I figured it was about time that I share about my recent trip to Europe with you all! I want to start by sharing about the incredible city of Florence, Italy. I couldn’t have been more excited for this trip! It was probably the least planned trip I’ve ever been on, but that just added to the excitement this time around. I was in awe of the history and architecture; the fashion and the food; the people and the Italian lifestyle. This was the most amazing way to be introduced to Italy! I spent four nights in this city and could’ve stayed for many more.
I knew Italy would be a place to remember when my first introduction was a thorough search through my travel buds luggage at the airport. The security personnel was so annoyed at having to give my friend a lesson on ALL the items she had in her carry-on she hadn’t considered liquids, but were indeed liquids. Every time an item was pulled out, her response was, “That’s a liquid?!”. It was HILARIOUS. She thought I was being overly paranoid about my liquids before we left, but I think she definitely got it after this! Following this moment of fun, our gate number failed to show up on the one monitor we were sitting in front of. Flat White in hand, we raced to the very last terminal to catch our flight because the flight was already boarding. My poor leather jacket bears the stains of my mad dash!
A couple hours later I arrived in Florence *phew*! I stayed in a perfect apartment through Airbnb in the cute little Piazza Della Passera overlooking restaurants, a gelateria, and a cafe. It was the perfect spot for people watching down below. The apartment was extremely close the main touristy area, Piazza Pitti (Pitti Palace), but somehow felt completely separate from the chaos which was wonderful. Italy comes alive at night and I was in the perfect spot to experience it all! Around 9:30/10pm every night, the piazza came alive with everyone eating, drinking, and listening to music till 2am. Of course, I had to go out and join! It was the perfect excuse for more gelato, wine, or a second dinner.
If you followed my Instagram stories during my travels, it probably looked like I was eating the entire time. You’re not wrong, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much in my life! You come up against this wonderful problem in Italy where your tastebuds are so happy that they begin to ignore the fact that you’re full. Eventually, your stomach gives up protesting that you’re full and you continue happily eating till you can no longer move. This blog post would be more accurately called, “How I Gained 10 lbs: You can eat your way through Italy too!”. My very favorite restaurant in Florence happened to be the one right below the apartment, 4 Leoni. And just around the corner was my favorite spot for a cappuccino and breakfast, Ditta Artigianale. Anywhere you go is delicious, but those two spots were definitely my faves.
Another favorite of mine on this trip were the wineries! It was at the top of my “Things To Do” list and I’m so glad that I made room for it. I got to spend the day in gorgeous Tuscan wine country touring two wineries. We took a bus to up to wine country and got to learn all about our surroundings from our tour guide along the way. One small detail that I didn’t take into account was my motion sickness on the small windy roads, but I survived. And OMG was it worth it!! The scenery was breathtaking. Our first stop was at Poggio Amorelli Vineyard in Chianti. I got to try lots of beautiful wine, cheese, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. I may have had a few bottles of wine shipped here!
Our second stop was at a beautiful castle where there was a winery, cute shops, and a little hotel on the castle grounds. I had some wonderful wine and cheese and was able to explore for a bit. I wish I’d had a more time to walk around since there was so much to see! Being high up on a hill, it was the perfect spot to watch the sunset before heading out.
Our day ended with a short walking tour through Siena and dinner there in the Palio where they transform it hold a biannual horse race. It was wonderful to sit and soak it all it. There were lots of great people on our tour, so I got to chat and get to know new people from all over the world. I love meeting new people that you’d never meet otherwise if it wasn’t for our common love of travel. It’s one of my favorite part of traveling.
It was an incredible way to start my Italian adventure! I will be sharing more about Florence in a second post with more of the beautiful places I went to.
Thanks for reading!