Florence is one of the world’s most intimate and romantic Cities. Boasting some of the most impressive architecture, galleries and cathedrals; it’s a must-visit destination for any travelers looking to experience unique cultural heritage.
The Ancient Tuscan City’s rich Renaissance architecture and some of the most sacred churches in Italy mean that protection laws render the area virtually impossible to develop, an issue that means that for centuries property moguls have been kept at bay by
Florence’s cultural significance and priceless architecture. This has led to the preservation of a city that even today is untouched by the outside world, and is the epitome of traditional Tuscan life.
The Florence gay scene is a bustling and unique gay one, with several regular club nights for gay travelers to enjoy and a multitude of more seasonal but larger LGBT centred events.
Wander the halls of the Uffizi Gallery
Considered one of the most important and culturally significant galleries globally, the Uffizi Gallery houses some of the world’s most valuable masterpieces. Designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560, the gallery boasts a collection of artwork and sculptures dating back to the middle ages, however, it’s the Uffizi’s renaissance era masterpieces that make it an international monument of art and culture.
Possibly the most famous piece on display at the Uffizi Gallery is The Birth of Venus. The painting, which measures nearly three meters across has been reproduced countless times throughout history, but seeing the original up close will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on any visitor.
The central location of the Uffizi Gallery means that it is within walking distance of many of Florence’s best cafes and restaurants, however, the gallery itself also has a cafe with a transitional Tuscan terrace, offering breathtaking views across Florence.
Discover the fascinating history of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Meaning the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Flower, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is an Italian landmark. The cathedral towers above the rest of the city’s buildings, and with its large domed roof and striking Renaissance architecture it’s a truly beautiful sight, particularly when lit up at night.
Taking 140 years to complete, the cathedral, known locally as The Duomo, is one of the best examples of the renaissance architecture that Florence is best known for. Visitors can enjoy one of the largest churches in the Christian world for free, however, official tours are also available for those keen to learn more about the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore’s fascinating history.
Sample the finest Tuscan produce at San Lorenzo Market
Housed within a jaw-dropping Guiseppe Mengoni building dating back to 1874, the indoor food hall at the San Lorenzo Market is packed with the finest and freshest meat, vegetables and fish available in Florence. With much of the produce sourced from Tuscany’s beautiful farms, vendors here are always willing to negotiate on the prices of your favourite ingredients, making this a must-visit destination for anyone looking to create their own authentic Tuscan cuisine.
The outside area of the San Lorenzo Market is dedicated to traders selling leather goods, jewelry and crafts. Many of the items on offer here are made of authentic Florentine products, however, be wary of cheap imported goods being sold for a high price. Much like the food market, most of the traders here expect customers to barter for cheaper prices.
For a more romantic experience combined with amazing deals, try visiting the San Lorenzo Market at dusk. In the evening the traders are keen to make their final sales of the day so good deals are plentiful and this combined with the beautiful sunsets that cast an orange glow across Florence make an evening trip to the market a truly cinematic event.
There are a number of gay club nights and parties in Florence including Fairy; a weekly gay dance party, popular with the city’s younger crowd. The event takes place in central Florence and plays a mix of pop, house and Italian hits.
However, the gay scene in Florence is largely seasonal. A range of LGBT focused events take place throughout the year, ranging from the Florence Queer Film Festival in October to Toscana Pride in June, so be sure to check whats happening for LGBT in Florence before visiting.
Take a scenic stroll across Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence and is also one of the most photographed landmarks in Italy. Crossing the Arno river at its narrowest point, Ponte Vecchio is known for its numerous shops and cafes which look out onto the water.
The shops that line the Ponte Vecchio include jewelers, art dealers and souvenirs but by night, the traditional shutters that cover the shop front create a romantic and peaceful corridor from which travelers can enjoy the scenic river views.
The narrowness of the bridges inner street is what makes it so special and unique, however, it can get extremely busy so the best time to visit is in the early morning or later evening, at these times you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the Ponte Vecchio in true Florentine style without the bustling crowds.
by George Pizani | On: Gay Florence