Day 5 – checked in > brunch near Duomo > Duomo > Piazza Della Signoria > Ponte Vecchio > Piazzale Michelangelo > Dinner near Santa Maria Novella area
We took the 09:50 train to Florence and the ride took about 1.5hrs. As soon as we arrived, we took a taxi from Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station to the apartment we booked via Airbnb. Our apartment is just few minutes walk from the Duomo and it is very convenient, literally a corner away. In hindsight, I would have chosen to stay somewhere near the train station, as over the next couple of days, Florence would be our base, and we would take the train to the nearby areas like Pisa and Cinque Terre.
I love this open kitchen in our apartment.
Mr Map We could make some simple breakfast in the morning.
Once we dropped our luggages at the apartment, we immediately went to Obika for sunday brunch. It is a mozzarella bar in the heart of Florence.
The outdoor seating is very cozy and it is recommended by the Lonely Planet Italy guide.
There was quite a good variety of food at the buffet. it was a perfect meal for 2 hungry people after the train ride and we took full advantage of it, Mr Map even had to unbuckle his belt by one notch.
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri – 12:00 to 16:00; 18:30 to 23:00; Sat & Sun – 12:00 to 23:00
Address: Via de Tornabuoni 16, Florence
We walked around Duomo after lunch. It is definintely the most iconic landmark of Florence. The red-tile dome makes the duomo unique to the other cathedrals in Italy. Visitors can climb 436 stairs to the dome but we were thinking to take a break from walking up the stairs after St Peter’s Basilica.
Photo credit for Mr Map and his Nikon D610
Inside the Duomo. The interior is not very impressive after visiting St Peter’s Basilica. We did not stay long at the Duomo as we had a lot of places to explore in Florence.
It’s gelato time of the day! There is a Grom gelato shop located near our apartment. Grom is a famous gelato chain store in Italy and they have a lot of special flavours. It is one of my favourite gelato shops in Italy.
A much needed gelato before another day of endless walking!
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 23:00
Address: Via del Campanile angolo via delle Oche, Florence
We walked to Piazza Della Signoria after having our gelato.
This is a replica of Michelangelo’s David at the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio. The original David is located at the Galleria dell’Accademia. They all look the same to me though, I guess that’s why they call it ‘replica’.
We continued our walking journey to Ponte Vecchio and walked along the Arno river. The bridge is so unique and it is the perfect spot for taking some scenic photos. This is my favourite area in Florence.
We crossed the bridge and walked along the river to Piazzale Michelangelo. It took about 20mins to walk there from Ponte Vecchio, and is very popular spot right before sunset.
This is the perfect viewpoint to see downtown Florence. We were busy taking photos with our phones and cameras (2 pocket cameras, Nikon D610, GoPro) and fighting for the best spots to take photos. Mr Map was a bit annoyed that there were always tourists blocking the view.
A bronze replica of David at Piazzale Michelangelo.
We went back to the other side of the river for dinner. We were quite spontaneous during our trip and did not make any reservation for dinner. We walked pass some popular restaurants around the area but they were fully booked as it was Sunday night. We ended up in another popular restaurants called II Latini and were lucky enough to get seats.
It is one of the michelin bib gourmand restaurants in Florence.
Don’t bother translating the menu and just ask the waiter for recommendations. We ordered the crostini recommended and it was really good. Did I mention that the Chianti wine on the table is on the house? The whole bottle is all yours and you can pour as much as you want, and is undoubtedly the best tasting house wine I have ever had. We were charged for the bottle of water though.
The waiter also recommended 3 different dishes of pasta (Ravioli, Gnocchi, Penne) in smaller portion. The photo above is not a good representation of the generous portions given. The portion was perfect for 2 people to share.
The roasted beef was perfectly cooked and it was very juicy and tender. We were too full for dessert after all the dishes. II latini is our favourite restaurant in Florence and it is great value for money in terms of the quality of food for the price. We would highly recommended this restaurant to anyone who visits Florence.
Opening Hours: 12:00-23:30
Address: Via dei Palchetti 6R
We walked pass Piazza della Repubblica and headed back to our apartment after a long day.