Surrounded by endless rolling hills of Tuscany and beautiful architecture, it’s no wonder everyone raves about Florence. I was thrilled to go to say the least. And it was everything they said and more. Actually, no one told me what to expect… It was pure dolce vita!
One could spend two weeks just in Florence. There is SO much to see. Instead of packing it all in, I suggest pick a few of your top attractions and stick to that. After all, a vacation should be a vacation! On top of that, enjoy just being in Italy. It is more Italian and you will definitely want to come back 🙂
& that’s just what we did.
Since Florence is quite popular, it can get pretty crowded in the summer time. We decided to stay in Fiesole rather than in the heart of Florence. Best decision we made! However, if you are trying to do more things in the city and distance is important to you, I suggest the Lugarno hotel.
Il Salviatino- As you drive up to the start of Fiesole, it already feels magical. Once you start making your way up the hill where Il Salviatino is located, it’s breathtaking. So much greenery and down below you spot the red roofs of Florence. To top it off, you arrive at this mansion of a villa and you really think you have been taken back in time.
The decor is something I have never seen before. Think old renanissance with touches of glamour. Our room overlooked the front gardens of the hotel and all of Florence. With an hourly shuttle service to the city, it wasn’t a hassle at all. Honestly, it was a very nice retreat to come back to after the bustling tourist spots. A perfect mix if you want Florence and a little bit of Tuscan country
Pandemonio- One of our favorite meals here! An adorable mom and pop restaurant. We ordered the Florentine ribeye, pasta with meat sauce, pandemonio appetizer sampler and a bottle of chianti 🙂 Come Hungry!
Lunch at Villa San Michele- Also in Fiesole, Villa San Michele is another beautiful hotel overlooking Florence. Even if you are staying in Fiesole, come here for lunch! Perched higher on the hill than Il Salviatino, you get a different view. Most definitely come if you are staying the city of Florence. The patio of the restaurant is beautiful! Save some time after to walk around the gardens. Don’t forget to order the mozzarella sampler!
Florence cooking class- A hybrid of to do + eat. Honestly, this was one of my favorite meals of the entire Italy trip. It was made by us! We went to the farmer’s market to pick out all of our fresh ingredients. After that, we drove up to this cute villa in Chianti where we cooked our meal. Wine was flowing, hands were dirty and the smell of the fresh pasta aroma was everywhere.
Truffle Hunting- Our dog was so cute!! We explored deep in the forrest by their house and found a few of those expensive balls 🙂 If only we lived on truffle grounds and our dogs could hunt! Afterwards, the lady of the house made us lunch with the truffles we found! It doesn’t much fresher. Afterwards on our tour, we stopped by a family-owned winery in the area. Truffles + Wine = bliss! You can find that tour here
Luisa Via Roma- One of the best boutiques in the world! Yes, Italy is home to many designers with their own shop but this store had carefully curated each item so you know you are getting the best of the best. We were there close to its anniversary so the store was decorated to funky and fun!
Spa day at the Four Seasons- After going back and forth on whether to stay here or the Il Salviatino, I am so happy we didn’t stay here! That’s not to say it isn’t a great hotel it just wasn’t as unique as I thought it would be. However, it is a beautiful hotel and the spa was incredible. I got the best of both worlds 🙂
Pharmacy Santa Maria Novella- Once you step into the spa of the Four Seasons, it smells like such a fine mixture of perfumes, you’ll want to buy everything! All the products used at the spa is from pharmacy Santa Maria Novella. An attraction in itself, the pharmacy is rich in history and not just a perfume shop. Located right by the Basilica of Santa Maria, you can visit both easily. Our favorite was the room spray in Estate but get those coffee beans ready because there is a myriad of scents!
What are some of your favorite places in Florence? 🙂