Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A day in Florence

views from Piazzale Michelangelo

Hello there, how are you all ? Our Italy vacation was very nice, and I realize it's been almost three weeks since we got back and I haven't posted any photos yet. Visiting Tuscany is always a treat, and we visited some really nice villages in Val d'Orcia. The Cinqueterre were not a disappointment but it was Lake Como that stole my heart this time.

Our first day was spent in Firenze, which we had already visited a while back.

What can I say ? Despite the massive crowds of tourists, traffic jams and other issues, I can't help but love this city. We didn't have any plans, except for some shopping, revisiting a few places and eating gelato, so we just wandered around the city at our own pleasure. The last time we'd been here we had such a tight schedule with visiting museums, galleries and everything we wanted, that we didn't have time to just relax and enjoy the city.

We stayed at Villa Sestini again, because we just adore Giovanna and she always treats us so well. The view from her garden is one of my favorites and I can't say enough about her homemade cakes and jams.

Church of Santa Croce

We visited Santa Croce, now without any scaffoldings, went to the food markets (Sant'Ambrogio and San Lorenzo, of course), stopped for a bite of foccacia at Cantinetta del Verrazano (love this place), wandered around the main piazzas and downtown streets, and had a wonderful lunch at the family run Trattoria Mario.

Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio

a break for foccacia at Cantinetta del Verrazano

Then later we crossed the Ponte Vecchio ...

view from Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio, coming from Piazza della Signoria

and made a stop at Beatrice Galli's shop for some yarn

at Beatrice Galli's yarn shop

We tried to visit the Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria del Carmine but unfortunately it was closed for a wedding, so I guess we'll just have to come back again. I've never seen Florence in the winter and according to Giovanna, January is the least crowded month.

We then went in search of the Torrigiani Gardens, but couldn't find an entrance (learned later that you can only visit it by appointment with a guided tour) so we went back to the centre and consoled ourselves with a gelato at Grom instead. Along with the popular Perché No this is now one of our favorite gelato places in Florence.

waiting in line for a gelato at Grom ... it was worth it

The sunset in Florence is always spectacular, but there's not doubt that during Autumn the light is even more beautiful. We didn't have time to go back to San Miniato al Monte to watch it (our original plan), but Piazza del Duomo was all lit up ...

Dinner was at "Il Toscano", a nice simple ristorante with delicious food (and reasonably priced).

at Piazza del Duomo


Via del Campanile
angolo via delle Oche

Cantinetta del Verrazano
Via dei Tavolini 18-20r

Trattoria Mario
Via Rosina, 2R
Behind Mercato di San Lorenzo in the Piazza Mercato Centrale

Ristorante Il Toscano
Via Guelfa 70/r

Beatrice Galli (yarn shop)
Borgo San Iacopo, 24/r
Just across Ponte Vecchio

More photos at Flickr here


Di said...

Sounds like a lovely visit! I love Perche No for gelato, next time I'll have to try Grom!! My friend was in the yarn store a few weeks back and Beatrice said she may be selling/closing the store....no!!!

Celia said...

Oh I want to go again. I want to see the windows in the ponte vecchio vintage jewelleries shops and also eat an ice cream in that place you went I bet the ice cream was delicious because none waits that queue for nothing, lol...
Lovely visit!

Tânia Pinto said...

Oh Italy, Italy...
It sounds great! And that gelato really must be quite something... :)

marirob said...

ahhh... Florence! your post brought back wonderful memories of our visit there almost 6 years ago. I still dream of the gelato...

Unknown said...

Lindas fotos, Itália é um encanto, tem cidades lindas.


Anonymous said...

Uau! Lindo! Adorei as fotos!Fiquei com água na boca!
Good day for you!

Claudia said...

Great place to be Firenze!
I have been there with my parents some decades ago. I should really take myself there again once more.

Thanks for sharing,


Celina said...

Que inveja, que inveja, que inveja.
Um dos meus (muitos) destinos na lista, sem dúvida. Deve ter sido uma viagem fantástica, como se percebe. Obrigada por partilhares. Já estou curiosa para saber qual será o próximo destino ;)

eu said...

A minha cidade preferida sem duvida alguma!!!!!
Estive a ver as tuas fotos com atenção e deixaste me KO que saudades de estar naquele país....
Bacini bella!

Anonymous said...