TRAVEL / ITALY
June , 2014
FLORENCE + DIARY
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A city that is small in size but grand in taste.
Florence is not a strange city to us, in fact we have visited it many times before and have become acquainted with the daily espresso in the morning routine and gelato by the Ponte Vecchio in the afternoon.
I used to live there when I was in University and when Amanda visited I would show her my hang-out aperitivo places or the local pastry shops I had discovered on my way home from school. I have so many memories in this city, it felt really strange to be back, because everything looked the same but everything felt different.
Here's what always stays the same and is a must when you are in town:
Everytime I'm in Florence although it is super touristy I think its always a great idea to visit Piazzale Michelangelo, the view is absolutely breathtaking and you can admire the whole city from above and take beautiful pictures.
Palazzo Pitti is a stunning landmark for history and fashion lovers, this was once the place the Medici called home and now serves as a museum showcasing art, silver and costume galleries in different sections of the Palace. It is surrounded by the wonderful and well conserved Boboli Gardens where you can appreciate the beautiful scenery.
Coffee, coffee, coffee- everyone that knows us, knows we are coffee drinkers and we must have our daily espresso in the morning. If you love your coffee make sure to visit: Caffe Gilli, Caffe Degli Artigiani, Gucci Caffe, La Terrazza, and Hemingway Cafe.
When in Italy I think that there are two very important things you need to know: where to have aperitivo and where to have dinner.
One of my favorite places when I went to University was Colle Bereto, which I still went to this time to reminisce about my college years.
We also had aperitivo around the bohemian area of Florence: Santo Spirito, great places are Volume and Pop cafe.
To have a drink around town, there are so many great places surrounding Ponte Vecchio that it seems almost a sin not to sip a glass of vino with view of the sunset. Some of our favorites are: Rivalta cafe, Continentale, Fusion bar, Dolce Vita and Le Volpi e L'uva.
For the pasta lovers and cheese eaters! By the way you might want to forget to diet, or you will miss out on some great flavors. We will always remember the best meal experiences at:
Il Santo Bevitore, Trattoria Tito, Bocca di Leone, Il Pizzaiuolo, Buca dell'orafo, Via Vai, Acqua 2, and finally In Fabbrica.
For shopping we always pay a visit to Luisa Via Roma and Guya, worth to check out every time.
Here's what's changed and is worth checking out:
Il Mercato Centrale has a new area upstairs that is indoors and offers wide array of options for lunch or aperitivo, we actually had a lot of fun here, its very cool and laid-back and the food is amazing.
Museo Novencento held very interesting exhibitions while we were there, and its very much worth checking out, it kept us busy for what was almost
the entire day.
There was one place that we had never gone inside, even for all the time that I lived in Florence and it was the Basilica of Santa Croce. My dad insisted we go this time (and even made us send a picture to make sure we had). We do not regret it! If you haven't done it already then we encourage you to do so, we just never found the time before with so much to see in Florence, but now this has gone up to our top things to do here. Its the burial place of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, Rossini, and has a memorial to Dante Alighieri. Inside you will find frescoes by Giotto and some rooms displaying grand works of art that are astoundingly colorful. Loved the great history and art history lesson! Honestly can't believe we hadn't been in here before.
I think everyone who has been to Florence can agree that it has the most magical little streets that are just perfect for wandering around, the city itself is a museum. People often asked me if the city ever got "too small" for me when I live there, but to be completely honest; to this day there are still so many things that I keep discovering about Florence. The city might fool people into thinking its tiny, but the contents of it is quite massive. Never understimate what you can find here, just when you think you have seen it all, it means its time to go get lost again.
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Amanda and Cynthia