Free Things to Do in Florence

Discussion in 'Europe' started by NileGuide, Jul 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Florence can be expensive when you are heading to every museum and decorated church in the city. But there are many things to do that won’t cost you a euro to see. Finding these things are easy once you know where to look. Piazzale Michelangelo is a panoramic viewpoint of the city. There are many tour groups and buses that park there to spend a few minutes taking pictures of the city from above. The reward is to take the long walk up from San Niccolo to the top where you can see the city and surrounding areas at different levels while you stop to take a rest on the way up. You are on vacation so take your time if you have trouble walking up the steps and steep walkways. Bring your camera so you can capture the most glorious views of the Florence.
    Piazzale Michelangelo
    If you keep walking up past Piazzale Michelangelo, you will find San Miniato Church perched on a hill. This point of view is even higher than Piazzale Michelangelo where you can see see more of the surrounding hills of Florence. The church is free to enter and at around 5 pm the monks chant in the lower crypt in beautiful sounds. A very calming place to sit and enjoy authentic Florence.
    Costa San Giorgio
    There is an old and winding street in the Oltrarno where you can see where once Galileo lived. Costa San Giorgio is a quiet street that bends and curves up through the narrow streets where many people are still living. The address of Galileo was Costa San Giorgio 19. It is where he discovered his most important astronomy breakthroughs. You can’t enter his house because it is a private residence now. As you continue up to Porta San Giorgio, you will notice Forte Belvedere on you right and Museo Bardini on your left. These you will have to pay to enter. When you walk through Porta San Giorgio, one of the doors to the old city, take a left in which you will follow the old city walls until you reach Porta San Minato where you can either head up to Piazzale Michelangelo by the stairs or down into San Niccolo where you will find many little trattorie, ristoranti and enoteche. A gorgeous walk through the quiet streets of the Oltrarno.
    Where the copper ball fell from Brunelleschi's dome
    The hidden gems or secrets of Florence are always free as well. These are things that are kept in secret from tourists and visitors. Instead of paying for a tour to see these particular sightings, why not find them yourself. For example, behind the dome in Piazza del Duomo, there is a large stone circle embedded in the cobblestones. What happened there? A violent storm tormented the city on January 17th, 1600. A large bolt of lightening hit the large ball of copper on top of Brunelleschi’s dome which was originally placed there in 1472. The lightening was so brutal it broke apart the supporting bracket of the copper ball and it rolled down the rim of the dome before landing firmly in the cobblestones of the piazza. People don’t usually notice any of these wee things in a grand city like Florence.
    Wine doors are prevalent throughout the city as well. They are located in large wealthy looking palazzi. Some can be found with the original wooden doors and others have been covered over with cement. These windows were for serving wine to the poor people of Florence. These wine-making families harvested large amounts of wine each season so they would sell the excess of wine they had to people on the street. It didn’t cost a lot either.
    For some more secrets of Florence stay tuned, I will be posting more soon. As you can see there are many free things to partake in while visiting Florence. Enjoy this enchanting city by walking the same footsteps of many fiorentini. To visit more Hidden Gems of Florence, go to the Hidden Gems Guide.

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