Hi friends! Today I am continuing the recap of our recent trip to Europe. This post is all about out our day in my favorite place we visited this time: Florence, Italy! I’m outlining where we stayed, ate, and played, so keep reading to find out more! If you missed my previous post from Milan, check it out here!
We left Milan very early on the day of our arrival in Florence. The train station was about a 20 minute walk to our hotel, so we decided to go for it. In hindsight, I think I would have rather had a car drive us, because dragging my carry-on through the streets of Florence was not ideal. The streets are charming, and old, and narrow, and full of cobblestones, so it was a bumpy ride for my things. Nevertheless, we arrived at our hotel quickly enough, and headed upstairs to drop off our things.
Where We Stayed
We booked a room at the Oltratno Splendid for the night, and it was divine. It has 14 delightfully eclectic rooms with modern and salvaged furniture in an antique space. The size of the hotel makes it feel like a bed and breakfast, with the service and amenities of a high-class hotel. The service was impeccable, and I cannot recommend this hotel enough. Upon check-in, we were invited to partake in breakfast and drop off our things while we waited for our rooms to be ready. The front desk manager also gave us a quick tour of the hotel, lounge, breakfast area, and provided us with local dinner recommendations. He even kindly offered to call the restaurant we chose to arrange a dinner reservation that evening.
The rooms are all funky, brightly colored, and filled with light. We loved our stay here so much, and we really wish we could have stayed longer. The next time we pay a visit to Florence, this hotel will be at the top of our list!
Where We Ate
I spent a lot of time researching the best places to stop for a quick lunch in Florence, and I happened upon an article that mentioned a tiny panini shop near a popular market. It’s called Semel, and walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t give it a second look. It’s TINY, but definitely mighty. A lovely Florentine gentleman owns and runs the shop, making your panini to order! I ordered the apple, truffle, and brie panini which was fantastic. It was even more fantastic when I found out it was only 4 euros. You can also opt for a glass of house red wine to wash it down. It was such a fun and authentic experience, and I highly recommend paying Semel a visit. It’s a great place for a cheap and filling lunch.
For dinner, we had reservations made at Trattoria La Casalinga, a family-owned restaurant that has been in business since 1963. The front desk manager recommended it, and it was an impeccable choice. It was laid back, filled with locals, and the menu offered a variety of Florentine classics. I decided to get the ravioli dish paired with a liter of house wine split among our table. Definitely pay them a visit if you are looking for a casual dinner spot in Florence.
Where We Played
Florence is home to a LOT of famous works of art, the one most commonly thought of is the Statue of David by Michelangelo. I do not claim to know much about art, but this piece was the most breathtaking (literally, I gasped) thing I have ever laid eyes on. It was absolutely magical, and I stared at it for ages. It’s located in the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, and the tickets are very affordable. (less than 20 euros). It’s a fairly small museum, so just plan to spend maybe a couple hours there at most if you’re taking your time.
One of my favorite parts of the day was catching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo! The piazza is located on a hill with stairs where you can have a picnic, grab a drink, and enjoy the beautiful 360-degree views of this postcard-worthy skyline. It’s how we ended our day (before dinner), and I would definitely catch it again.
Have you ever visited Florence? What was your favorite thing about the city? I cannot wait to go back to spend more time here. If it’s on your future itinerary, it will not disappoint! Thanks for reading along!