A couple of weeks ago we decided to FINALLY visit Florence, one of my favorite cities in the world! It felt like a long time coming. My amazing 4 months in Florence while I was abroad in college was one of the main reasons I wanted to come here in the first place, so I had been psyched to visit the city since the moment I stepped back into Italy.
We rode the old scoot' to the nearest train station, San Miniato/Fucecchio, and grabbed a quick cappucino while waiting for the next train to Firenze.
We arrived at Florence SMN Station and then started our looong hike around the city at the San Lorenzo Market.
At the market we grabbed some truffle salami and some peppery pecorino, then some dried kiwi, mango and lime for a snack. The market is well known for amazing and unique meats, cheeses, pastas and treats - DO NOT go there on an empty stomach or you'll have no more money for the rest of your day in Florence!
After the snack we walked down through the center of Florence, over the Ponte Vecchio, to my old stomping grounds on the south side of the river (the best side). We visited Piazza Santo Spirito, which includes the most amazing sandwich shop ever (Gustpanino!) as well as the only trees in Florence. Two great reasons to pay Santo Spirito a visit.
After two panini we kept walking through the heat - past the Pitti Palace then down Costa San Giorgio to catch a glimpse of my old apartment. We continued on along the Arno to the Piazza San Michelangelo, which is a bit out of the way compared to other sights in Florence but is always worth the trip. If you walk, you have to climb up a steep hill, but you deserve the sights and available birra/water/gelato all the more for it, and the view is beautiful.
After that we headed back across the Arno to grab some cheap & quick gelato, stop by the Florence leather school, see the duomo up close and grab a quick pizza before the train. It was a full 7 hours of hiking around the city and we saw everything I needed to see - I'd call it un successo!
We've been planning some amazing trips so I'll be back with more soon - la fattoria, the beach, France, Sardinia, and wine country to come!