Every single person I spoke to who had been to Italy said Florence was their favorite. But, to be honest, before going there I didn't really have high expectations. In all the places we were traveling to, Florence was the least I had planned for us. I booked a museum tour and a wine tour for the 4 days we were there, which might sound like a lot to some but was minimal compared to the other cities I had planned out.
After having experienced it, though, Florence is high on my list of favorite places in the world. There are so many things to do in Florence Italy. First of all, the city is the most romantic place I have ever been, the food is spectacular, there is amazing nightlife [so many cute bars open on every corner] and the atmosphere is unparalleled. Despite having my phone stolen at the airport [which, now that I've calmed down, I can admit was nobody's fault but my own. I wasn't as careful as I should have been- I was hungover and dead-ass exhausted. So much so that we had to go back to the hotel once we got to the airport because I forgot my passport, and then being somewhat careless with my phone, I mean based on the cautious tales I've heard, it was bound to happen. All I can say is BE CAUTIOUS!] Nonetheless, Florence is still one of my favorite cities in the world.
One vivid memory I have of Florence is a woman singing opera in the big town square area. I was sitting on a bench, starring at my phone, waiting for Kevin to finish getting his hyperlapse [he got lots of those throughout the trip] but when I heard this woman start singing I got chills. I put away my phone and just listened for maybe 10 minutes, starring, being uncommonly present in the moment, with tears welling up in my eyes. It's one of my most powerful memories I have of the whole trip. If there were only two places I could go back to in Italy, Florence would be one of them.
During our trip we booked a museum tour [Kevin wasn't superrr stoked on the museum tours I had booked for us. One being in Florence and the other in Rome, but I love learning about history!]
*FACT ABOUT ME: I was originally majoring in History when I was in University but ended up switching to Communications because of how little you could do with a history major. I have always loved history! It was my favorite subject in high school.
We booked a guided tour at the Accademia Gallery specifically so I could learn about the Statue of David. Really cool seeing this magnificent creation in person. Our tour guide was great and told us many unknown facts about the Statue of David; for example, one person, a few years prior, went into the museum hiding a hammer with the intent of destroying the statue, which is now why is one foot is a bit battered and there is now glass around the statue.
We also did a wine tour in the countryside of Tuscany and it's definitely one of the highlights of my trip. If you're traveling to Florence I highly suggest booking a wine tour. We learned so much during our time there and ate some of the best food I've ever had. Have you tried lasagna with truffle oil? I'll never eat lasagna again without it. After our wine tour, our driver took us to the old town of San Gimignano. I had done my own research online prior to this and was determined on stopping here before heading back into the city. It's a very small town, nearly untouched from the 13th century, medieval times. I was completely in awe wondering through the streets here thinking how cool it was that this place was still in tact and dated as far back as the 8th century BC.
Whenever I travel I like to make a travel photo diary; I take high res images of the city, the atmosphere, all things that I'm inspired by and play around in photoshop to create something I think is magical. Check out some of my favorites from Florence below!
After roaming through the charming streets we went to a cute little coffee shop called La Ménagère, which I completely fell in love with. *Side note: Major shoutout to my girlfriend, Shelby, for sending me all these cute places to check out. She was an integral part of our falling in love with Florence thanks to all the wonderful recommendations.*
PLACES TO EAT:
- La Giostra for a romantic dinner
- Panini Toscani for sandwhiches [Kevin, and Shelby's husband, both said it was once of the best sandwhiches they've ever had]
- La Ménagère for coffee/ cocktails
- Westin rooftop bar for sunset drinks/ views
WHERE WE STAYED:
- Hotel Cardinal of Florence- a super cute hotel but note, there is no elevator. Although a man will help you with your bags, be prepared for a climb.
Make sure you visit the main square with the merry-go-round but just don't eat there. We made that mistake one night. Overpriced and the food was the worst we had throughout our entire trip.