I’ve just returned from a trip to Florence, Italy and although I’ve been to Italy many times, it was my first visit to the Tuscany region. I was there to attend the 83rd International Artisan Fair, a curated fair featuring local artisans and makers of art, decor, furnishings, clothing and accessories, & food and wine.
I arrived a day early and had some time to explore the city before our first night’s welcome dinner event. Our group stayed at the AC Marriot Firenze hotel, just on the outskirts of the city center in a more residential neighborhood. This was the view from my room.
The first day was a bit rainy but I managed to still get a lot of city walking in as the rain tapered off later in the day. As I was rushing to meet a friend of mine for lunch that lives in Florence, I turned a corner and came upon this carousel with a peek of the top of the bell tower from the Duomo behind.
As it turns out the Duomo was right next to where we had lunch and just as we were saying goodbye, I turned around and saw the very striking cathedral and bell tower.
At the Duomo.
The cathedral details.
Walking around the perimeter of the Duomo.
An exterior facade on the Piazzo del Duomo.
Cute cafes and restaurants around the Piazza del Duomo.
And beautifully engraved doors.
From the Duomo, I ventured out for more city walking and stumbled upon the Basilica of Santa Maria Novello.
Some of the buildings next to the Basilica include hotels and restaurants.
As I continued walking I came upon an open market area selling leather goods just before finding the Mercato Centrale, an indoor food market with restaurants. I’ve never seen so many varieties of pasta!
Street art on the streets of Firenze.
As I was making my way back to the hotel towards the end of the day, I came upon this 14th century fortress, the Fortezza da Basso, where the artisan fair I would be attending the next day is located.
Inside the fortress is this charming little building where one of the exhibitors we visited at the fair was.
On the second day, we had some free time after attending the fair in the morning, so I set out for more city sight seeing, strolling through narrow streets on a warm sunny afternoon.
Stopping to see cute local hotels.
And colorful buildings.
Bicycles lined up outside the Savoy Hotel in Firenze.
Suddenly and unexpectedly I came upon the Piazza della Signoria as I was making my way to the Ponte Vicchio.
Grand statues like this one overlook the Piazza.
Beyond the Piazza della Signoria is the Uffizi Gallery.
A “live” statue stands outside the Uffizi Gallery.
Looking up at the details.
Art and architecture is everywhere you look.
Just beyond the steps from the Uffizi Gallery is the river and Ponte Vecchio.
A view of the Ponte Vecchio and the Fiume Arno.
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