Travel Series: Florence

The next postcard I have to share is from Florence – a beautiful, historic, and distinctly Tuscan city nestled on both sides of the River Arno.  I can only imagine the city at the height of the Renaissance, all of that creative energy in one place.  It would have been incredible to witness such a period.  Still today, Florence’s long steeped history in art and culture remains as a gentle pulse throughout the city.

Some highlights from our visit include:

{1} Shopping for a selection of regional meats, cheeses, tomatoes (which we ate by the handful) and wine to make the picnic to end all picnics to take on our afternoon walk.
{2} Crossing the River Arno and walking up to the Giardino delle Rose, just before you reach Piazzale Michelangelo (which had too many stairs for the stroller to master) for a late afternoon picnic with arguably the best view over Florence.
{3} A sunset stroll along the Arno and across the iconic Ponte Vecchio (a bridge they say is so beautiful that it was the only one in Florence to be spared during the war).
{4} An early morning visit to the Uffizi Gallery (we pre-booked tickets which I would recommend) to view the incredible collection of paintings and sculptures – many which left me in awe once again.
{5}Taking a seat by the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria to soak up the sun and the atmosphere and have our photo with ‘imitation’ David (A reproduction of Michelangelo’s masterpiece which is housed nearby in Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze)
{6} We walked around and then through Florence’s iconic Cathederale di Santa Maria del Fiore – a beautiful cathedral with an elaborate and very distinctly revival gothic façade.
{7} A wander through the leather markets trying to resist buying every leather bag I came across.
{8} A mid-afternoon gelati & cannoli from Gelateria dei Neri (the pistachio was out of this world).
{9} On recommendation from our Airbnb host, Ricardo, we found La Prosciutteria (Translated to ‘The Meat Shop’) for a late lunch.  We shared a tasting plate of the most interesting antipasti and a vast variety of cured meats along with a bottle of their house wine.
{10} Just down the street a little, we also visited a wine bar, All’Antico Vinaio, which had again, been recommended to us by Ricardo, and even without the recommendation we would have been intrigued to try as it had a line of people up out the door at all hours of the day.  I had the best sandwich of my life (fresh baked foccacia cut from a slab, buffalo mozzarella, tomato, prosciutto and artichoke)  with tasting glasses of their house wine for 2 euro.  And they work on an honesty system – you eat, you drink what you like, you make sure to pay before you leave.  Incredible.

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