"weekends in Florence" Florence by brendareed

Florence Travel Guide: 5,157 reviews and 11,389 photos

Florence has become my favorite city in all of Europe. I didn’t think Paris could be topped but Florence has enchanted me. So much history, art, architecture, and friendly people all in one place! My last trip was a week long and I still feel the need to return to this magical city.

My second visit to Florence was for a seven-day field study as part of a university course that focused on Renaissance art history in January 2012. For a full week, I went to many churches and museums, learned about the Medicis and Florentine history, Michelangelo and the other artists from Florence, and absorbed the culture (as well as the food) of this beautiful city. The weather was chilly but sunny each day we were there – I could not have asked for anything better (okay, maybe a little warmer)!

Long days of tours and lectures made for a tired girl by the end of the week, but what an experience! Side trips to Siena and San Gimignano rounded out the week. All this topped off with a challenging final exam covering all the artists and works we learned about and saw over the week. It was a lot of detail to learn in just seven days, but I wouldn't change a thing. The learning continued after leaving Florence as I plunged into my research paper on Cosimo Medici's patronage to Florentine's early Renaissance artists such as Donatello, Brunelleschi and Fra Angelico. I plan to return to Florence to revisit these places and just enjoy them without the pressure of the coursework and exam!

Home base was near the San Lorenzo Church, just a couple blocks from the Cathedral. The class stayed in the Hotel Giada where we also has our lectures. It was close to the train station and very central for most all of our activities. During the bulk of our tours, we walked from place to place. This gave us an appreciation of the beauty of the city and people of Florence.

Throughout the week, we saw countless pieces of beautiful paintings, frescoes, sculptures, and architecture. We basically lived and breathed art for a week, with a little time off to eat pizza, pasta, and drink fabulous wine.

My tips focus mostly on the art that I’ve seen – so if you are interested in the art of the Renaissance, hopefully these will be helpful for you as you plan future trips (or just travel virtually!).

  • Intro Updated Jun 9, 2014
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Comments (3)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Oh wow, while the other tips & reviews were already fabulous, you are topping everything with your to-do write ups and photos! This is the best that was ever written about this city! Especially because you let the artists speak through you and make the connection between their art and historical events and rulers.
    By now I know that it is not possible to see Florence in one day because one will never see what the city and its art is all about, will see only things that are somehow nothing worth to have seen them without understanding the hows and whys. (Does that make sense?)

    • brendareed's Profile Photo
      Jul 14, 2014 at 12:30 AM

      Thank you, dear Ingrid, for revisiting my Florence page :-) That means a lot to me that you would take the time to read my writings again now that they have been reposted. And, yes, you made sense! To truly appreciate what any city is about, one should have some idea of the history and people that created them.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Thank you for your excellent information about Florence, dear Brenda, especially for the artwork list (and the many other ones!!). Back later to continue my walk through Firenze :-))

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    :-)))

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