My Florence, Italy travel diary is finally here! Ciao Firenze!
Again, apologies for my blog silence. I have to admit it’s hard to take a big trip and blog. I came back so exhausted, but so happy! I actually needed to take a vacation from my vacation, not even kidding! Happy to say I’m back and have quite a lot share with you. This is our first time visiting Italy and we decided to visit four cities in the span of 10 days. I’m excited to share with you the first city, FLORENCE!
FLORENCE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
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GENERAL THINGS TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO FLORENCE
Florence is ever bustling with tourists around this time of year and it will only get busier as summer time approaches. To get around Italy, we took the train using Tren Italia. I especially love how the train was accurate on arrival and departure. Each time was a smooth and comfortable ride, but we did prefer travelling in business class as it tended to be more quiet.
GETTING AROUND FLORENCE
If we wanted to we could have walked to our apartment. But we took a taxi which was quite expensive for a 10 minute drive – it cost 15 EUROS. OUCH. We learned that Florence can be walking distance to pretty much everything if you are up for it. People walk with their suitcases often and it’s not so bad lugging it around especially if you have one with four wheels. We walked 20 minutes back to the train station when we departed Florence with no hiccups. Thank goodness for the hubby as he is an amazing navigator. He downloaded the map of each city before we got there so we could use it on Google Maps without having to use data but only our GPS (which is free). However, this will not give you a route if you don’t have your data on. But if you are a good navigator like the hubby, then you don’t need it!
Make sure your electrical equipment is dual voltage. As long as your equipment is dual voltage, then you only need an adapter which only costs you a couple of dollars. Bring more than one or two. If your items are not dual voltage, I don’t recommend you bring it. Most electronics are. For me, my hair curler was the one item I really needed and so I bought a cheap one that is dual voltage. The alternatives are converters (which you can only use for short periods of time) or transformers (but are expensive and large).
While there are tons of tourists, I didn’t see many sketchy scam artists in Florence. However, I would’t walk around with an open bag. Luckily we didn’t encounter any pick pockets but my hubby is paranoid so our equipment was quite safe. We had a backpack for our camera equipment and we put a rain cover over it to further protect it from sneaky hands. I carried around handbags that you could not easily get into. And try not to walk with the crowd, but avoid them as much as possible.
The key thing is to wake up early, especially if you want to grab that epic shot of you alone in the Piazza del Duomo or any other location you might have in mind. We frequently woke up at 5:30am-6:00am to get ready and was out the door by 7:00am latest. You can see from my Instagram that it was worth the early wake up call.
Restaurants have a cover charge and service charge if you sit down to eat. So if you’re looking to save money, I would do take out and cob a squat on a bench or steps somewhere. If you are doing a sit down meal, then expect to pay at least 30 EUROS per person for a pasta and a beer/glass of wine.
FLORENCE SITES AND EATS
What I love about Europe is the immense history that can be found in these old towns like Florence. Walking through the narrow streets flanked by buildings older than I can even imagine, I felt like I was a part of that history. And we couldn’t have been happier to visit in the Spring as the wisteria was in full bloom! We stayed for 4 days, one of them being a day trip to Cinque Terre (but more on that later). I believe 3 days in Florence is more than enough time to explore without having to feel too rushed. Without further adieu, let’s get started!
I already mentioned that I absolutely loved walking through the small historical streets of Florence. It feels like I’m walking through a movie set!
La Menagere is a cafe restaurant which has a delightful flower shop and also sells small little knick knacks.
The light breakfast at La Menagere was tasty. Hubby had the eggplant sandwich and I had the Nutella croissant. NOMZ.
In the heart of Florence is the Piazza Del Duomo where you will find the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Baptistery of St. John, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Loggia del Bigallo.
OUTFIT: Kathryn McCarron Cardigan, NA-KD White Dress, Mode Collective Sneakers
HAIR by Ryan Bone of Toni & Guy Yorkville
This was taken from Giottos Companile, a bell tower that overlooks the Santa Maria del Fiore Basilica
I’m standing in between Giottos Companile and Baptistery of Saint John aka the Florence Baptistery.
OUTFIT: Aritzia Cropped Denim Jacket (old), but love this version from ASOS, HM Slip Dress similar here, HM Pink Sneakers similar here, Gucci Bag
Another gorgeous view of the Florence Baptistery.
Ice cream break at Magnum.
When architectural details blow your mind!
A short walk from the Piazza Del Duomo is the Palazzo Medici Riccardi. This palace was created for the Medici family, one of the most powerful and influential family’s in Florence in the 13th-15th century.
Italians sure love their Nutella! Or rather, I love my Nutella. Especially in waffle form and you can find this at La Milkeria.
Couldn’t help but post walking by the Palazzo Di Bianca Cappello. How extraordinary is the exterior details? Which makes me wonder what it looks like inside.
I adore any Piazza that has a carousel in the middle. You can find one at the Piazza della Repubblica
I just can’t get over the gorgeous gold and navy blue interior details of the Santissima Annunziata.
The Piazza just outside the Santissima Annunziata
OUTFIT: Dynamite Clothing Top, Zara Denim, Gucci Bag, Senso Tracey Heels
This wisteria wall is next to the Hotel Balestri, facing the river. If you’re visiting in the Spring, head on over and snap a pic!
I’m sitting across from Ponte Vecchio, also know as “Old Bridge”. It hosts many small shops and is also super crowded with tourists. It’s also on the river where you can take a romantic scenic stroll.
If you cross the river to the other side, make sure to grab a heart shaped pizza from Gusta Pizza!
We passed by this little blue door on the way to Giardino Bardini Gardens. The street is called Costa Scarpuccia.
The view from Giardino Bardini Gardens is just spectacular!
And if you are visiting the Giardino Bardini gardens in the spring time, you will find the most delightful treat – a wisteria tunnel!!!
Just next door to the Giardino Bardini Gardens is the Boboli Gardens.
You can find this amazing floral wall looking out to the duomo as you exit the Boboli Gardens.
Once you exit the Boboli Gardens, you pass by Palazzo Pitti, a grand palace and museum. I patiently waited for an empty palazzo shot.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
Unfortunately we did not get to everything. A lot of it had to do with taking our time and just enjoying being in the moment as opposed to how we usually hustle from location to location. But we overlooked some areas. So I’ve listed down places we would have loved to visit, but didn’t get around to:
I hope you enjoyed my Florence Travel Diary! Next up, my Cinque Terre Travel Diary!
SHOP THE LOOK:
SHOP THE LOOK: