Italy: Short Breaks in Florence

Some people love to get around Florence by foot.The locals love to get around by bike.

Tourists like me like to try out the pony trap - which is a pretty steep 50 Euros for a 15 minute gallavant but you can really scope out the sites quite quickly and it helps get your bearings, especially if you are only there for a short break.

One place you can not miss is the Ponte Vecchio - for some reason it reminded me of the antique quarter in Bath - perhaps it's the peculiar sight of a bridge encrusted with blinged up jewelry shops. It really is a must see.

It is also very romantic and I discovered a peculiar but very poignant tradition. If you look closely in the photo below, you will see that many lovers have put padlocks on the iron railings around this statue. It is a complete contrast to the diamonds and gems which shine out from the shop windows.

On a more practical note, do make sure you buy your museum tickets from local outlets as the queues are very long. There are great designer shops and the local markets sell leather.If you are looking for great food, avoid the pizzerias around the squares and museums and seek out the smaller trattorias where you will be treated to great anti pasti and pasta. The chianti is pretty special too.