Monday, November 30, 2015

Exploring Italy // Florence

Traveling has been a passion of mine since I was a child. Our family would pack it up every summer and head to a new state to explore. Those experiences set me up to be fully passionate about heading to new places. That has not changed one bit as I've become and adult. My husband and I love to explore new countries and get excited for each adventure.

I started this series a few weeks ago and already explored Verona and Venice with ya'll. Both cities were beautiful and so much fun in their own way. But our journey did not end there! Next we were off to Florence!!

Florence


Florence was the one city we stayed the longest in and through that, we got to know it very well. The city was gorgeous and there were so many wonderful places to explore. There was amazing shopping, historical sites, and of course food! So here is the lowdown on the yumminess!

Food

We had some delicious meals in a multitude of locations (since we were in Florence for 4 nights). Here are a few of my favorite meals from our time spent there!

The first day that we wandered around Florence, we enjoyed the scenery and all of the culture. One of the first areas we stumbled upon was the Piazza della Signoria. This gorgeous piazza has some amazing statues and plenty of hustle and bustle. We sat in the middle of this beautiful area to enjoy one of the many cafes and ended up at the delicious Ristorante Il Daivd

It was a wonderful location to soak up the sun and the happenings around us. If you don't mind being in the center of it all, this is the perfect location to feel fully apart of the city!



Another delicious lunch that I truly enjoyed was at the Canto De Nelli which is just outside of the Leather District, up and down the Via dell' Ariento. This fusilli pasta was mixed with veggies and soaked in a tomato based oil. The food was delicious and was the perfect portion for not that expensive!


Our absolute favorite restaurant in Florence was Tijuana. Now I know what you are thinking, "Your favorite restaurant in Florence, Italy was Mexican??" Yep! lol We loved the food, ambiance, drinks, and excitement that surrounded this delicious location. It was such a favorite that we ate there two separate nights! I would fully recommend it to anyone visiting Florence. It was not only incredible food but a wonderful overall experience!



Lodging

Since we stayed in Florence the longest, we were searching for something inexpensive that would not cost a ton per night. In our searching we found the Diva Hotel on Booking.com, about 2 miles outside of the main city. This hotel was the most affordable of everywhere we stayed our entire trip. The staff was incredibly friendly and there was a fairly large breakfast included each morning.

As I mentioned before, the hotel was about 2 miles outside of the city, however there was a bus that picked us up each morning directly outside of the hotel. The bus was super cheap and after a 20 minute ride, we were in the heart of the city. The hotel rooms were very clean and had a nice balcony off the side of it. Our only disappointment was that the beds were the least comfortable of the trip. But for the inexpensive price and easy accessibility into the city, it was an even trade.


Photo Cred
Places to Visit


Carousel Antica Giostra Toscana


Piazza della Repubblica 


Piazza della Signoria


The Ponte Vecchio




Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore


We found out that these Vino holes were all over the city. People used to sell wine out of these a very long time ago. Trying to search for them was such a fun game!


Basilica of Santa Maria Novella



The local shops and artisans


Tuscan Wine Tour

So I'm pretty sure our trip to Italy would not have been complete without venturing out into the Tuscan region and heading on a wine tour. I did so much research on the best tours in Florence before we left and found an incredible tour that was extremely affordable. Grape Tours is a Florence based wine tour that meets at the Tuscan Wine School, has a half hour class on Chianti Classico, and then heads out into the Tuscan region to two separate vineyards for some tours, tastings, and a light meal. All for only 100Euro a person!

Everything about this tour was amazing and we all had a blast throughout this evening adventure!



The Wine Class




The Vineyard & House



The Wine Cellar




Distilling the Wine




The Tasting



The Second Vineyard



Florence was a gorgeous city over all and our time spent there was incredible. The city was so fun to explore. There was beautiful history everywhere, live music in the streets, delicious wine and food, romantic views, and wonderful memories to be made. If you are headed to Italy, Florence needs to be on your list!

To see more pics from my trip to Italy, check out my Instagram!


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