The start of our Florence trip wasn't amazing. Our Rail Planner app confused us quite a lot as the train stop it told us to get off at was so far out of the city. As we didn't have a wifi connection or a sim card with data; we couldn't check Apple/Google maps to see how far away the next train station was. So we decided to walk from this train station to the Airbnb we had booked.
It felt like we were walking forever, I think it ended up taking us 1 hour toughly to get to our accomodation. Once we reached the small street that our Airbnb was on Dylan felt as though he had been there before. To his surprise, the Airbnb we had booked ended up being right above the kebab shop he went to nearly every day last time he was in Florence in 2012.
Walking around Florence was breathtaking. The photo directly above was taken in one of the main squares. As you can see towards the lower left hand corner, there was an Apple Store there, and my gosh it was huge! Nearly every street you walked down, you would stumble across some sort of colourful or beautifully patterned building.
There are magnificent sculptures by Michelangelo and paintings by Botticcelli within their world-class art museums. It is said that Florence has hardly changed since the Renaissance. The city is lined with narrow cobbled stone streets and you can find elegant 15th and 16th century palazzi (palaces), medieval chapels and marble basilicas.
The Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy. There have been shops on Ponte Vecchio since the 13th century. Initially, there were all types of shops, including butchers and fishmongers however, in 1593, it was decided that only goldsmiths and jewellers be allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the wellbeing of all and the aesthetic as you walked over the bridge. Ponte Vecchio is considered a very romantic spot in Florence, as it has great views over the river and of the bridge itself.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore was completed in 1434 and is the most important landmark in Florence, as well as being the fourth largest church in the world.
We hiked to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can overlook the entirety of Florence. Piazzale Michelangelo is a rather recent addition to the list of monuments in Florence, it was created in 1869 by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi.
It was absolutely beautiful to see Florence from a different perspective. Dylan and I went to a local supermarket beforehand, bought some cheese, meat and bread and sat on a bench while taking in the atmosphere.
If you go to Florence, we would highly recommend that you go to Il Mercato Centrale Firenze for some food. We stumbled across this place when we were wandering around the leather markets, which are right out the front.
Dylan fell in love with the pizza from SUD - La Pizzeria (Stefano Callegari) and I opted for La Pasta Fresca (Raimondo Mendolia). We went here twice on our trip and got the Marinara and Capri pizzas and the pesto pasta. I cannot forget to mention the highlight, I'm currently salivating as I type this, Le Specialità Siciliane's (Arà) grande cannolis. Honestly, I feel like I could eat them all day every day, they were that amazing.
I'd always wanted to go to Tuscany, ever since my Mum showed me the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. Mum always said how much she wanted to go there one day and I really hope she can experience this beautiful city in the future.