Getting Ready: Around Our Florence Hotel

Hi Y'all!  It's Jill from International Eye. I'm working on several Florence attendee excursion requests for our upcoming October 20th CE Conference.  I have to say, I just love sharing my favorite things to do in Florence - but, I also love researching new spots and ideas to share, as well.  

For those reading and haven't registered yet...what are you waiting for?!? - JOIN US!  If you don't have time to plan your trip, I can do it for you.  Seriously, it's fun for me!

First, as part of my "Getting Ready for Florence" series, I want to share the location of our conference hotel, Hotel Brunelleschi - the original home of the Duomo architect, Filippo Brunelleschi.  On the map below, the hotel location is the RED star:

Our hotel is literally in the heart of historic Florence - a 1 minute walk north to the famous Duomo, a 5 minute walk west to the Piazza della Repubblica, an 8 minute walk south to the Uffizi Gallery (Italian Renaissance artwork) and a 5 minute walk north to the Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo's "David").

In the narrow streets surrounding our hotel are artisan shops, leather shops, quaint cafes and osterias (simple wine bars).  I've found the most beautiful Florence-made leather portfolios and journal holders, cameo jewelry, paperies, pottery, and, of course, the touristy trinkets to bring home to all.

Piazza della Repubblica

The Piazza della Repubblica is the heart of the shopping district, with outdoor cafes lining the edges, a beautiful carousel, and a grand arch leading to Florence's Luxury district (think Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and top Florentine designer, Salvatore Ferragamo). FYI, there is an Apple Store in the Piazza in case you left an important charger behind. The best cappuccino I've ever had was at #CaffeGilli which showcased some of the best desserts I've seen in Florence.

Tours & Excursions

I'm planning some individual and group excursions per requests. For guided tours of museums, I highly recommend Freya's Florence Tours. When I checked with my favorite Florence local, she said Freya was "hands down" the best museum guide in the city.  She can adjust monologue to cater to kids, as well as those who are already well educated in the arts.

On the "must do" list is a visit to the Florence Cathedral, commonly referred to as "Duomo."  One of the coolest experiences is to go up onto the limited-access terraces for #Instagram-worthy photos of Florence, then climb up into the dome for a panoramic view.

I recommend the Duomo Sky Walk - Florence Heaventour from FlorenceTown tours (video below).  These tours are small group, so you'll get a real, personalized experience for €79/per person.

FlorenceTown also offers some pretty unique half day and full day out-of-town experiences.  Cinque Terre is a favorite full day (12 hour) excursion with a seafood lunch, wine tasting and a boat ride to capture the best views of this UNESCO World Heritage site of cliffside fishing villages. 

I am putting together a group via private transfer to the Tuscan countryside where we'll visit of few outstanding vineyards, taste some incredible wine and enjoy fresh pasta - plus a few other surprises!

Lots more to talk about and I'll continue the "Getting Ready for Florence" series in my next email. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, join us for our Florence CE starring John McGreal, OD for 15 hours of COPE approved credit! You can register at www.internationaleye.net/registration

See you in Florence!


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