Category: Florence, Italy

The Best of Florence: 14 Things to Do, See and Eat

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As many of you know, Florence became my home away from home for four months while I studied abroad. The city was charming, beautiful, exciting and so historic. There are so many amazing things to do and see in this Italian city, the list could go on and on… but I’ve narrowed my list down to the top 14 things every person should do, see and eat if they visit Florence.

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1. Climb to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset

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2. Visit the Boboli Gardens and climb to both ends

– Go straight up the steps behind the amphitheater to the very top for a Tuscan hillside view, and all the way down the path to the left down Cypress Lane for a forested walk leading to the Isolotto’s Basin fountain.

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3. walk through Pitti Palace and visit the Sala Bianca and the costume gallery

– Sala Bianca was the room where many famous fashion designers had their first shows to launch their careers.

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4. wander through the Central Market and browse the colorful produce

– Grab an apple or orange, they are so flavorful in Italy.

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5. Eat at Osteria Santo Spirito and order the cheese and truffle oil gnocchi

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6. Eat at Gelaterie La Carraia along the Arno (biscottino is my flavor obsession)

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7. Climb to the top of the Duomo and Giotto’s campanile

– If you only have time to climb one, though your ticket will get you into both, I suggest climbing the campanile. That view will include the Duomo in it which adds an extra amazement factor.

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8. Go on a late night outing to one of the town’s secret bakeries, and eat it on the steps of Santa Croce

– The most well-known secret bakery (closest to Santa Croce) is Pasticceria Vinci & Bongini. Walk down Via dei Benci towards the river and make a right on Via del Canto Rivalto, follow your nose toward the delicious smell of freshly baked pastries. If no one else is there waiting, lightly knock on the glass door and order the ‘Cornetta con Nutella’ (Nutella filled croissant)… the chocolate is all warm and melty.

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9. Get Gusta Pizza to-go and go sit along the Ponte Vecchio at nighttime

-Gusta Pizza (located near Santo Spirito) is my favorite pizza in Florence. 5 euros for a delicious fresh margherita style pizza… I’m tearing up just reminiscing about it… you must go!

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10.  Shop the leather markets for great deals

– Mercato Nuovo is my favorite, but the San Lorenzo Market also has awesome deals!

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11. Visit the museums – See the David and visit the Uffizi

– The David is a must-see located at Accademia Gallery (along with many other sculptures by Michelangelo). The Uffizi is home to many famous works of art, including my favorite piece “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.

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12. Visit The Fashion Museums: Capucci, Gucci and Ferragamo

– If you’re into fashion, and are looking to be amazed, visit each of these museums to see the work of these talented, and iconic, designers.

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13. Grab a quick pastry (bomboloni are my favorite) and an amazing cappuccino from a small cafe

– If you want to do it the Italian way, stand at the counter while you eat and enjoy. It is actually cheaper this way, and you’ll get to observe the locals more.

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14. Go grab aperitivo before dinner one night

-Aperitivo is a common Italian tradition where many bars will serve an appetizer buffet for free, with the purchase of a drink. Go grab an Aperol Spritz (my Italian favorite) for 7 euro and eat all the appetizers that your heart desires. (Who else agrees that the US needs to adopt this tradition?!)

 

Have any favorite spots in Florence that I missed? Leave your thoughts in a comment!

Fall Colors in Firenze

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Fall weather has arrived here in Florence and I am in love. The leaves are changing, the temperatures are cooler and the colors are beautiful. I picked up this gorgeous scarf at the market last weekend and thought it was perfect for this time of year. It’s cozy, colorful and the perfect piece to brighten up a neutral ensemble.

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I purchased this black wrap dress from Nordstrom just before I left for Italy and it has already become one of my favorites. The dress is a great length, super soft and can be paired with anything! I’ve decided that wrap dresses are a perfect fall basic that every woman should have in her wardrobe. They’re an easy go-to outfit that can be mixed and matched with unlimited jackets and accessories.

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As far as my life in Italy goes, I have enjoyed taking a small break from traveling and spent the last few weeks in Florence. I’ve already learned so much more about my city and neighborhood just wandering around and stopping in cafes and shops. I’ve tasted the most amazing hot chocolate in Florence, discovered some awesome leather shops and seen some views that cannot be beat.

My Italian adventure has felt like a dream so far, and I’m looking forward to all of the experiences yet to come.

Ciao for now!

A Transitional Fall Look

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It is officially October and I have been anxiously waiting for some cooler weather here in Florence. By this time of year in the midwest I would already be in full sweater mode, but Italy continues to surprise me with 75 degree afternoons. Don’t get me wrong, I love warm weather, but there is something magical about fall fashion that I have been just too impatient for this year. With rain storms this week came some brisk temperatures though, so I decided to break out some of my favorite fall fashion pieces for the season. This outfit was created as a transitional look; I focused on layering some of my summer pieces with a few fall trends to make them more appropriate for the season.

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For this look, I paired my favorite high-waisted jean shorts with a cropped tank, two very basic summer pieces I packed with me for my trip. I have been obsessed with the tall sock trend this year, so I was excited to finally incorporate a pair into my first fall outfit post. I added a cozy oversized knit cape to my look, along with my favorite black boots. A few key jewelry pieces were added for an extra pop of color and glam.

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Looking forward to styling more fall ensembles!

Cobblestone and Vespas

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The streets in Florence, Italy are all unique and beautiful in their own way. The narrow roads are built of cobblestone and the sidewalks are thinner than you could imagine. Vespas are parked along most roads and little Fiats are plentiful. Florence has so many famous, historic, locations, but I have found that their streets are one of the most charming aspects of the city.

For this post, I decided to take two simple clothing pieces and show how accessories can change the look. I started off by pairing a simple black, knit, midi skirt with my dark teal crop. To make the simple look more fashion forward, I added a chunky statement necklace and gold watch. Adding these elements distributes the focal point of the outfit and makes it appear more dynamic. I finished off the look by pairing my black heeled booties with my favorite sheer floral socks. The socks gave the outfit a subtle feminine touch.

Buon Giorno Firenze

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I have lived in Florence, Italy for 5 days and am already in love. Coming from the hustle and bustle of New York City, it has been such a nice change of pace. Everyone in Italy appears to take their time going from place to place, and they truly embrace the life they live and the friends that surround them. Nights in Florence are energetic, and restaurants are crowded and lively. It is common in Italy to meet friends at a restaurant and stay there dining and drinking wine together until close. No one rushes you, no one power walks, and no one pushes past you. Florence is quiet and peaceful. Where as New York City streets would be filled with the noise of honking and talking, in Florence you hear the quiet talking of friends, the breeze, and the zipping noise of vespas as they wiz by you.

For this day of exploring the city, I chose a comfortable jersey jumpsuit and simple accessories. Italian fashion here seems to veer toward a more neutral color palette, so I try to blend in as much as possible. Nothing too flashy, and nothing too bright.

I’m looking forward to traveling all throughout Europe these next 3 months. Stay tuned to follow my journey and observe as I eat my way through all of Europe.

Ciao!

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