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Often when traveling, I’ve heard that the most unexpected, unplanned moments turn out to be the best ones.

That’s exactly what happened when I decided on a whim to take the train from Pisa into Florence for four days. What happened next was my heart was laid out on a silver platter for what came to be my favorite city in Italy.

Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour

1. Florence is a walking city.

That means you don’t have to worry about public transportation and all the hazards that come with it. Just find a map or use GPS or ask someone friendly-looking and find your way around the city on your own two feet. But it is that much better if you have a Vespa.

Florence | Grease & Glamour

There are so many deliciously empty side streets that let you wander in peace.

Streets of Florence | Grease & Glamour

And then there are corners of the city where you will find absolutely no solitude.

IMG_3079 streets of florence

But finding yourself in those areas becomes absolutely worth the crowds of tourists, especially when you see the magnificence that is the Duomo.

DUOMO | FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour

Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour

 

2. I fell in love with Florence because I wanted to fall in love IN Florence.

Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour

I’m convinced that Florence is the most romantic city in the world. Yes, you’ll find couples sitting around lounging and occasionally showing a little too much PDA in most cities around Europe, but there was just something about Florence that made me want to climb into a Rom-Com and share this exact moment with someone who I loved, or even just liked, a little.

QUIT YOUR JOB, BUY A TICKET, FALL IN LOVE, NEVER LEAVE | FLORENCE | TRAVEL

3. You’re in the heart of Tuscany, and the food reflects that.

When I traveled through Italy, the food I tried in Rome, Cinque Terre or Pisa simply was not the same as the food I had in Florence.

Eating in Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour

We decided to try this restaurant right in the heart of Santo Spirito (a neighborhood in Florence known for local hangout spots), and I had by far the best spaghetti I had ever had in my life. Everything from the sauce to the homemade pasta – the fresh tomatoes and basil.

FOOD IN FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

Wild boar sausage and buffalo mozzarella + fresh tomatoes.

FOOD IN FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

Fresh olive oil and olive tapenade served to complement the fresh baked bread.

FOOD IN FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

And on some days (more like everyday) treating yourself to homemade gelato while exploring this pretty little city.

GELATO IN FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

We were charmed by the fresh, handmade sandwiches served outside of an antique store. The guys who worked there were totally nice, and extremely patient as we had a bit of a difficult time ordering in Italian.

Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour

Oh, but wait – we can’t forget pizza. Pizza by the kilo or pizza by the slice. I scarfed down two slices and eventually decided to order more.

PIZZA IN FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

Before. After.

PIZZA IN FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

 

4. Night time is the right time.

Everyone in this city hangs out in Piazzas, or squares – this particular one in Santo Spirito was so lively on a Saturday night. You walk into a bar that’s the size of a large closet, pay for your beer, come outside and drink it in the piazza.

FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

Or you can just bring your own six-pack and hang out with the boys. What I particularly loved was that the city and its citizens make an effort to keep the square clean for the next day, and the hundreds of beer bottles and plastic cups are thrown away around 2 AM.

5. The beauty of this city will stay in your head and heart forever.

FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

This view is one of the most breathtaking views you’ll find in Florence, once you take the steps up to Piazzale Michaelangelo.

FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

This day was perfect. We sat on the steps and listened to an acoustic guitarist singing covers of John Mayer and Bob Dylan songs. The weather was warm, the sky was bright and the occasional breeze brought us much-needed comfort after the mini-hike (it’s actually not a hike at all, I was just extremely un-athletic) up to the top.

FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

There’s a certain soul here. Maybe the distant chatter of the Italian men across the street, or the sound of the vespa driving down the street in the mornings. Maybe it’s the fact that this city is probably the best place in the world to shop for leather goods – most storefronts have factories in the back where they’ll customize any piece you buy to your liking on the spot. It may also be the way the water looks in the rain, and how quiet it gets on the bridges at night.

FLORENCE, ITALY | TRAVEL

I don’t quite know what it all means, but there was a feeling that I had where I just knew that Florence would always have a special place in my heart. If you haven’t been, I’d definitely recommend taking even a short weekend break in Florence – start planning your Italian getaway.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to follow me on instagram for photo updates of my travels and for some daily inspiration/motivation. instagram.com/projectinspo

  • Liliana Leitão

    Amazing photos! I was in Florence around three months ago while visiting Italy for a few days, I really liked it!

  • Siulia

    I totally agree with you!! I like 2 hours away from Florence (and I’m accustomed to tuscan food) but I still go there to regenerate and take a little holiday because that city is just special. Next time visit Boboli gardens if you could..you’ll love it 🙂
    Love your blog so much!! you’re one inspiring lady :))

  • Sara Barnes

    Your photos and post are lovely! I would love to visit Florence some day, it’s definitely on my list!

    Sara
    506miles.com

  • Uc

    So glad to read this post as I’m planning a Rome,Milan and Florence trip for April. Now, I cannot wait to go and see everything for myself.

