Our Trip To Italy Part One
If you follow me on social media, you will already know that my husband and I just returned from a fantastic holiday to Italy’s Tuscany region.
So Today as promised I will be doing a recap of our trip but I will have to be in a few parts as it is too much to cover in one story.
Today I will be talking about our first and second stops which were Florence (or Firenze as it is known to Italians) In Tuscany and Cortona in the province of Arezzo. We flew directly into Florence from LAX and had a quick stop in Rome before catching our city hopper to Florence – a quick 50 minute flight.
We chose a hotel just outside of the city called the Mulino Di Firenze. The hotel is an old corn mill next to the Arno River and it has country side charm but still only a few minutes via their free shuttle from the center of Florence. Our room had a really nice view of the river and every morning we ate breakfast on the open air patio at the restaurant right next to the river as well enjoying the wild life and seeing the Tuscan hills.
We both loved the fact that it was away from the busy center of Florence – plus it has a pool and It felt nice to get away and relax after a full day of site seeing.
The first two and half days we spent covering as many sites as we could in Florence, and let me tell you there are a lot! Unfortunately, I will not be able to talk about each place as it will take pages and pages of describing the history and the beautiful images we saw. However I have listed most of the sites we visited below and I think they are all worth seeing.
Keep in mind since we only had two and half days and there were lines for getting into most sites (even with a Firenze Pass we had purchased), we were not able to go in to all sites so we enjoyed them from outside as well.
The Firenze pass was 85 Euros (each) and gives you a fast pass into every museum in Florence – we calculated that if we paid for the Museums we went into we would have spend over that amount so add to the fact you go to the front of the line – they are well worth it. (plus you can put it on your phone – but they only are good 72 hours after you activate with your first museum entrance)
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo
- Uffizi Gallery
- Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Galleria dell’Accademia (where the statue of David is located)
- Pallazo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
- Gucci Garden and Museum
- Church of Santa Croce
- Piazza Della Signoria and the Loggia Dei Lanzi
- House Of Dante
The weather especially for the first two days in Florence was very hot and a bit humid so we had to make a few rest and water stops – plus a few aprerol spritz and gelato breaks of course… LOL
Every where we ate in Florence the food was excellent and if you like Italian food, you can’t really go wrong as most places offer affordable food and wine. The first night in Florence my husband had made reservations for a belated anniversary dinner at SE.STO On Arno, a rooftop restaurant with amazing views and delicious food and this was a truly memorable location with spectacular panoramic views of the city from the roof top of the Westin Excelsior. Our reservations were at 7.30pm so we had cocktails watching the sun set and then dinner followed by a spectacular lightning show over the Tuscan hills – it was amazing.
There is so much more I can write about this beautiful and historical city but I will move on to our second location. If you have any questions about Florence, please don’t hesitate to ask me in comments or email me directly at email@example.com and I will be happy to answer them all.
In order to travel to other areas of Tuscany and visit other cities we had planned ahead and rented a car for a few days as my husband has experience driving in Europe and has an international driver’s license. Our first drive was from Florence to a small town called Cortona, a hilltop town in Tuscany which is only 70 miles away.
Let me tell you I loved this charming town and I highly recommend you taking a one day or an overnight stay in this beautiful place. It is surrounded by a green and lush landscape of trees, vineyards and flowers especially lots and lots of sunflower fields everywhere which were so pretty.
We stayed just down the hill from Cortona for one night at the super cute and amazing hotel called Relais & Chateaux Il Falconiere. The hotel has only 9+ rooms and it looks like a chateaux in the middle of Tuscan hills. I highly recommend it and you can see the web site for it here.
The grounds and setting for our hotel was so pretty and relaxing, we could have stayed there for a week, but since we only had one night there, we explored the city of Cortona the next day. The city is filled with cute small streets with cafés, wine and cheese shops and trattorias eveywhere, it is all so cute. There are also a few landmarks to see just like every part of this fantastic country.