These are a dozen favourite things in Florence, in no particular order


1) The view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo on a sunny evening and walking up the hill the the fantastic church of San Miniato al Monte.

2) Escaping the crowds and clamour by enjoying the peace and tranquility of San Marco Museum, topped off with Beate Angelico's moving fresco of the Annunciazone at the top of the stairs to the monks' cells.

3) Michelangelo's 'Pietà' in the Museo Opera del Duomo.

4) The Bargello Museum, which inexplicably doesn't seem as popular as some of the others, with Donatello's bronze of David and Michelangelo's Baccho and his tondo of Madonna and Child. All three of those take one's breath away, no matter how often one sees them.

5) The Uffizi, specifically Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Filippo Lippi's Madonna & Child with Two Angels and Leonardo's Annunciazione  (no surprises there, then)

6) The Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine with its frescoes by Filippino Lippi and Massacio

7) The huge Mercato Centrale and all the stalls in the surrounding streets.

8) First sight of the Palazzo Vecchio tower as you emerge from a narrow sidestreet onto Piazza della Signoria.

9) The massive Palazzo Strozzi, which often houses superb temporary exhibitions.

10) Piazza del Duomo and Piazza di San Giovanni with the Cathedral, Baptistry and Campanile.

11) Michelangelo's David in the Accademia.

12) The churches of San Lorenzo, Santa Croce & Santa Maria Novella, all wonderful and full of unexpected delights.


Obviously a subjective selection, which some purists might consider too obvious and 'touristy' but hey, don't knock it!

Can't wait to come back again soon.