in 3 weeks! What a wonderful holiday it must have been for you!

      February 22, 2017 at 7:44 am Reply
  • katey

    This is a wonderful source and so beautifully done. and you were able to relive the trip. Thank you for sharing your trip. Makes me want to go again.

    February 22, 2017 at 7:41 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thank you, Katey. It’s easy to see why so many fall in love with Italy. Hope you’re able to return one day!

      February 22, 2017 at 7:46 am Reply
  • Debbie

    My husband and I are considering a trip to Italy in October. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos, great suggestions and ideas. (I wonder if the Prada outlet is still just outside of town)

    February 22, 2017 at 10:16 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      We spent nearly a month in Italy in October. I think fall is the perfect season for travel. As for the Prada outlet…wasn’t on our list but fingers crossed you find it! 😉

      February 22, 2017 at 10:30 am Reply
  • Amy Fagnani

    I was very fortunate to travel to Florence for work back in September and fell in LOVE! Your post has me hoping to go back again soon. Just wanted to comment on the Prada outlet question from Debbie, we did go to the outlets. I was determined to come home with a new Gucci bag. The outlets are in Regello, just outside of Florence. We were fortunate to be driven there by a work contact but I did hear there are buses that will take you there. It was worth it! Can’t wait to return to Florence, she captivated my heart!

    February 23, 2017 at 5:46 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks for including the information on the Prada outlet. Hope you’re able to return to Florence soon!

      February 23, 2017 at 6:51 am Reply
    • Debbie

      Thank you Amy! (I assume you got your Gucci bag?) 🙂

      March 2, 2017 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Jess

    Hello Heather. How did you go about finding lodging while in Florence?

    February 23, 2017 at 9:49 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      We used AirBnB. They have a ton of apartments to choose from! When we travel for extended vacations we try to do a combination of home rentals and hotels.

      February 23, 2017 at 10:04 am Reply
  • Claudia

    Yes, I’ve been to Florence, Italy, and loved it. I went as a junior in high school (many years ago!). We visited Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, Assisi, Perugia and Florence. Florence was wonderful and I’d go back in a heartbeat. I also loved Sorrento and Capri. I would like to explore the Amalfi coast one day.

    February 25, 2017 at 12:17 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Oh I would love to visit the Amalfi coast! We went to Amsterdam then Venice, Tuscany, Florence and Rome. Next time I think coastal cities should be in order! 🙂

      February 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm Reply

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