When life gets tough, sometimes it’s easiest to run. Escape normal life as you know it, ignite your senses and find you again. Oh boy, life’s been running at one thousand miles per hour lately and I knew the only way to slow everything down was to get away.
A miserable Thursday evening and a few glass of wine later, our flights were booked to Italy.
Since my incredible trip to Venice late last year, I’ve been dreaming of days spent galivanting around Italy in the summer sun wearing floaty dresses with a large cone of gelato in hand. It seemed the perfect location for our getaway and so, a week later, we arrived in beautiful Florence.
Florence is the queen bee of Tuscany. Soaked in architecture, gelato bars and plenty of tourists, its a rabbit run for keen little explorers…
With just 3 days in the city, we wanted a mix of culture and relaxation. Our amazing B&B (more on that later) was just a short walk from the city centre and voila, we’d arrive at our first stop of the day, The Duamo. A magnificent cathedral which dominates the Florence skyline.
Early morning is the best time to beat the tourist and the inevitable cue’s, but perhaps miss the buffet breakfast for this one! 427 steep steps and lots of passing traffic up the narrow tower, what is revealed once you reach the top is unbelievable.
From the sky Florence is even more magical. What is great about conquering the Duamo first is that you get a feel for the size of the city. You get your bearings. You can map the major attractions (Scott likes to close his eyes and imagine he’s accessing the Google Map which he calls his brain, geek) making navigating amongst the tourists that little bit easier.
I’d thrown on my new floaty Zara dress (yes, those dreams again) and H&M fedora to keep me nice and cool.
Back in the streets we stumbled across the first of many street artists. Taking the name “street artists” to the extreme, they use the pavements as frames, set out their money pots and begin their masterpieces.
We navigated our way through the picture perfect streets until we reached the infamous Ponte Vecchio bridge crossing the Arno River.
It’s as much of a tourist attraction as the rest of Florence so we waded our way through the crowds, pasts the numerous Gold shops on the way to find some peace and quite.
From the other side of the river, life is much slower. Locals meander around with their handbag dogs and the smell of coffee drifts through the streets from the tiny cafe’s nestled within.
Our next tourist stop, Piazzale Michelangelo.
Undeniably, the best views in the city.
I had my handy tour guide on hand at all times. You know, got to join in with this tourist thing sometimes!
We’re not really ones for museums of renaissance art we don’t really understand. We had other ideas to escape the heat…
Ice cold beers.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hopping from one cafe to the next, drinking ice cold beers all the whole way home. But all this sight seeing is pretty hungry work…
One thing I’ d been told we must not miss, and in my opinion something that blows all the other sights out of the water, Bistecca alla fiorentina (that iss Florentine Steak to you and me). The ultimate delicasy of Florence, a very rare and very large serving of thick cut T-Bone steak served with a glass of Chianti Classico at my favourite resturant in Florence, Ristorante Alborada.
The most perfect end to a day in the city.