So this is a smidge delayed as work has been getting the best of me. I know a work/life balance is important but once you see some certain adverts for Next nailing it in the lead up to Christmas all will be clear! Florence or Firenze is a pretty exciting city and one that I think deserves a decent amount of time. We had just shy of two days and definitely didn’t see everything on offer. I’d recommend going for a long weekend and giving it the time it truly deserves. However if you’re on a time crunch like us then stop reading this and get out there! We went to Florence each morning from Pisa via the train. It was inexpensive and ran every twenty minutes so was super simple to do. The train station is located very central and once in the city everything was walking distance and pretty easy to navigate (thank god for free Europe roaming).
The main attraction I’d say is the Duomo and of course go inside. Just a heads up that you do need to be dressed appropriately to get in so make sure to bring a shawl to cover your knobbly knees. The outside of the cathedral is stunning, I don’t think my photos do it justice. The mix of white cream, mint green and dust pink is gorgeous and weirdly very on trend right now as a colour palette. It really is unlike any other design I’ve seen for such a high calibre building that dates back so far. The inside is equally impressive with a stunning fresco ceiling and there are of course a gazillion stairs for a view from the top.
You can’t visit Florence without popping in to see David. He’s quite a cheeky chap and quite the exhibitionist but with a body like that who wouldn’t be? We bought our tickets online for the Accademia and I’d suggest it as the queues were pretty ghastly. Once inside the actual gallery is very small and doesn’t take long to see it all. The other exhibits are interesting and well worth a look but of course you’re there to see the main man. He’s located at the end of grand hallway and the skylight above him illuminates him beautifully. We sat on some benches behind him for a while just admiring his derriere and beefly thighs.
It can’t be a disjointed post on Adam Inflight without a random food recommendation thrown in the middle. I’m vegetarian now (not sure if I ever announced that on here) so I spent a good while googling delicious options. This one called Brac was cream of the crop and didn’t disappoint one bit. It has a lot of layers to it similar to inception so bear with me. From the outside it looks like someone’s front door but once you step inside it’s a book shop with arty and eclectic magazines. Then you wander into a courtyard that has these amazing streamers hanging from the ceiling and then there’s a greenhouse that houses a library of books but also tables as part of the cafe. It’s all very strange but the food is perfect. I’d recommend doing the group selection where you get to pick a little bit of everything from pasta to salads. I have no memory what I got but it looks like courgetti, ravioli and a crusty dome (it was all really good though otherwise I wouldn’t of taken such a blurry photo as clearly I was devishly hungry).
Nearby is the Ponte Vecchio, a rather iconic bridge over the Arno river. I love it as it looks like a bunch of little medieval houses poised on this stone arch. From afar it feels very magical and fairytale like but once you’re actually walking on the bridge you have no recollection that you’re actually on a bridge as the buildings are so high. Another weird thing to note is that they aren’t houses but shops and more specifically gold jewellery shops. Yes it’s strange and feels a little like a walkway when you get off a cruise ship but all part of the charm. Then generally wandering around Florence is lovely. The buildings are architecturally gorgeous, cobbled streets line most roads and sculptures/street art are everywhere.
I love a good market and can’t fault Mercato Centrale one bit. Firstly the building is huge and surrounding it on the outside is a day to day market with leather foods, hats, scarves, souvenirs, tat etc. Once inside the downstairs is full of vendors selling pasta, cheese, fruit, drinks and everything under the sun to get your grocery shopping done. If you head upstairs it becomes a bistro and there is a selection of different stalls selling lunch and dinner food, as well as a bar for your wine fix. It’s such a massive place that it has its’ own map incase you get lost – that’s a corker right there.
Florence is a beautiful city and perfect place to wander down alleys and find hidden gems. It isn’t too big so perfect for walking around and not dealing with buses or public transport. Everyone we encountered was very friendly and more than willing to help out. There was an abundance of tourists and I do feel it is having quite a travel boom at the moment so jump on the bandwagon whilst you can!