I can’t begin to explain how beautiful and fun Italy was. I will do my best at listing everything in this post, but you must promise me that you will go one day soon. Even if you’re like me, and haven’t been in years, you must ago again as soon as you can. 🙂
Florence came into the picture because John and I were about to have our 10 year anniversary from the first time we traveled and lived there together as students. We thought what better way to celebrate this milestone than to relive some of those memories. It turned out to be the best thing for us, we only wished we could have stayed longer than 5-6 days.
HOTEL OR AIRBNB
Knowing that prices were going to be high to stay in a centrally located hotel for 5 nights, we dedicated to spend our money wisely and Airbnb a 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen just near the Arno. John’s brother and girlfriend flew in a day after us, and we all stayed in this cute little apartment together. It was clean, cozy and we couldn’t have asked for a better location.
We spent each day exploring around our new neighborhood by foot. So be sure to bring your comfiest walking shoes since there’s tons of exploring to be had. My feet loved being in footwear by Joules. I wore their cute sandals all day, everyday and I got zero blisters. I was happy. However, it was SO HOT! John and I ended up getting so overheated on the first day that we got sick and needed to spend our second day in bed drinking only electrolytes! On top of that, we were running to the bathroom every few minutes, and it was NOT fun!! So tip #1 – wear comfy shoes and tip#2 – carry drinking water around with you in the hot summer months and limit direct sun exposure.
THINGS TO DO
Florence offers plenty of activities. We used to live here for a year and we still couldn’t see and do everything after school. TripAdvisor has a pretty comprehensive list of things you can do and I recommend checking it out. As for us, luckily we got around to feeling better the next day for our Radiohead concert. The concert was just under 15 minutes away by cab at the Visarno Arena at the beautiful Parco delle Cascine. We got there around 6pm and had an amazing time. I hadn’t been to a concert that massive in a looooong time! As we were leaving the venue that night, it began to rain. It was perfect in every way as we walked home through the beautiful park with Radiohead still playing in the background. I love these kinds of moments! I’ll be sharing videos on my YouTube channel soon, so stay tuned!
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN FLORENCE
Da Nerbone – By far my favorite spot!!!! It’s located inside Mercato Centrale. Authentic Italian flavors and I died for the mushroom side dish and risotto. We got so many different dishes and everything tasted beyond amazing! Makes the perfect spot for lunch or a casual dinner.
The Westin Excelsior – If you’re looking for some of the best views of Florence and the Arno, the Rooftop Bar is your spot! Amazing cocktails too! Highly recommend this spot out of the others we visited.
I’Tuscani 2 – Craving yummy meat and veggies? This place is simple and delicious.
L’Osteria di Giovanni – We had some amazing filet mignon and house made pasta dishes. Wonderful full course menu to choose from. Very authentic. Highly recommend this place.
Osteria Santo Spirito – Really good risotto and truffle gnocchi! We sat outside and enjoyed it fully.
Shake Cafe – Favorite spot for healthy bites and smoothies.
Caffe Amerini – We discovered some good cafe al ginseng shakerato here. It was basically an iced latte with ginseng and it was SO GOOD. They also have baked goods and a deli.
Gelateria La Carraia – We found this place on our walk back home one night and the line was sooo long! We decided to save it for another night, but now I wish we hadn’t because we ran out of nights before we remembered to go back!
You can take the train to almost anywhere for the day. I recommend Viareggio or Siena for proximity or a tighter budget. Viareggio is a nice little beach town with good restaurants close to Florence and Siena is a beautiful medieval city. One way is about €9 on Trenitalia and takes no more than 1.5 hours. Alternatively, for the same amount of time you can go visit Rome and a one way ticket is about €35. That’s what we did because we were flying in and out of Rome.
SHOP THE LOOKS
My next posts will be on Rome and how we managed to get a car rental plus lots on Positano and a bit on Pompei, so stay tuned!