  • lidia

    Great post! Florence is such an amazing city : )

    http://royontherun.blogspot.com/

  • Queenie Lee

    Wow, Florence looks beautiful and the food looks so good! I’ll definitely be visiting one day 🙂 Thanks for sharing xxx

    http://peanutbutterandmussels.com/

  • what is the name of the restaurant where you had the most amazing spaghetti? I am planning on going to Florence in a couple of months 🙂

    http://wideseanoanchor.com

  • That was the view of my “aha” moment! The one where I realized; this is why I travel. I was on a run so I didn’t have my camera, but that was better in that moment because I could fully soak it in with my own two eyes. It’s nice to see the picture again though (the second to last one). I can’t wait to return. Love your posts, as always.

  • dmswriter

    Thanks for the memories! You’re right on every account – there’s just nothing like Florence.

  • I’ve been there myself. It is amazing!

  • I love Florence! My wallet was stolen there, however, which made it a little less magical. But I still can’t deny the breathtaking views and incredible food!

  • Rosanne

    Agree!! I love Florence.. I lived/worked there for 3 months (internship) and it was amazing! Italy has a special place in my heart as I spent several summer vacations there as well (different places) 🙂 The food, the friendly people and the atmosphere.. I will definitely go back!

    http://www.shopwanderwell.com

  • I’m about to move to Italy and started a blog to record the madness of it all and your post has made me so excited for it!

    http://becomingcontinental.co.uk

  • I studied in Italy for 2 months and Florence was definitely my favorite city! I remember wandering off from my class,losing them, and getting lost – best decision ever! Definitely remember the food and gelato being a highlight 🙂

    http://www.rotten-one.com

  • K8tlyn28 .

    I’ve signed up to study abroad next semester and I’m trying to narrow my choices down between Italy, Autralia, or France. I visited France a couple years ago, and I’m worried about the language barrier. The idea of Australia sounds fun and exciting since the weather will be warm, however I wouldn’t be able to travel outside of Australia. If I chose Italy, I could travel to surrounding countries and take in the local cusine, which has always been a dream! Oh what should I do? Any advice for me??

    http://the–arnolds.blogspot.com

  • I am so ready to travel outside of the US and Florence looks amazing. I want to go all over Italy overindulging in their wine, pizza, and pasta. I just renewed my passport so I may make that happen sooner then later. Looks like you loved it there!

  • Valerie

    I love Florence too. It’s such a beautiful city <3 I’m lucky enough to have gone there several times for work and it never fails to take my breath away. And the food, can we talk about the food? Oh my! It’s in such a great area as well. Tuscany is beautiful. xx

  • Melody Williams

    WOW. Beautiful pictures, I fell in love with the city by just looking at them– I can only imagine getting to experience it!

    xo

    Mel @ http://www.marevoli.com

  • I absolutely love Florence, and can’t wait to go back some day. These pictures capture the spirit, magic and charm of the city so perfectly <3 If you don't mind me asking, which camera have you found is best for travel (takes excellent photos but isn't incredibly heavy & cumbersome)?

  • I love traveling like you, and I´ve just dicovered your blog and I love it of course!

  • Does anyone really need a reason to fall in love with Florence? It’s such a magical place, in so many ways, that I would have to assume someone was a robot if they visited this city and didn’t fall head over heels.

  • Italian in generel is just so nice x.

    jeansandmacaroons.blogspot.com

  • Your photos are spectacular! I want to go back to Italy soooo badly…

  • Rinka Inka

    God those pictures are incredibly beautiful! <3

  • I’d love to go to Florence!

    Charlotte – http://charlottesophiaroberts.blogspot.co.uk

  • Hannah

    I went to florence nearly a year ago and completely agree with everything you said in this! its more romantic then Paris and just has an amazing vibe to it xxx

  • Queenie Lee

    Wow, Florence looks beautiful! Would love to visit one day 😀 xx

    http://peanutbutterandmussels.com/

  • I remember going to Florence a few years back and it definitely stole a piece of my heart. Prefer it compare to Venice, and Florence currently ranks number 1 Italian city for me. I’m sure that’s bound to change whenever I step foot in Rome though, been dreaming about that place for absolutely years.

    Diana xx | londongirldiana.blogspot.com

  • always in love with your pictures and adventures,
    its like going on a vacation without leaving home 🙂
    Florence is definitely in my wish list destinations

    xo
    nat
    http://livelifeamour.blogspot.com

  • Cam Chowda

    Such beautiful photos, I miss their food, culture, and atmosphere so much!

    Cam Chowda
    http://www.camchowda.com

  • Laila

    Looks amazing! I’m planning a trip to Rome at the moment but this made me inspired to visit Florence as well!
    travelnotesbyher.wordpress.com

  • Ah, I feel head-over-heels for Florence too. Your post has taken me right back there!

    Chalsie | The Workshop Co. x

  • I lived in Florence for 2 years and i loved it there! If you’re looking more amazing places in Italy, check my guide to Puglia: http://bit.ly/MidoriAllPuglia