Florence.. off the beaten path, not so touristy "things to do" recommendations?

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  1. I am going on a last minute trip to Florence this weekend. We will be there for 3 full days. We will not be doing anything typically touristy as we like to get a feel for the city and how people live more than we like running in and out of museums. Any recommendations for cafes with good people watching or a particularly nice streets or areas to stroll though? I am also interested in buying in unique gifts for my family and myself of course!

    So far I have only read about the Santa Maria Novella farmacia and was wondering if anyone had any particular favorites from there?

    I know there is so much to do and so much to take in!
  2. OOH...I just got back from there!
    Ill post later with names and addy of cool places.....found some super cute jewelry pieces there.and an amazing clothing shop across the Ponte Vechhio
  3. I havent forgotten u!I have all the receipts lined up to give u the addies of cool places to shop at!waiting for baby to go to bed!
  4. Thank you so much! How did you like Florence? The weather looks incredibly hot. Do women still dress nicely even in the heat?
  5. #5 Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
    Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella!

    The first pharmacy in Europe. Started in the middle ages by monks. My fav perfume comes from there: Iris. Their pot pourri is to die for. I always have it in the house.

    I always bring back gifts from there when I go to Florence. It's not expensive.

    Address here: Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella Just a few blocks from the Duomo.

    Gorgeous interior - these pics don't do it justice.



    ps: yes, women dress nicely even in heat. Florence is like Paris that way - very sophisticated.
  6. I actually found Florence very casual.skirt and tank tops were my thing there.with flipflops.It was in the 90's and hOT!
    Take the WALKABOUT tour..its amazing.best wine tour and u see the neatest towns too
    we had claudia as our guide ..she was AWESOME!Its 12 hours and the HIGHLIGHT of our trip
  7. Not sure if this is too touristy, but I would definitely recommend hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo (Piazzale Michelangelo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). It's a bit of a hike but the view from up there is incredible. We go there by crossing Ponte Vecchio and then walking along the water. The neighbourhoods along the way are really cute and less touristy.

    Have fun! I loved Florence.
  8. If you go to the Piazzale Michelangelo for the view, don't miss the Church of San Miniato al Monte, which is just along the road from the Piazzale. The Church is beautiful and has great views over Florence. You can hear the monks sing mass everyday - 5:30 in the summer and 4:30p.m. in the winter. It is well worth making sure that you are around to hear it. It is very special.
  9. Thanks for all the great places to go. We are moving our trip to Florence to next weekend and hoping on the train to go to Paris tomorrow morning for the weekend so any other recommendations for Florence would be great.
  10. I totally agree. It is AMAZING!!
  11. We LOVED Orvieto :love: It's between Florence and Rome, Google, it's amazing and the drive there is beautiful! Great shopping for homemade Italian ceramics.
  12. The towns we went to on the WALK THROUGH TUSCANY tour...were SIENA,Pisa,San Giaccomo(Cant spell it or pronounce it..LOL)..these towns had GREAT shopping..Pisa was quite...ummm.....GHETTO....LOL....it wasnt very nice there....kinda gross.Only thing to do is Tower of Pisa and they have all these greasy vendors and pickpockets everywhere so b careful.
    Siena was beautiful.I got the cutest jewelry in those 2 other towns.
  13. I love the Tuscan region, have fun! Even doing nothing will be fab!!!:yahoo:
  14. Has anyone been to the Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Museum? It looks like something that may be different and interesting...