For a brief period in the 1860s, Florence was the capital of Italy. Now, it is the capital of the Tuscan region. Florence is most popular for culture, the Renaissance, monuments and its stunning architecture. The imposing cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its dome designed by Brunelleschi, is probably the most iconic building in Florence.
As well as restaurants offering fantastic pasta, pizza, meats and cheese, Florence has some of its own local dishes. Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a large T-bone steak seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon. Traditionally it was cooked over roasted chestnuts to get a smoky flavour. Realistically it is probably too large for the solo diner and best left for sharing! Other dishes include ribollita, a hearty soup made with stale bread, beans and vegetables. Lampredotto is another favourite… made from the fourth stomach of a cow. This is a popular filling in sandwiches.
Chianti is Tuscany’s signature wine. It is a good quality red made in the mountaineous region of central Tuscany. Other local wines worth trying are Brunello di Montalcino and if you prefer white, Trebbiano Toscanos.
Florence and Solo Travel
Without a doubt, Florence is a romantic place to visit. However, it is also a wonderful place to come to alone. From Santa Maria Novella station, most places of interest are easy to walk to. The tram system is a cheap way to travel too, if you prefer not to walk all the time. The tram journeys cost just Euros 1.50 and they last 90 minutes. English is widely spoken throughout the city which is helpful if you get lost. As a solo traveller there are also plenty of things to do by yourself. Many of the restaurants have outdoor areas too. These are great for solo dining and people watching. For more information, check out the following links…
Note that not all destinations have the same local laws and customs as your home country. Click on the link to take you to the UK Government’s website which provides up to date information about local laws and customs in Italy.
Suggested Further Reading:
Things to do in Florence on a Budget – recommendations of free things to do or under Euros 5
Photo Gallery – Selection of photos taken from my solo holiday