Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Trip to Italy, part 2: Florence

I am recapping our trip to Italy we took at the end of June/beginning of July. You can see our adventures in Rome here. Next week I will touch on Cinque Terre.

Of all the places we traveled in Italy, I think Florence was my favorite! Maybe because it was a nice change from the city life of Rome or because it reminded me a bit of home, the wine country area of Sonoma in California.
We took ItaliaRail from Rome to Florence. It took about 1.5 hours and very reasonably priced. I definitely recommend traveling via train in Italy. So convenient! We opted for 1st class which gave us a bit more room and beverage service.

We stayed directly in the city center of Florence, right next to the Duomo. While it may have been a little busier than somewhere outside the city, we were close to everything: the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the famous galleries and museums and the main shopping district and restaurant areas.
I took this shot from the Uffizi Museum. This museum is home to several pieces from Leonardi da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. Definitely worth a visit, for the artwork or the views!

One of the days in Florence, we took a full-day tour of the Best of Tuscany. I recommend both a trip to countryside of Tuscany and the tour group we went with: Walkabout Florence. The tour took us to Siena, a Chianti vineyard for a tasting, tour and lunch, San Gimignano and Pisa.
I found Florence to be very cultural. There were so many options for museums and galleries. You could really focus your entire stay in Florence trying to see them all.

The city is gorgeous regardless. We walked around and spent much of our time by the Arno River.
Make sure you head to the riverside at sunset, the colors are absolutely breathtaking!
Here's a picture I captured with my iphone.

While Florence is more known for its art & history over its food, we found a couple of amazing places:

Restaurants:
Gusta Pizza (By far the best pizza I have ever had! Great spot for lunch.)
Trattoria 4 Leoni (A must visit. Excellent food and wine! We celebrated the bird's birthday here.)
Baldovino (Lovely atmosphere and excellent food! It is also right next to Piazza Santa Croce.)

Also worth noting is the San Lorenzo Market. It's a large outdoor walking market very close to city center. My favorite part was the indoor part, San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale. If you head to the market, make sure to take a stroll inside the lovely Mercato. It's full of wines, cheese and other delicious temptations.

If you have any specific questions about Florence, feel free to shoot me an email. I am happy to help!

All photos taken by me. 

24 comments:

Johanna said...

Seriously so beautiful. Florence looks like it could become a fast favorite.

Viviana Norden said...

Italy is so beautiful! I really need to make it back there in the next year.
www.fashiontruffles.com

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

I havent been to cinque terre so look forward to seeing those pics! that last shot of the ponte vecchio is gorgeous.

Kate Sullivan Corpuz said...

WOW. I want to visit asap!

always, koru kate

Jessica said...

GustaPizza was closed the night we tried to go! I was so sad. Florence was definitely my favorite! I cannot wait to go back. Your sunset picture is awesome! Looking forward to the Cinque Terre recap!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Stunning pictures!

Laura said...

Stunning photos! That sunset is beautiful. Love your dress!

Real College Student of Atlanta said...

I went there last summer, it's seriously beautiful! you took great photos :)

Jayme and Mendi said...

Just beautiful! That picture with your iPhone is insane!! My friends just got back from a CA trip and just fell in love with Sonoma. I can't wait to go there and to Italy!!

Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

Real College Student of Atlanta said...

I want that pillow, too cute!!

Audrey said...

I miss Italy so much. Florence is such a beautiful city and I really enjoyed the shopping there.

Jesica said...

Oh man, I SO want to go back to Italy!!!

Alexa said...

Oh my Florence is one of my favorite cities in the whole world! Want to go back soon!

Alyssa said...

I adore Florence–and you hit two of my favorite places while you were there...Gusta pizza and Quattro Leoni. Both are amazing!

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

This takes me back!! I loved Florence as well! Such a magical city and yes, so much to see!!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

So gorgeous! That sunset pic is unreal. And you look adorable :)

Elle Sees said...

love it! i went in the winter once, so i like seeing how truly gorgeous it is.

Mree said...

Love love love Florence!! Great pictures!! So jealous!!

Best, Mree
www.twinlivingblog.com

Amy {Cupcakes+Couture} said...

i've been to venice and rome, but never florence! it looks absolutely beautiful and so picturesque.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Every one of these photos looks pretty enough to be a picture postcard. Italy has long been on my travel wishlist and it's moving up :)

Rowena @ rolala loves

Suzanne S. said...

Florence is such a beautiful place to visit! Looks like you had a great time :)
xoxo
Suzanne from written by suzanne

miss b said...

What a wonderful post with so many beautiful photos. I especially like the pastel coloured buildings and the sunset which you captured so well on your i phone. I'm so pleased I stumbled across your lovely blog with its varied post - just what I enjoy in a blog. Delighted to be following now!
http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

The Now said...

HOly Moly it's gorgeous. Great pictures. I've only been to Rome but wouldn't mind going back to explore more of Italy!!!! xoxo

emily | shell chicd said...

I LOVED Florence-- I think Rome is a bit overrated and Florence is really the place with all the charm! It is the city that made me fall in love with art. You captured it beautifully!