The other day we took a day trip to Florence and had the most wonderful time. It is such a pretty city!! Florence is a great day trip because it's only a short ride by train from our house in Cortona and it is so much fun to explore.
If you haven't been to Florence before, you have to climb the campanile bell tower to get not only a bomb workout, but also to see the beautiful Duomo. I think climbing the campanile is better than going up to the top of the Duomo because then you can see the Duomo rather than being on top of it. Either way, you will get a magnificent view of the city. If you have been to Florence before, then you can probably skip the climb and spend the day walking around museums and shopping instead.
This trip we discovered the San Lorenzo market and let me tell you, this place is a must see. It's the gritty version of the Ferry Building in SF or the Chelsea market in NYC- which is to say, it's pretty fricken awesome and a hell of a lot cheaper. This market is full of food from all over Italy: fresh pasta, truffle oils and butters, meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and seafood. Outside a three prong leather market takes place with pushy men selling beautiful leather coats and bags. Make sure to walk through but keep a hand on your purse, there are lots of aggressive pickpockets here!
Lunch on a quiet side-street is a must, but even better is the Florentine treat of fresh waffles with gelato. It doesn't get much better than that. The shopping is to die, and I already am planning my next trip in about a week or so with my friend Justine. More pics then!