Travel

ITALY: Florence

The last leg of our trip was spent in Florence.  It was the perfect way to end our two-week adventure in Italy.  We were able to relax and explore the city but also venture out on a couple day trips.

Florence is the capital of Tuscany and we had such a wonderful time exploring this city and the surrounding areas.  We LOVED Florence, or Firenze, in Italian. 🙂  It reminded us of a little Paris.  We spent 5 days here and below is a summary of what we did and what you can do too!

The Duomo
The Duomo is part of the cathedral in the center of Florence.  Construction began on the church in 1296 and the Duomo was completed in 1436.  The buildings in Italy are so old and so intricate in detail…absolutely beautiful!Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Duomo

It is gigantic and impossible to miss as you make your way through the city.  You can climb to the top of the Duomo too (although we didn’t).

Here’s a view of the Duomo from the bell tower next to it which you can also climb.  My sister was just recently in Italy so this is her photo.  Thanks for the picture Rachel! :)Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Duomo

Piazzale Michelangelo
We spent one evening checking out the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Piazzale de Michelangelo, Duomo

We took a bus from our Airbnb which cost €1.20 and took about 15 minutes.  The spot gets crowded so get there early.  We brought paninis and wine.  You get an amazing view of the city.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Piazzale de Michelangelo, DuomoFlorence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Piazzale de Michelangelo, Duomo

San Lorenzo Market
The San Lorenzo Market is in the heart of Florence and I highly recommend you check it out.  You have the outdoor market with vendors selling all kinds of goods from leather bags to scarves to all things souvenir related.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, San Lorenzo Market

You also have the indoor market, known as Mercato Centrale, which sells everything food related.  The first floor is filled with vendors selling all kinds of vegetables and meats and cheeses, etc.  It’s like an indoor farmers market.  We loved it.Italy, Florence, Firenze, Tuscany, Toscana, San Lorenzo MarketItaly, Florence, Firenze, Tuscany, Toscana, San Lorenzo Market

If you make your way up the escalators you are treated with restaurants.  There is plenty of food to choose from along with wine and drinks.  You order your food and then sit in communal seating.  It’s a great place to people watch!  There were a lot of Americans but I still think it’s a fun place to check out.  Not sure why I didn’t take any pictures?! 😦

Day Trip to Pisa & Lucca
Pisa and Lucca are short train rides away from Florence and a perfect little day trip.  We first checked out the Leaning Tower of PisaFlorence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Pisa, Leaning Tower of PisaFlorence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Pisa, Leaning Tower of Pisa

And then we trained it to Lucca.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Lucca

Lucca is a small town, surrounded by Renaissance-era walls.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Lucca

It’s a super adorable and quaint town.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, LuccaFlorence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Lucca

Riding a Vespa Through the Chianti Region
Another day trip was spent riding a Vespa through the Chianti region.  It was absolutely AMAZING!!  Other than Cinque Terre, this is definitely the other main highlight from our trip.  Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Chianti Region, Mela Vespo, Vespa

We rented our Vespa through Mela Vespo.  The great thing about their Vespas is that they have a TomTom attached to it which has multiple tour selections.  We decided on their Tour di Chianti and the TomTom told us exactly where to go.  It was perfect.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Chianti Region, Mela Vespo, Vespa

I’m going to do a separate post about this day because there is so much I want to show you.  The Chianti region took my breath away!!  Stay tuned! 🙂

Michelangelo’s David: Galleria dell’Accademia
During our trip we did not check out any museums really but we did make our way over to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece David and I am so glad we did.  Pictures do not do it justice!  When you see it in person you’re in awe.  David was sculpted using one giant slap of marble and Michelangelo was only 26 when he began sculpting this.  There’s so much history in Florence.  So cool.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Toscana, Michelangelo, David, Galleria dell'Accademia

Places to Eat
Florence is filled with great restaurants.  Below are a few of the places we checked out (all thanks to our Airbnb hosts who recommended we go there)!

1. Simbiosi Pizza – Simbiosi was the first place we checked out on their list.  They play American oldies which I loved and the pizzas are cooked in a fire brick oven.  The pizza was cooked perfectly and the flavors were amazing.  We loved it so much we ate here twice. :)Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, Simbiosi Pizza
2. Trattoria La Grotta Parri – This restaurant was right around the corner from our place.  It has a very local feel and the menu is all in Italian.  Everything was reasonably priced and the food was so delicious.  I ordered sautéed spinach and minestrone soup and they both were so tasty.  Oh my goodness, the soup hit the spot.  It was a chilly day and each bite was filled with vegetables and goodness.  And the house wine was like three Euro for a half liter?!  I mean, come on.  We highly recommend this spot.
3. La Menagere – We came here one night for drinks and apps.  The drinks were delicious; I don’t remember the apps to be honest. 😛  I had an Old Fashioned with toasted cinnamon as a garnish!  Never had that before.  We came back here one morning for a mid-morning cappuccino and slice of carrot cake.  I’ve had better carrot cake but we enjoyed coming here.  La Menagere has a very hip vibe.Florence, Firenze, Italy, Toscana, Tuscany, La Menagere Firenze

I hope this list gives you ideas of what you can do next time you’re in Florence.  I can’t wait to be back in this beautiful city.  We LOVED everything about it.

xo, Jenneke Rose

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