ARRIVING IN FLORENCE
We recommend that you leave 2 days early for the start of this trip. This means you will arrive the next day into Florence giving you time to take a nap. Then go out that evening for an early dinner, enjoy the Ponte Vecchio, which literally translated means “old bridge”. It is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, noted for having wonderful jewelry shops built along it.
WHERE WILL THE TRAINING BE HELD?
Italia Power Yoga
TOP THINGS TO DO IN FLORENCE
#1 Florence’s most popular site is its Duomo (cathedral), the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore. The huge Gothic duomo was begun in 1296, consecrated in 1436, and holds 20,000 people. Its exterior, made of green, pink, and white marble. Brunelleschi’s Dome is a masterpiece!
#2 The Campanile, bell tower, is in Piazza del Duomo. The first story was designed by Giotto and it is commonly called Giotto’s Campanile. Buy a ticket and climb the 414 stairs for great views of the Cathedral and its dome and the city of Florence and surrounding hillside.
#3 The Galleria degli Uffizi holds the world’s most important collection of Renaissance art but it’s also Italy’s most crowded museum so it’s a good idea to buy tickets ahead to avoid long ticket lines (use the link above for booking information or buy tickets from Select Italy). The Uffizi holds thousands of paintings from medieval to modern times and many antique sculptures, illuminations, and tapestries. Artists whose works you’ll see include Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, and Raphael.
#4 Across from the Ponte Vecchio is the Giardino di Boboli, a huge park on a hillside in the middle of Florence behind the Pitti Palace. Here you’ll find beautiful gardens and fountains and a great view of Florence from the Forte Belvedere. Open daily at 8:15 with seasonal closing times.
#5 The Pitti Palace, Florence’s largest palazzo, was once the seat of the Medici family. You can visit 8 different galleries, including art, costumes, jewelry, and apartments. Incredible!
#6 Florence has some of the finest shopping in Europe. In Florence you’ll find leather goods, paper goods, and jewellry as well as nice souvenirs and art productions. Florence has a number of open air markets selling food, clothing, and antiques. The most famous is around Piazza San Lorenzo where you’ll find leather goods, too. Another good place is Mercato Nuovo (Porcellino) on Via Porta Rossa. Mercato Centrale is a great place for food shopping or just looking.
#7 Piazzale Michelangelo: This piazza boasts some of the best city views anywhere; it’s where you’ll need to go to get that perfect postcard picture of Florence. It sits atop a hill above the Oltrarno neighborhood, on the opposite side of the river from the Duomo. Built in 1869, this piazza is dedicated to Michelangelo and features replicas of some of his famous sculptures – including a large bronze David standing in the center of the square.
**We will drive you here on Day 1 of our trip**
WILL I BE ABLE TO BE UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN: EG RELAX BY A POOL?
Yes!! It would be a travesty to go to Tuscany and not have the opportunity to lounge by the pool under the magic of the Tuscan sun. The temperatures in Tuscany in the Spring are lovely and the Summer are tropical.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
Yes, it’s true, Italians are famously fashionable! Therefor consider your comfort level when you’re in Florence or Siena, Volterra or Rome whether you are going to feel less than your best if wearing casual jeans around the elegant Italians. When in Italy consider doing as the Italians (or Europeans) do and dress in easy to wear but stylish clothing. You will be moving around walking as you tour different cities so pack clothing that won’t wrinkle easily and for sure wear layers so that you can transition easily from cooler mornings to warm afternoons and wrap up again in the evenings. A great suggestion I offer women is to pack clothes all along a similar color scheme so you can easily mix and match. In this way you don’t have to have complete shirt-skirt-jacket combos when you can interchange your blouses/shirts, skirts, dresses, couple pair of pants and one cardigan, and jacket.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
Packing List Essentials
· Airline Tickets
· Picture ID
· Some Cash (in euros)
· Copies of hotel confirmations
· Emergency phone numbers
· Contact numbers to report credit cards lost
· Prescription and OTC medications
· Currency converter
· Plug adaptor/convertor
· Backup batteries
· Extra film or memory card
· Wine bag carrier
· Compression clothing bags or oversized zip lock bags to pack clothes flat and avoid wrinkles
Self-Care items to pack
· Travel alarm clock
· Book and magazines
· Glasses, sunglasses and contacts
· Anti-bacterial hand gel or wipes
· Hand lotion
· Small first-aid kit
· Non-perishable snacks while in transit
DO YOU HAVE OTHER HELPFUL ADVICE?
1. Speak to your bank to ensure you have security clearance to use your credit card in Italy and memorize your pin. Do check to find out what your daily ATM withdrawal limit is before going. This will be the easiest way to get cash. Also, check with your bank to be certain you know if there are extra fees for foreign withdrawals.
2. There is free wireless internet available. It is slower than we are used to now, but it works great for essential emails and surfing.
3. Make copies of your passport and tickets and keep them in a safe place in your luggage. If your passport is stolen, a copy will speed up the replacement process. Leave a second copy of your passport with a family member back home. It’s also a good idea to bring telephone numbers for your credit card company.
4. Get some Euros before you leave. Go to your bank at home and exchange a small amount of cash, just enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. That way if you get into town and an ATM machine is down, you aren’t stressed. But don’t exchange too much. And don’t exchange money at the bureau de change or such at the airport because they usually charge an exorbitant fee (either via a horrid exchange rate, or high fees).