• 6th March 2016

An Italian Adventure: Florence

Florence Cathedral

After visiting Lake Garda and Verona, we moved on to Florence. I was really excited to be going here because it looked like such a beautiful city. Also, if you are a hardcore Jersey Shore fan, you will know that season four was all filmed in Florence. I couldn’t wait to re-trace the cast’s footsteps and see where they lived, worked and visited!

Primavera by Boticelli

We arrived in Florence on the Thursday at around mid-afternoon. After arriving at our hotel, we were keen to start exploring the city straight away so off we went again.  We strolled through the streets of Florence in awe. The paved streets are all so beautiful and you get a real sense of Italy when you walk up and down them with their jewellery shops, fashionable clothes shops and scrummy looking patisserie café’s everywhere.

Stumbling upon the River Arno, you get a perfect view of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. We arrived here at the perfect time of day, late afternoon, when the lights on the bridge were all starting to twinkle.

Galleria Degli Uffizi is right by the river which is definitely worth a visit. The building itself was absolutely beautiful with its long grand corridor on the top floor highlighted with gold’s and decorative ceilings. It houses some of the world’s most famous paintings including The Birth of Venus by Botticelli and Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci. I think my favourite was Primavera by Boticelli. I loved the graceful women in this piece along with the amount of detail that has gone into the flowers on their dresses and the surrounding tree’s. It reminds me of an enchanted forest.

By the time we got back to the hotel in the evening, night had truly fallen. Our hotel wasn’t the best but the one good thing about it was that it had a great rooftop terrace with an absolutely stunning view of the cathedral. In my opinion, the cathedral is the most beautiful building in the city. I just love the dome and in the daylight, the side of the building is covered in these beautiful pastel colours.

Statue of David

Whilst in Florence, we also ensured to pay a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia which is most famous for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s statue of David. This was pretty incredible to see in real-life and is much bigger than I imagined which makes it a truly incredible piece of sculpture. I would recommend getting up at a decent time and visiting when the gallery first opens like we did. It’s a bit quieter around the statue this way. We noticed as we were leaving that big crowds of people started to form around the statue which ruins the atmosphere a little.

If you ever visit Florence, definitely make sure you climb the Bell Tower or the Dome…or both like I did! For 15 euros, you can enter all parts of the Cathedral which includes the Dome and the Bell Tower and you are treated to the most stunning views of the city. The sun came out for us as well and it is honestly one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen. You really do appreciate the glory of this city when you look at it from above and I could have stood there all day and just looked at the view.

For all you Jersey Shore fans, we did indeed seek out where the cast lived in season four. Located on Via De Vecchietti which was just round the corner from our hotel, it’s actually now a restaurant which I thought was pretty bizarre. The big staircase is still there so I assume there are still apartments above the restaurant but that part was sealed off to the public. We ate in the restaurant though and they served most gorgeous food, I would definitely recommend.

Pizzeria O'Vesuvio Florence

We couldn’t leave Florence without dining where the cast worked. Pizzeria O’Vesuvio is located on Via dei Cimatori and truly does the best pizza I have ever tasted. This is where you can find proper Italian pizza with a thin, crispy base and fresh toppings all cooked in a large wood burning pizza oven. Scrumptious! The washing line is still there as well where the cast hung their own pieces of clothing before they left.

If you want to discover an absolute gem in Florence, make sure you cross the River, walk along Lungarno Torrigiani until you get to Piazza G.Poggi and walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo. From here you can look back onto the city and see another spectacular view. Definitely worth the walk and if you climb up even further to the church, you can get high enough for another beautiful photo opportunity.

Florence is definitely somewhere that I would return to in the future. It’s right up there with Rome in my opinion as it’s just so pretty and I loved just walking around, going up and down all its little streets. There’s so much culture here with all the churches, gardens and museums and that’s what travelling is all about!

Florence skyline

Have you been to Florence? Tweet me your photos @SheWhoLives1

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