Benvenuto a Firenze! Welcome to Florence! In Florence you will find lots of things to do! During our time, we went to the Duomo, walked through the Rose Garden (Giardino delle Rose), wandered through the Iris Garden (Giardino dell’Iris), ate lunch at Piazzale Michelangelo, visited the Church of San Miniato (San Miniato al Monte), and went to the market.
Something that I learned was that Florence’s name has history behind it. For starters, Florence is named after the word “flower” because originally it was named by the Roman Goddness “flora”. Then the Italians changed to it to “fiore” which translates to “flower”. Back in the day, the Romans called Florence either “Florentia” or “Florenzia” and in Italy, the word for Florence was either “Fiorentia” or “Fiorenzia”. Eventually, the Italians began calling Florence “Firenze” and this was the old name for Florence.
Enough about history and let’s talk about something more fun! The first destination that we visited was the Stazione Santa Maria Novella, the train station, in Florence. This is the train station that can get you to the places you would like to go such as Rome, Lucca, Pisa, Venice, and other various places in Italy. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Italian because most people know English!
The second place that walked to was the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. We only walked to it and then around the streets, but my favorite part about walking around the city is just exploring what is around you.
We also got to see the Duomo, which is one of the landmarks of Florence. The famous Renaissance dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and the architecture of the building is phenomenal. Another one of my favorite things to do while abroad is look at the intricate architecture! I enjoy trying to figure out how long it took the artist to complete and think about all the work that went into each part of the building.
Later in the day we visited both the Rose Garden and Iris Garden. In the Rose Garden there were all kinds of flowers blooming. We all began taking our cameras out and one of the best parts was being able to see the Duomo in the background! The Rose Garden is on a hill and the flowers are spread throughout the garden. Today, there were people looking at flowers, sitting with blankets eating their lunch, or napping in the shade.
The best time to come to the Iris Garden is in the spring when the flowers are blooming. There were rows and rows of different irises and they each smelled different! I suggest walking through the Iris Garden and taking a minute to smell the irises. At the Iris Garden there were baby olives growing and they would be ready to be harvested in November of 2017.
*All photos taken by Le Petit Traveler