Florence…. where do I even start with this place? This was my second trip to the city and I know it won’t be my last. The people, the architecture, the FOOD, and just the overall vibe is everything I want in a city. I’ve been to Rome, Venice, and Florence and I would choose to visit Florence over the other two every time.
As per your votes on Instagram, I will keep this post short and to the point. So let’s dive right in and let me answer your questions:
Where did you stay?
Machiavelli Palace Hotel and it was perfect! Kammy and I agreed that we didn’t want to break the bank on the hotels we stayed at but we definitely didn’t want to slum it. This hotel was exactly what we wanted. It was cute, clean, and the location was perfect. We were close to shops, great food, and the famous Giotto’s Campanile which is a free-standing bell tower that is part of the complex of buildings that make up Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo… basically all you need to know is that it is absolutely stunning and you need to see it. I can’t take credit for finding this hotel. My wonderful travel agent, and sister, booked all of our accommodations and they were all perfect! If you’re heading to Europe I would definitely recommend you contact her! You can find her contact by clicking here!
Where to eat?
This is a tricky question to answer simply because you really can’t go wrong, it’s Italy and well food is their culture. I would suggest staying away from the restaurants in the squares as they are all super touristy and a little more expensive. Don’t be afraid to turn off Google maps and just wonder… when you feel like you’re getting lost, just keep going, you’re likely heading in the right direction because eventually you will stumble across a hidden gem. For example, La Menagere. We randomly came across this place while out and about one day with the intention of stopping for a quick glass of wine… well, a glass of wine and a bathroom break later and we discovered there was so much more to this incredible place: a lounge, floral shop, a coffee shop, a bakery, an antique store, and a restaurant not to mention the decor was INCREDIBLE!!! What started out as a quick stop for wine turned into us returning 4 times!
What to do?
Since this was our second visit, Kammy and I were very relaxed when it came it to our daily agenda… in fact we didn’t have one. We both did the museums and touristy things our first go around so we knew going in those were not a priority for us. Our agenda included eating, drinking wine, shopping, and exploring. Thanks to you guys and your suggestions a reoccurring must do was watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. I had done this the last time I was in Florence and it was just as magical as the first. If you do only one thing while in Florence make it this. Pro tip: bring wine (a bottle opener), cheese, bread, meat, olives… you know, all the goods! If you’re in the mood to go dancing, just ask locals! We lucked out with this when a local directed us to a tiny little pub style place that had 3 Euro tequila shots… #eeek it was nothing fancy but just a fun little spot to dance, my kind of place! Because we were having so much fun and met some friends that were significantly younger than us, they convinced us to go to Space with them… now that is a nightclub, lol! If you’re in the mood for a real party go to Space!
You will also want to make a quick stop by the Piazza della Repubblica which is a beautiful carousel and of course shop for some leather! Florence, well Italy in general, is known for their leather goods so why not #treatyoself!
Last, find a rooftop patio to have a drink and take in the view. Most hotels will allow you to go up for a drink even if you’re not staying, ie: Glance Hotel. Or if you’re feeling brave walk in and ride the elevator up with guests who are staying at the hotel. If they ask you to leave, they ask you to leave! Just act confident and no one will question you…
How to get around?
Walk/ get lost. Not only is it a cost effective way to get around in the city, it will lead you to hidden gems that may not ever be found. Obviously walking everywhere isn’t always a reality, we also took cabs and had no issues with them!
Everywhere we went the local were so friendly and genuinely wanted to help us have the best experience while exploring their city. We were smart and didn’t put ourselves in any situations that could have caused us to feel uneasy but at no point did we ever feel unsafe!
I hope this answers your burning questions about Florence and more importantly, I hope it inspires you to visit- I promise, it won’t disappoint!