A Few Days in Florence
We've just returned from an amazing few days in Florence - one of my absolute favorite cities! Our days were filled to the brim with walking around the city, museum-hopping, eating the most amazing food, and of course, gelato! Prior to leaving, I did a fair amount of research - finding the best restaurants, shops and sights - and how to fit all my must-dos in only an extended weekend. Sharing is caring, so see a perfect itinerary for a few days in Firenze below!
Leave London and, after a few very delayed flights, arrive in Florence Friday evening.
Take a taxi to our hotel (alternatively you can take the Volainbus from the airport to the city center - a cheaper taxi alternative), NH Firenze, and immediately go to sleep!
Wake up early and enjoy breakfast at the hotel (apricot filled croissants and espresso for me, nutella toast and a cappuccino for the husband). If our hotel hadn't included breakfast, we would have walked over to Pasticceria Giorgio - a local breakfast favorite.
After grabbing the umbrella and parting ways with my husband, take a leisurely stroll to the city center along the river - stopping to take photos along the way!
Go to the Gucci Museum to get a close-up look at some vintage bags and gorgeous red-carpet gowns.
Note: I opted to go to the Gucci and Ferragamo museums on this trip, but if you are in Florence for the first time, I would skip these and go to the Uffizi instead - it's one of the best museums in the world - I've been before or else I would've gone this time around! Just be sure to buy tickets in advance!
Meander through the streets and eventually make my way to the Salvatore Ferragamo museum - aside from the wall of vintage heels, it was a bit of a disappointment - small and very little history about the brand. I wouldn't recommend it!
Head back to the hotel to freshen up before a late dinner.
Meet up with my husband for dinner at Ristorante Buca San Giovanni - right near the Duomo. A few courses of traditional Tuscan dishes (including an amazingly hearty and yummy vegetable soup) along with plenty of red wine made for a memorable meal.
After looking in amazement at all the beautiful architecture at the Piazza Duomo, walk towards the river and cross the Ponte Vechhio - it's touristy and crowded, but a must when you're in Florence.
Head over to the Mercato Centrale (a building filled with little shops, restaurants, and cafes - perfect for foodies!). It's cafeteria style, so order at the shops and then eat at the communal tables.
We had a couple coffees while we waited for the lunch places to open - an espresso for me and cappuccino for him. Seriously nothing beats Italian coffee!
After not-so-patiently waiting for them to open, order pumpkin ravioli in a butter, sage and walnut sauce and linguine with pesto at the pasta restaurant. Seriously delicious and not to be missed if you are at the Mercato!
Wander around looking at leather shops on our way back to the hotel.
Change and freshen up for the rest of the day, then head out for midday gelato - pistachio and stracciatella (chocolate chip) are my go-to flavors.
Head to the Boboli Gardens to bask in the late-afternoon glow. The gardens were massive, so be sure to wear comforatble shoes. It would also be a perfect place for a picnic if you are in the area at lunchtime!
Walk across the rive for (strong!) pre-dinner drinks at the rooftop bar of the Hotel Continentale. It's a little pricey, but pretty views (especially at sunset), yummy drinks, and a swanky atmosphere make it worthwhile!
Cross the river yet again (the bridges across the Arno are some of the prettiest places in Florence) for dinner at Trattoria 4 Leoni.
If you eat here (and please do - its amazingly good!), be sure to arrive early (around 7:00) or make a reservation, as it's fairly popular. Order the pear-filled pasta in cream sauce and thank me later! Probably the best pasta dish I've ever had in my life!
Wander back to the hotel in a food coma and head to bed.
Get up early, grab a quick bite to eat from the hotel and make our way to the train station.
Head to the Prada outlet (SPACE) in Montevarchi and do some damage on our credit cards! But really, this is an amazing spot if you love Prada and want a significant discount on previous season or slightly damaged bags, shoes and clothing.
More on the outlet (and what I bought!) in an upcoming post!
Arrive back in Florence in the afternoon and grab a quick sandwich near the train station.
It's rainy and we've been out and about for quite a while, so take a much-deserved nap at the hotel.
Wake up for a pre-dinner walk along the river and some really delicious mint and chocolate gelato at La Carraraia. Being an adult means you can choose to have dessert first!
Because it was so amazingly good, return to Trattoria 4 Leoni to have the pear pasta, some sparkling wine, and a few side dishes (fried zucchini flowers! bruschetta!) for a fantastic final dinner in Florence!
If it's a clear day (it wasn't for us!), I highly recommend taking a bus (number 7) from the city center to the hill town of Fiesole to see the sunset. You have amazing views of Florence below, so grab a gelato and find a ledge to watch the sun go down and reflect upon your time in Tuscany.
Head to the hotel, pack up and leave for London early Tuesday morning.
Arrivederci! Until next time,