Monday, August 18, 2014

Italian Adventure 2014: Florence

We woke up bright and early, said good-bye to Venice and hello to beautiful Florence! Florence. Oh Florence, you are gorgeous. 

But man you sure had us terribly lost when we arrived. We hopped off our train and were in for an adventure.

After getting lost on a bus and asking about a hundred and one people where are bed and breakfast was, we finally found the place we would call home for the next 3 nights! {It was a man's apartment that we were staying in. What??? Half was his home, half was rooms he rented out. But let me tell you, it turned out fantastic. He was able to give us lots of inside tips and an incredible breakfast each morning that we would eat with the other guests. Fancy? absolutely not. An adventure and fun? Yes.} 

Florence, your winding streets had us all turned around (and provided some intense moments between a husband and wife) but you sure showed us some beautiful sites and a great bakery along the way. Italy, you once again prove getting lost isn't so bad after all. 

{Duomo, Bell Tower and Cathedral}

Robert and I were trying to think of words to describe Florence and it is hard to do so. So much culture and diversity in one city. Florence is home of study abroad college students. Everywhere you look you see American students which in turn helps you to find very modern and hip restaurants, stores, bars and markets. And then at the same time Florence is full of so much history and beauty. It is one incredible city. 

{Piazza della Signoria}

Our time in Florence was filled with lots of site seeing, eating incredible food and exploring a magnificent city. Pure Bliss. 

 {standing on the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge}

{a picture of Ponte Vecchio Bridge, where we were just standing}

Florence is full of beautiful squares like Piazza della Signoria, that are the perfect place to sit with a sandwich and admire the sites and people. It is full of incredible museums, like the Uffizi and Galleria dell' Accademia, that provide history and breathtaking art like The David. The David...there are replicas all over the city but the real deal is in the Accademia and oh. my. word. As soon as you walk in and you lay your eyes on this magnificent piece of work, it takes your breath away. Incredible. Florence is just full of beauty everywhere you look.

{enjoying a rooftop drink}

 One of our favorite spots (and frequent stop) was the Duomo. So intricate and unbelievably beautiful. We decided to climb the million and one (super narrow) stairs to go to the top and it was so, so worth it. One of the best views I have ever seen.

 This was about the only time I got this close to the edge. The view was incredible, but this girl is no fan of heights. 

My favorite part of the trip was our last night far. We went up to Piazza Michelangelo to watch the sunset. Breath-taking. It was such a great reminder of God's glory. I think it is so neat that God paints such beautiful pictures for us, just little glimpses of Him and his majesty.

Love sharing these moments with this sweet husband of mine.

To end the night, we had the best pizza of our entire trip. The best pizza we've ever had, even Rob thought so and that is a big deal. He has had a favorite forever, but this one jumped up to number one. Big deal:) So a sunset and pizza?? A pretty perfect night in our book.

The next day we hopped on a train and were off to Rome!

Now, our suggestions.

Where to Stay: 
Martin Dago Bed and Breakfast. Like I mentioned this was pretty hard to find since it was an apartment and it is not anywhere near fancy. But it is an authentic Italian experience, clean and incredibly affordable. It is also in a great location, very close to Ponte Vecchio.

Where to Eat:
- Our Favorite by far...Tratorria Mario. This was recommended to us by a friend and was amazing. Great pasta and steak, reasonably priced and very authentic/not a tourist spot. It is defintley a hidden gem. It is only open 12-3 and is a must.
- The best pizza ever restaurant...Gusta Pizza. You cannot miss this place. 
- Antica Gelateria Fiorentina, our favorite gelato. 
- Antica Sosta Degli Aldobrandini. A great place to get aperitivo (pre-dinner snack and drink). 

What to See: 
- Ponte Vecchio, beautiful bridge. 
- Duomo, climb to the top! The Cathedral, Baptisry and Bell Tower are right by the Duomo and are beautiful to see as well. You can buy a ticket once there that allows you in to all areas.
- Uffizi Museum. Make sure to book tickets before your trip.
- Galleria dell' Accademia. The David is located here. Make sure to book tickets before your trip. 
- Piazza della Signoria. A busy sqaure, probably most popular, where Neptune is located and the Uffizi is right around the corner. 
- Piazzale Michelangelo. Go see the sunset here! It is a little bit of a walk but so, so worth it.
- Piazza della Republica. A ferris wheel is located here and it is a beautiful square. 
- San Lorenzo Market. Fun, lots of souvenirs and pretty touristy.
This a lot of places to see but they are all pretty close together. Once we got to our hotel, we walked the whole time in Florence. No public transportation needed! 

Planning a trip to Italy? Have any questions? Please feel free to shoot me an email!

Also, be sure to check out my Travels Page to see all our travel adventures!

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Hope this is helpful to some! Come back next week...all about Rome!



  1. Your trip to Florence looks fantastic! I would love to see the Ponte Vecchio Bridge! So gorgeous!

  2. Oh this makes me miss Florence so much!! We tried to stay at Piazza Michelangelo for the sunset but were too hungry.. haha we couldn't wait any longer for Gusta Pizza. I'm not a fan of heights either but I was glad my husband got me up to see the view from the Bell Tower. So glad you had an amazing time!!

  3. Woah woah woah, amazing photos! I have never been ultra interested in Florence but your photos remind me a lot of Portugal and that Mediterranean sort of architecture and feel... but different. It looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing your tips and photos!

  4. I love that you said "intense moments between husband and wife". Haha! I SO know what you mean... My husband and I cannot navigate together. Great post! Florence looks amazing!

  5. wow! what an adventure! looks like a dream. and that pizza!

  6. The sunset photos are gorgeous!! Florence was my fav city I visited in Italy! :)

  7. It's really cool that you ended up living in someone's flat though! I'm a firm believer that staying with locals is always the best idea, even if it's a bit luxurious! Wonderful photos by the way, I mean that sunset is just amazing!

  8. yes, i was one of those american study abroad students in florence AND I AM SO GLAD YOU LOVED IT TOO!!! your piazza michaelangelo pictures are the best and make me homesick!! that pizza looks SO GOOD. oh, i can't wait to go back!

  9. I found your blog through Caitlin at Home Sweet Ruby.. My husband and I just returned from an Italian adventure as well! We also went to Venice, Florence, and Rome with a stop in Positano! Loved reading your post about Florence-- I love hearing about other people's experiences traveling abroad!

  10. Wow - STUNNING sunset photos. I love Florence, such a gorgeous city. Your post took me right back there :)

  11. Thanks for the tips about Florence! I hope to visit soon. It is GORGEOUS. I can't even believe some of those photos!!!

  12. Once again beautiful pictures! I don't know why I am just reading this post but I laughed out loud at the intense husband and wife comment... friendships and marriages get tested when lost on these streets haha. I am so glad y'all got to eat at Trattoria Mario!! I can't wait to go back!


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