Palazzo Vecchio is located in Piazza Signoria and towers over the city like the Duomo. Where Mayor Renzi does his business, this palazzo is also a museum. The once home of the Medici Family now a grand city hall and famous place to be married in Florence. The red room (Sala Rossa) is a gorgeous red room full of classical music and red walls, red furniture. A signature of the love that is always shared in this room.
Luca making a panino at Vinaino — Photo courtesy of Katie Greenaway
For a delicious, filling lunch, head over to Vinaino di Parte Guelfa. Located close to Mercato Nuovo or Mercato Porcellino, this locale is a typical stop for the locals who work in the area. The vendors from this market head here for a quick glass of wine or a quick panino. The brothers-in-law, Luca and Leonardo are magicians in making the best panino in Florence. They can make you any type of sandwich you like, vegetarian, spicy just about anything local and fresh.
Duomo taken from Giardino dell'Orticoltura — Photo courtesy of Katie Greenaway
After lunch, take a long walk over to the Oltrarno where Piazza Pitti holds another great treasure. Palazzo Pitti was once the residence of the Medici family. The Vasari Corridor would allow them to walk from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti without interaction with the peasants below. Inside the there are a few museums that display many works of art from different periods. Behind the palazzo is the gorgeous, flowing Boboli Gardens. Where the flowers flourish through the summer months and the many trees create shade when the heat is overwhelming.
Dinnertime should be enjoyed in relaxation and solitude. Cantina Barbagianni is a small restaurant near to the Duomo. They specialize in romantic ambiance and fusion food. There is a wine-tasting room where you can have a tasting with friends or family. In the basement of the restaurant there is a low-lighted room where the lovers can canoodle. The service is impeccable and the atmosphere is very calm.
After dinner, why not head over to a low key pub where you can unwind from a long dinner. The Joshua Tree Pub is a pub where many locals hang out. The bartenders all speak English and welcome foreigners in for their happy hour which ends at 9pm. Indulge in a mojito that Simone(owner) prides himself on.
Florence at night — Photo courtesy of Katie Greenaway
Once you arrive back at your hotel you will be exhausted since you walked basically all over the city center. The walk alone will give your eyes the show of a lifetime, the Renaissance will awaken right in front of you.