Florence is the ideal base to explore the gorgeous Tuscany region. Florence is known for its art & culture, stunning landscapes, exceptional architecture, and cuisine. We stayed in Florence for 3 nights. However, we took day trips to Siena and Pisa, so really only had 24 hours to explore Florence itself. If you only have a short amount of time in the city, here are the 10 things you must do while in Florence.
Prior to going, we heard a lot of mixed opinions about Venice. Either it was a completely overrated tourist trap or the most magical and romantic city in Europe. Our opinion sided closer with the later. This alluring floating city of marble palaces was the perfect first stop for our honeymoon. We visited Venice in late May, right before the busy summer season. While there was a fair amount of tourists crowding San Marco's square, it could have been worse. Two days felt like the perfect amount of time to spend in Venice. Here is an outline of what we did while in Venice.
Florence is amazing, but to truly experience Tuscany – get out of the big city. Siena is a medieval city in the heart of Tuscany, just an hour bus ride away from Florence. It is most famous for a horse race, Palio, which is hosted twice a year (July 2nd and August 16th). I'd recommend skipping this experience and instead visit for the food, gorgeous views, museums, and architecture. Even if you are short on time while in Florence, a day break to Siena is a must do!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most well-known landmarks in Italy. It is also extremely popular among tourists. The tower is actually just a bell tower adjacent to the gorgeous Pisa Cathedral, which is a part of the larger Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles). Despite its popularity, does Pisa deserve a spot on your limited time in Tuscany? Here, we outline 5 reasons not to go and 3 reason to make the journey to Pisa.
Taormina is a small town perched on the cliffs of Sicily in Italy. From the pedestrian-only city center, you can see Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. The village of Taormina is a popular destination for wealthy Europeans in the Summer and it's streets are lined with high-end shops. Fortunately for the more budget-concious traveler, there are many ways to spend a day in Taormina without spending a penny.
Before planning the wedding, before getting engaged even, we decided on our Honeymoon location. We were going to eat gelato, get lost along the canals in Venice, journey through the rolling hills of Tuscany, and walk the cobblestone streets of Rome. We began our honeymoon spending 8 days on mainland Italy, before boarding a cruise to the Greek Isles.