While Roaming Around Florence

in Florence, Italy


When you think about Florence, Firenze in Italian. Where does that take you? Let’s say Tuscany. Can you see the orange blossoms and the sun-kissed, cypress-lined avenues winding through the vines yet? You’re probably picturing the beautiful Val d’Orcia, which I unfortunately haven’t had the opportunity to visit this summer. But it is okay. This time, I have preferred to indulge in Tuscan city trips instead – which as you can imagine, was not all bad. First step?


Florence is a renowned city for art and fashion. It is the city of the Renaissance, the perfect destination if you are an art lover. The cultural offer, the beauty of the palazzi and of course its famous churches and piazze, bring you out of time and leave you gasping for air.


During the lockdown, I started to collect art books by TASCHEN – which I would highly recommend – as I wished to bridge the gap I felt I had with art in general. I started with Botticelli and then went on with other classical artists. Soon, visiting Florence’s Uffizi Galleries became a clear milestone I had to reach in my Italy-enthusiast life. Hence why I booked a trip to Tuscany in the middle of a covid-infused summer (and eventually couldn’t go because tickets were sold out, but that’s another story).


After I flew to Pisa from Brussels I hopped on a train to this wonderful city, where I stayed two days. Here are a few bits of my journey. Hopefully it will give you extra ideas if you are planning a trip soon (or as soon as travelling is back to 'normal', and allowed for overseas visitors).




1. Breakfast (colazione) at 

PIAZZA DELLA REPUBBLICA


This piazza is a city reference. Several cafés surround it, including Caffè Gilli (my personal favourite but closed this summer still because of the crisis) and Caffè Paszkowski, where I enjoyed a tasty cappuccino and a pastry. 

More expensive than the regular Italian coffee place, but the luxury feel and view on the carousel is definitely worth every bite.




2. Art moment at 

PITTI PALACE


So back to this story of wanting to visit the Uffizi Galleries: the museum contains the most beautiful masterpieces of the Renaissance period and is, as a matter of fact, the most visited one in the country. So popular than getting a ticket was difficult even post-lockdown. 

Instead, I discovered the gorgeous Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. I almost swooned over Stendhal style, overwhelmed by the beauty and art present from the ground up to the ceiling of every room.




3. Fashion indulge at

FERRAGAMO MUSEUM


The city is a love and landmark for international fashion. The Ferragamo Museum is a nice alternative to the Museo della Moda (which I wanted to visit so badly, but closed because of covid) if you are into sustainable fashion. The current exhibiton, Sustainable Thinking, offers insightful views on the future of the industry in this regard.




4. Lunch (pranzo) and wine at 

RISTORANTE TRATTORIA ANGIOLINO


Located Via Santo Spirito, this restaurant was the best place I had lunch at in the city. On the recommendation of influencer Carlotta Rubaltelli, I ventured in there with a couple of new friends without any expectation and was impressed by the very place itself, the professionalism of the waiters and of course, the food. Go for a typical tuscan primo (e.g. pasta) or if you're really hungry, indulge in a secondo (meat-based). You will not regret it. 




5. Roam around the

UNESCO CITY CENTRE


Do I even need to bother telling you why you should lose yourself in the streets of Florence when the whole city centre has been classified a UNESCO site and that beauty can be found wherever you look? From the Ponte Vecchio to the Piazza della Signoria, with an obvious detour to gape in awe while admiring Santa Maria del Fiore and its famous dome, by Brunelleschi... Also go and catch the best view on the Piazzale Michelangelo.






As I was travelling on my own, I also went for a tour of the city (via Airbnb Experiences) and it turned out I was the only one participating because of the health crisis. Here we were, my amazing private tour and I. It provided me with so many historical details, especially when it comes to Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery in front of it - along with extra crusty Tuscan dialect - that I would not visit a new city without doing such a tour now I feel. According to the guide, the rooftop bar of La Rinascente is one of the best places where to have the aperitivo if you are looking for a breathtaking view - it will be on my list next time. 


Next step, Siena. Keep your eyes peeled! 


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(TASCHEN has also released a photography book called Living in Tuscany, which will make you dream on while peeping into the region’s daintiest villas. It made me dream on for months.)


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