Feeling sad to leave Rome after a few short days, it was time for the next step in my Italian adventure. I’d grown to love Rome and feel it’ll always have a special place in my heart as it was just me and the city alone. I had one more morning in Rome before my train so decided to go back to the area that I’d discovered the night before and loved- Spagna. It’s a beautiful old square filled with every designer shop imaginable, centred with the Spanish Steps. This time of day was nice and quiet so I saw the perfect opportunity for some pictures!
I then had an easy and relaxing train journey to Florence. The train systems out here are so easy to use and really clean- come on Southern Rail. Arriving in Florence felt odd to me. I was suddenly met with this large metropolitan city which felt cold and so different to the quaint ancient town I had just been in. After unpacking in my hotel and looking forward to the night ahead, Milly arrived from her flight. We caught up over a bottle of wine and headed into the centre of Florence to see what it had to offer.
After wandering around the small cobbled streets, I took back what I said previously. Florence does have a wonderful charm. It’s got the quaint feel of Rome but with a hint of a big city as well, which is nice. We went to the restaurant SimBoisi, which was from personal recommendation. I loved it; the interior, the food, the staff and the overall vibe was right up my street and made for a perfect first meal with my best mate in Itlay. I had the truffle pasta, which I’m still dreaming about now.
Afterwards, we drank and ate away all night, stopping in bars and for Gelato. The city stays awake late, which is great! Arriving in a city at night gives you a buzz that makes you so excited to discover it in the morning.
The next morning came. Full of pastries, we went into Florence for a day of exploring. We had no real agenda, which I love sometimes. Just wandering around, taking in the sights and stopping at different museums and landmarks as we pleased. We stumbled across a lovely cafe called La Menagere. If you’re into nice coffee and proper grammy interiors, this is for you. We had a light mid-morning snack (as you do, on holiday) and chilled for a bit before more wondering.
One of the main things I had on my list whilst visiting Florence was Santa Maria Novella. If you live in Hove, you may know the furniture shop, Stonehouse and Baker. My mum and I visited once and we both commented on the glorious smell. After asking the staff what it was she informed us it was potpourri from Santa Maria Novella. Although you can buy in London, it’s 3 times the price, so I was so happy to visit the original pharmacy. It’s the first official pharmacy in the whole world and it really was magical. If you love old little perfume bottles, soaps and lotions- this is for you.
Milly and I treated ourselves to a bar of soap, which I’ll honestly treasure for a long time. After that, we looked around the local art museum, the Santa Maria Novella chapel and more beautiful side streets.
Another stop that came high on my list was the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge made entirely of jewellery shops. It was a nice thing to see and good to explore the other side of the river as well. Also, a perfect opportunity for a gelato stop.
After lots more wandering, snapping, eating and drinking we went back to the hotel for a nap and refresh- ready for another evening in Firenze. We got the bus back into town and walked along the river to Piazzale Michelangelo, an area Milly had heard about from a Friend. It was one hell of a climb, but the view and the Aperol at the end were so worth it. You can literally see the whole city of Florence as well as an incredible view of the countryside. I recommend going around 6pm for that gorgeous lighting.
We went to ‘Pizza Napoli 1955’ for dinner, a place I’d found on trip advisor. It was affordable, authentic, yummy and welcoming. I highly recommend for a nice, casual dinner.
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll be back soon with my Venice blog post!