Florence became a true love, seems quite a strange title right? Well, it is a love story, but a different one.
Florence is, for most people, love at first sight. For me though, although I loved it, it was not that flaming passion, it was what people call true and mature love. The one that grows slowly, and strong each time, that makes we come back for more.
And that is what happened. While I am writing this, I am on my 3rd consecutive visit to Florence (this post is about the second), and planning a 4th (brief maybe), in October.
So, I wrote about Florence a lot in previous posts, (https://heelsandspices.com/2017/12/my-italy-in-10-days-day-1-firenze/ and 4 more), and this time I will make it more of a photographic journey, reserving specific spots for different posts (stay tuned for Santa Croce, and Bargello).
Florence has many hidden treasures, and I am slowly discovering more and more each time I go there. Let’s then embark on a beautiful 3 day visit to Florence?
This time I went to Florence with my son, and my friend Andrea. We stayed at Hotel Le Due Fontane (http://www.leduefontane.it/it), in one of my favorite Piazzas in Florence – Piazza Santissima Annunziata.
It is a good place to stay if you want to be in the historical center, but in a less noisy and crowded place, such as the Piazza Duomo e.g. as it is just 5 minutes walking from the Duomo and 10 minutes from Santa Maria Novella train station.
We arrived at the end of the afternoon, and soon were on the streets, me excited to show everything to my son and my friend.
As we walked to Piazza del Duomo, kaboom, first view, the Duomo, my favorite Duomo so far, Santa Maria del Fiore.
We had dinner in a small bistrot – Bistrot 74 (https://www.facebook.com/bistrot74/) in Via Dei Servi. We discovered almost by chance (and ho I love to discover little gems), and fell in love. Great food at reasonable prices, a living menu and friendly and helpful staff.
After dinner, we just walked around at a relaxed pace and headed back to the hotel to rest, as next day was going to be intense.
Next day was a beautiful day, and waking up to this view made it even better. Piazza Santissima Annunziata is gorgeous day or night.
After a good breakfast, with the amazing Gioacchino insisting on making us a special and strong coffee (and ouch, it was), we headed to the Duomo.
I had seen it before, but seeing it twice does no harm right? As well as again climbing Giotto’s campanile (did I already tell you I am a bit masochist? ahahaha), and stroll around Florence.
We then headed to Palazzo Pitti (check my previous posts about Florence for a detailed description), as Palazzo Vecchio was closed for an event. Palazzo Pitti was designed by the genius Filippo Brunelleschi, being also the destination of the fascinating Vasari Corridor (remember Dan Brown’s books???).
It is a magnificent building that houses several museums – Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments, the Modern Art Gallery, the Museum of Costume and Fashion, the Porcelain Museum and the Carriage Museum.
After Palazzo Pitti, we walked around, had a coffee at Don Nino’s (hey, it can be touristy, but it serves the best espresso con panna -coffee with cream) ever.
Dinner was at the Duomo square (Le Botteghe di Donatello –https://lebotteghedidonatello.com/). The restaurant has mixed reviews, but I ate there 4 times already and never had a bad experience. It was handy, close to where we were, and has an unbeatable view.
What more can we want, especially in a place located in the historical center, 2 minutes away from the Duomo?
Next day we decided to split, as Andrea was going to Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia (I wrote about it in other posts), and me and my son to Bargello, Santa Croce, Piazzale Michelangelo, and walk around Oltrarno (the other side of the Arno).
As I will dedicate a post to Santa Croce and to Bargello, in this post I will only leave you with one or two pictures of it.
Our last day was again a split. My son went to spend the day with a friend while me and Andrea took a lazy day.
We planned to see Mercato Centrale, Mercato de San Lorenzo, walk around Florence and finalize our stay with a stunning sunset and a beautiful dinner at a Trattoria close to the hotel.
In San Lorenzo we faced a very unpleasant seller, that was quite rude, to the point we were forced to tell him that if he continued to bully us we would call the police (basically he mocked Andrea for having a non leather purse, while we were looking at his leather goods and trying to negotiate a leather bag for my son. No need to say that we did not buy anything with him. That just reinforced my bad feeling about that place.
As it was raining part of the day, after the Central Market and San Lorenzo we camped at Don Nino’s for a while, enjoying a chat and a nice coffee. After that we were lucky enough to see the son coming through the clouds, and enjoy a really breathtaking sunset, seeing Florence wave goodbye to us.
Florence won me over. Yes she did, as this year I came back in April, and I will be there again in October.
Next day, hired a car, and headed to Tuscany, stay tuned for more amazing photos and places