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Two Days in Florence – The Italian Diaries

After two gorgeous days in San Gimignano, and a magical evening spent at Villa Dianella, we made our way to Florence. Our drive from Villa Dianella to Florence was only about half an hour, meaning we could arrive in the city nice and early for a full day of sightseeing.

 

Views of Florence from Palazzo Vecchio, Duomo, Firenze, Italy

 

I had spent a month in Florence about five years ago, while I studied a course in fashion, events and PR at IED. I fell in love with the romance and medieval history and architecture of the city. It has such a special place in my heart, so I’ve always wanted Tim to feel its magic too.

Florence is now even more meaningful for me, as it was while we were here, Tim proposed. He must have really felt its magic!

This is how our trip to Florence went down.

E. Xx

 

Golden view restaurant and bar, truffle pasta and pizza in Italy, Ponte Vecchio, River Arno, Best restaurants in Florence

 

Day One

11.00am – We arrived in Florence and dropped our car off at Maggiore, which is right in the centre of the city. We then walked to our hotel, Garibaldi Blu Hotel, located in the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella.

Tim had booked the hotel and kept it a surprise until we got there, so I had no idea where we were going. I was so happy when we arrived, as the hotel is just gorgeous. It’s a real mix of industrial, luxury and quirk. It was so different to the authentic Tuscan-styled places we had stayed in Tuscany.

The decor was unique. It had super chic furniture, yet random life-sized statues of superheroes, almost like Madame Tussauds figurines – it was weird, but cool!

 

Florence travel tips, Hotel Garibaldi Blu, Where to stay in Firenze, Italy

 

12.00pm – As we had arrived early, we couldn’t check in straight away, so we walked to the famous Duomo. It was prime time for tourists, but it was still an incredible sight nonetheless.

 

Duomo, Florence, Italy

 

1.00pm – After walking around the city, we decided to go to Gucci Garden, formally known as Gucci Museo. Located in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, the garden is the brainchild of creative director, Alessandro Michele.

The space features a store with one-of-a-kind pieces; Gucci Osteria de Massimo Bottura, which is run by a three times Michelin Star chef; and Gucci Garden Galleria exhibition rooms, which span across two floors. The exhibition narrates the House’s new vision, while also celebrating their history, including past collections, advertising campaigns, artisans’ images and retro objects.

If you’re in need of some creative inspiration, or simply love fashion, I highly recommend you take a visit to the Gucci Garden. Tim and I loved seeing the development of the House and were incredibly inspired by its intricate and very out-there patterns, textures, embellishments and statement pieces.

 

Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy
Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy
Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy, Black Silk Slip Dress
Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy
Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy
Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy
Gucci Garden, Florence, Italy

 

2.00pm – We decided it was time to find somewhere to drink, so we made our way to Basilica di Santo Spirito, where lies a small piazza, with several restaurants the locals love.

We sat outside of one of the restaurants and enjoyed an Aperol Spritz each. After having such gloriously warm weather all day, it suddenly changed and a torrential thunderstorm started bucketing down on us. We ran inside the restaurant for cover, which of course was a good excuse for us to have another Aperol and something to eat – bruschetta and panzanella salad, yum!

 

Aperol Spritz in Florence, Italy

 

3.30pm – After the rain died down, we decided to head back to our hotel to check in and get ready for the evening… Tim had organised dinner at a surprise location.

We stayed in the Classic room at Garibaldi Blu, which although was the smallest room, was decked out in stylish fittings, had an incredibly comfy bed, and a really modern bathroom with marble detailing – everyone loves a marble bathroom. The hotel was located in the best location too. Only a 5-15 minute walk away from the main attractions, fabulous eating spots and the train station.

 

Florence travel tips, Hotel Garibaldi Blu, Where to stay in Firenze, Italy
Florence travel tips, Hotel Garibaldi Blu, Where to stay in Firenze, Italy

 

6.00pm –  We made our way towards the Ponte Vecchio, which is the most famous bridge in Florence, and arrived at Tim’s surprise restaurant, the stunning Golden View, which overlooked the bridge and the river, Arno.

We ordered veggie pizza (which had ricotta stuffed into the crust, it was sooo good) and truffle pasta to share. They were honestly the best dishes we had on our whole trip.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Montepulciano, one of our favourite types of Italian red wine. The evening was magical. We watched the sunset over the bridge and loved the sparkling city views at dusk, and of course had a madly romantic time together.

Tim was a bit hesitant at booking this restaurant, as the reviews are quite varied online. But we’re both so glad he bit the bullet and booked, as it really was a phenomenal experience (and surprisingly not too expensive – I think it was about €100 for what we had plus dessert and coffee).

 

Golden view restaurant and bar, truffle pasta and pizza in Italy, Ponte Vecchio, River Arno, Best restaurants in Florence

 

Day Two

8.00am – As we only had one last day in Florence, we were up bright and early. We had breakfast at our hotel, which was a buffet breakfast and consisted of a mix of Italian cheese, bread and cake, salads, cereals and hot breakfast bits.

9.00am – After breakfast we walked to Museo Palazzo Vecchio, which is located in Piazza della Signoria. The fortress-like facade of the palace is a famous feature in the city,  but the inside is a bit of a hidden secret (it wasn’t packed with tourists at all!). Each room of the palace is unique, decorated in ornate detailing and exquisite paintings. If you have your walking shoes on, we recommend walking up the steps to the top of the 311 foot high bell tower, where you’ll see panoramic views of Florence.

 

Florence travel tips, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italy
Florence travel tips, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italy
Florence travel tips, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italy

 

11.00am – It was morning tea time, so I took Tim to a delicious gelato store I came across all those years ago, Vivaldi Gelateria. The gelato was as delicious and as fresh as I remembered.

 

Florence travel tips, Italian Gelato, Romantic Italy Holidays, Beige Silk Shirt, Leopard Maxi Skirt

 

12.00pm – Boboli Gardens are something you have to visit while you’re in Florence. It’s a gorgeous spot to come to for a picnic, a relaxing afternoon stroll. Walk to the top end of the gardens, you will find a gorgeous lookout over Florence.

 

Boboli Gardens, Leopard Print Pleated Maxi Skirt, Beige Silk Shirt, Havaianas Flip Flops, Firenze Duomo, Florence travel tips

 

1.00pm – After our afternoon stroll, we made our way to Florence’s famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio. On either side of the walk way of the bridge lies cute little jewellery shops. It’s a shoppers paradise! We window shopped our way down the bridge, getting quite overwhelmed with the selection of pieces.

I wanted to buy some jewellery in Florence, but there was so much choice, it was too hard to make a decision. I think if you’re really wanting to buy something along the bridge, you need to go really early in the morning.

 

Florence travel tips, Ponte Vecchio, River Arno

 

3.00pm – Tim had organised our activities for the rest of the evening… This is where our time in Florence really peaked. But I’m going to leave this bit for my next article… 😉 xx

 

Florence travel tips, Golden View Restaurant, Ponte Vecchio, Firenze, Italian Prosecco, By Kilian Good Girls Gone Bad Perfume

 


 

Have you been to Florence before? Where are you favourite places to eat, drink, stay and play? Xx

For more vacation inspiration and destination tips head to our travel section.

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