the last time i was in florence i was 20 years old visiting my best friend who was studying abroad [i was also studying at the time in paris]. of course, i did not appreciate the city as much as i should have at that age, and faintly remembered trattorias & osterias around every corner, twice as many gelato shops, museums, cathedrals, the raw beauty & size of the duomo, shops, bridges, sunset views ... and wine. lots of wine.
i was so excited to return to florence with friends and family to refresh my memory on why it is such a special place to so many people. i was quickly reminded the second we drove in – the instant feeling of charm and rich culture mixed with modern developments carefully placed amongst deep history. we only had 3 nights / 2 days here, and the weather was beautiful. we decided to skip museums and spend most of our time exploring on foot. we ate delicious food, finished each meal with gelato, drank many spritzs & bottles of wine, walked and walked to burn off the pasta and wine, and tried to avoid anything that seemed touristy. some of our favorite moments:
penga drogheria this little shop filled with local italian goods and treats reminded me of the italian version of a vida portuguesa which i mention in this post | mercato centrale come hungry to this 2 story market, as they have any and every kind of vendor you can imagine [fresh fish, homemade pasta, vegetables, meat, pizza, salads, gelato, wine, beer, cooking classes....] | this street sign artist | sunset with friends and champagne at michelangelo plaza | gelateria della passera & gelateria grom
EAT & DRINK
ditta artigianale cafe this bar and coffee shop has cool vibes and is popular for coffee or brunch [2 locations] we went here twice | osteria vini e vecchi sapori [lunch] traditional tuscan restaurant that is popular amongst locals – call ahead for reservations [lunch or dinner, no frills place and worth the planning ahead]. | lo sprone vinaino [dinner] down home Italian in a very small space with a cozy atmosphere. the dishes were traditional and standout delicious. del fagioli [dinner] famous for their steak florentine (huge chunk of meat!) and all of the pasta and other dishes we had were very good. | coquinarius [dinner] around the corner from penga drogheria, delicious food, deep wine menu and very friendly service .