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Under $100: Florence, Italy

by Suzy Guese

Oct 11, 2014

Il Duomo of Florence, Italy © Francesco Carucci | Dreamstime

Europe

It is one of the most popular cities in Italy and with it comes sky-high prices. Florence can break your budget, but it doesn’t have to if you know where to spend your euros.

 

To spend a day in Florence, you need to be amply caffeinated. Travelers can start the day with history, espresso and sweet pastries at Café Gilli. Located in grand and imposing Piazza della Repubblica, the historic café has been a Florence fixture since 1733. Complete with chandeliers, frescoes and a decidedly 20th-century style, you can throw back an espresso and munch on an almost too-pretty-to-eat pastry at Café Gilli for under $10. In order to avoid going over $10, grab your coffee and pastry at the bar where prices are considerably lower than sitting at a table.

 

Amply caffeinated and sugared up, you can head a few steps away from breakfast to one of Florence’s most well-known attractions. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, otherwise known as Il Duomo, impresses instantly with Brunelleschi’s dome. To enter the grand cathedral, you don’t have to fork over a euro.

 

After touring Il Duomo, you might be hankering to shop in this stylish Italian city. Florence is home to several markets including the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale. From fresh and exotic tastes to leather goods and souvenirs, you can shop until you need to drop for lunch. Line up with the rest of Florence at the old-school style sandwich stand I Due Fratelli. Close to Il Duomo, crowds gather to snatch up a tasty yet simple sandwich for a few euros. Lunch comes in at well under $10.

 

Florence is in many ways an open-air museum, a testament to the Italian Renaissance. However, if you head indoors to some of Florence’s museums, you won’t be disappointed either. The Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the most famous pieces of Renaissance art, such as the Birth of Venus, can cost up to $20 for a regular ticket, reserved in advance. A visit to see Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria d’Accademia costs around $10.

 

With roughly $50 left to spend in Florence, treat yourself to a fine meal at Trattoria Quattro Leoni, a city staple since 1550. Pastas run round $20 while meats can be a bit pricier at around $40.

 

With a full stomach, just before sunset, make your way up to Piazzale Michelangelo. The piazza boasts one of the best views of Florence where you can spot major landmarks basking in a Renaissance-hued sunset, including Il Duomo, Santa Croce and the Ponte Vecchio.

 

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