With last minute changes to fall break plans, I ended up just booking myself a bus ticket to Florence. And boy, Florence did not disappoint.
While the bus ride was ridiculously long (11 hours over night), I arrived in the dawning light in beautiful Italia. I tiredly lugged my oversized backpack to my little hotel, Hotel Fedora, right in downtown Florence. The gentleman there was nice enough to let me leave my backpack there, as it was several hours early for check-in. So I dumped my pack and, camera in hand, began making my way towards the architecture I most wanted to see. I first arrived in the Piazza Della Santissima Annunziata. This architectural marvel was difficult to photograph because there were popup shops all around and on the plaza.
As I meandered in and out of the beautiful, narrow streets, I came out onto a huge piazza, the Piazza Duomo where the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is situated. On my second day I was able to climb the top of the bell tower. The view was unreal.
While strolling through the streets I stumbled upon so many beautiful works of art, including small public gardens and city squares. I found so many hidden treasures and enjoyed my time simply wandering on my own.
Once I was able to check into my hotel, I showered (much needed) and took a nice nap. Upon waking up, I was craving… pizza of course! So as the sun began to set on my first day in Florence, I went on the hunt for some delicious Italian pizza. And boy, did it live up to my expectations. I went to a place called Mister Pizza right on the Piazza del Duomo, overlooking the cathedral. I ordered myself some Chardonnay (my personal favorite) and went for a classic margharita.
On my second day I became the ultimate tourist, buying postcards and waiting in line to climb the over 400 steps to the top of the bell tower. As the bells tolled, I reached the top and entire city spread out before me. The dome stood out among the other red roofs that splattered the paysage.
After the climb down, I made my way to the enormous Boboli Gardens. Full of ancient statues and depictions of great philosophers. The fall air was slightly brisk and all the leaves had just started to turn against the mountains. It was a picture from a storybook.
I ended my day at a tiny little restaurant with a glass of wine, fresh bruschetta and the most amazing truffle Gnocchi ever! Unfortunately I couldn’t get a good pic of it but you’ll have to trust me on this one, it was THE BEST.
Florence was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Despite the long days and tired eyes, I was stunned at its history and Italian friendliness.
Keep up with my adventures and read about my trip to Geneva here. And keep your eyes peeled for posts on my next travels…