After months of waiting, the 12th of May arrived and so the time for me and my boyfriend to finally start our Italian holiday.
First destination: Florence
We left early in the morning to get a Gatwick-Florence flight with the Spanish airline company Vueling. Well, we were halfway through our journey, after a late departure, when strong turbulence started shaking the plane. Due to that and “strong winds” in Florence, the plane had to land in Bologna instead of Florence. But that’s ok, since safety is most important. What was not ok was how all the passengers had to wait outside for an hour before anyone from Vueling came to place us on a coach to Florence. Three and a half hours later, we arrive at the right airport. After picking up our rental car, which we named Sally Cinnamon, we finally got to our Airbnb apartment in a nice, safe area.
Since I’d been to Florence before, I decided to take Ben to the best pizzeria in Italy, Gusta Pizza. Lovely little place close to Palazzo Pitti. Packed with tourists, although not a touristy pizza, you’ll find the seating quite odd as there are no tables, but big barrels which you share with other customers. You also have to go and collect your pizza when the pizzaiolo calls your number. Trust me when I say it’s all worth it! The dough is high and soft and the ingredients are fresh and tasty. There are also not many options to choose from, which is always a good thing.
With our tummies full, we rolled along the river to Gelateria Carraia, an amazing, old gelateria where we bought a big container of ice cream to take home. Needless to say, we dropped dead the second we touched the bed.
The next day started off as rainy and windy, not to mention cold. Nevertheless we had a very nice breakfast at one of the bars closest to home and then we got a move on towards the centre of town. We shortly found ourselves in the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella square, where we waited for the rain to stop for a bit. With a new-found courage, we ventured even more in the centre, despite the rain, and went to the Duomo. Brunelleschi’s cupola never fails to astonish me, as well as the front of the building. After a quick coffee, we decided to go to the Mercato Centrale for lunch, but was quite disappointed with the selection so we left pretty soon.
Being the art lover that I am, I could not leave Florence without showing Ben the Uffizi Gallery. It was as grand as I remembered it. Some of the rooms were closed but, to be honest, all of Uffizi’s art is remarkable. My personal favourites were Botticelli’s selection, alongside with Caravaggio, Parmigianino and Rafaello. We left satiated with beauty.
Without a precise destination in our mind, we started wondering towards the National Library when a high garden caught my attention so there we had a new objective. We didn’t really know where we were going but decided we should see where the rabbit hole takes us. Boy, were we satisfied. Lovely, old city roads led us to the amazing Rose Garden. The view of the city was already incredible but we decided to go further up, and that’s how we got to Piazzale Michelangelo. As if Florence wasn’t beautiful enough. The views were, useless to say, astonishing, as the heart of the city was at its best.
After a drink with a view, we slowly walked back to the town centre looking for somewhere to eat. Once again, Yelp came to our aid and led us to the amazing Trattoria Marione on Via della Spada. The restaurant was warm and welcoming, with a good rustic touch, as a trattoria should be. I ordered roasted lamb with roasted potatoes. It was simply delicious. We also had a bottle of red wine, Chianti, which just tied everything together perfectly. After a beautiful day, we finally rolled back home.
We woke up rested and excited, with a busy day ahead of us. The two of us then went for breakfast at our temporary usual place then drove to the Boboli Garden. I had been wanting to go there for years, but never got the chance so I made sure I would not miss this opportunity. Got there at mid day on a warm Saturday and was immediately impressed. High, bright green bushes covered most of our sight as we made our way along the main path of the garden. The place was more a national reserve than a garden, but I was more than fine with that. Also, it was way bigger than I could ever imagine. There was just so many different parts that it seemed as if someone built small beautiful pieces and then put them next to each other in perfect order. Brilliant! The walk to the top is a challenge, but it is worth it. I wouldn’t even know where to begin and describe my favourite parts because it was all magical. Just make sure you have enough water with you.
That was my experience in Florence. After which we explored the hills of Tuscany, about which I will write in a different post.
Have you ever been to Florence? Tell me about it in the comments section.