Florence is a truly beautiful city. A city with a breathtaking skyline at any time of day viewed from the high point on the city – Piazzale Michelangelo. A place where everything seems somehow more romantic and fairytale-like.
I really enjoyed walking through the streets of Florence as there was something happening around every corner – little cafés spilling out into the lanes, market stalls competing for the attention of the tourists, gelato shops enticing passer bys, restaurant awnings spritzing their customers with cool air and mist… and then, out of no where, a stunning marble and emerald-green dome appears!! Seeing the Duomo appear so suddenly was breathtaking. It is so grand and large in contrast to the narrow and busy lane ways that surround it. I absolutely love the colours and design of this Duomo.
We spent 3 days in Florence and stayed in a convent just outside of the city. Now, staying in a convent did sound a little daunting but it really was a lovely experience. The nuns were so welcoming and hospitable despite their complete lack of English! One lady, Olga, understood English but could not speak it, yet she spoke to us like as if we could understand everything she said – mum did very well translating but most of the time we just smiled and nodded. The building was incredibly grand (however I did fear for my life from the sound of the ceiling fan in my room – it was either risking the rickety fan dropping on me during the night or death by heat… I chose the cooler option) and I tried my best not to touch anything! Hidden behind the large exterior walls was a beautiful garden that acted as a secluded sanctuary and a lovely peaceful place to be particularly to escape the heat of the city.
We visited the Uffizi Museum which holds some incredible pieces of art. One room housed many statues full of character. My dad and myself couldn’t help but giggle as we imagined what each one was doing – they were so full of life! ‘Disco Stu’, ‘GO LONG! Rugby player’ and ‘voguing poser’ were among the selection. (Turns out they actually depicted children who were all meeting their unfortunate fatal deaths – quite tragic really… I prefer our interpretations!)
The highlight of my stay in Florence has to be taking in the incredible view from the Piazzale Michelangelo where Michelangelo’s statue of David is situated looking over the entire city. At any time of day it is a spectacular sight but at dusk it is truly a magical place to be! It may take quite a few stairs, but it is well worth the climb – or if you are lazy, take the bus 😉 )
For our last night in Florence we had dinner at La Beppa – a cute little garden restaurant hidden away from the crowds yet incredibly popular (we tried to go the night before but they were completely booked out!). The food was amazing there! We sat under fairy lights and enjoyed the cool dusk air as we devoured our meals. I had a white pizza which I had never tried before and it was delicious! I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone staying in Florence – but make sure to book ahead!
At the end of our stay in Florence we packed our car, were farewelled by Olga who lovingly grabbed my face and kissed me saying something that sounded ever so sweet in Italian (something along the lines of safe travels – She was so sweet, I do miss her!), then we set off for Siena; another incredible town!
Italy continues to deliver!