While I was in Italy, we allowed for a day trip to Florence from Rome. We settled on a bike tour that would take us throughout the region (while getting our exercise). I highly recommend a biking tour of Florence – it was fantastic! Aside from the biking tour, there are many other items on our list of Best Things to do in Florence Italy.
One of my non-negotiables while traveling is exercise. I know that sentence merits a few eye rolls, but it is difficult to find time to exercise while in a new city. Making exercise a priority has allowed me to explore cities from a different perspective. Exercise doesn’t always have to look like the hotel gym. It can be a workout in a local park, renting a city bike, or going for a long walk or run. Get creative with it!
Our tour guides met us at the train station in Florence and we drove a little ways to a calmer spot to get settled on our bikes. We biked through the beautiful parks of Florence before heading for San Miniato al Monte, a little known church that offers sweeping views of the entire city. Most know Piazzale Michelangelo as having iconic views, but few know that just a little ways up is an even better, less crowded spot.
After taking in the views, we headed to lunch at La Beppa Fioraia. I must admit, I was intimidated by this hidden gem. It is pure, authentic Tuscan cuisine. So much so, that our bike tour guides also served as our menu guides. I ordered a delicious Popeye salad with spinach, pine nuts, raisins, apples, Pecorino and more. The ambiance and decor added to the unique and genuine character of this restaurant. We sat outside in the garden under a beautiful collection of multicolored umbrellas. It made me want to pull a Mary Poppins and fly away under the Tuscan Sun. I dare you to name all of the movie references in this post.
After lunch, we headed to see a few iconic Florence spots. Ponte Vecchio is the incomparable old bridge in Florence that offers great views of both sides of the river. It is unique in structure and lined with luxury jewelry shops.
Perhaps the most obvious attractions on our list of Best Things to do in Florence Italy is the Duomo and the Bell Tower. Florence that features the infamous duomo and bell tower. Since we were nearing the end of our day, it was too late to go to the top of the duomo. We settled for the equally great bell tower. The only downside was that we had to climb allllll the way to the tippy top. About 414 steps to be precise. As if our day long biking adventure wasn’t enough exercise already…
Florence is amazing and I highly recommend a day trip, at the very least!