Having returned from a 3-day trip to Florence with my friends I thought it only right to write a post about my stay in the beautiful city - particularly as it just oozed Christmas spirit. It won't be a full recount of each day, because who has time for that? More a general review. Overview: I would definitely recommend visiting, it's beautiful.
Because it is winter, when we arrived at 1pm, starving hungry, by the time we'd left the (rather delicious) pasta restaurant it was already starting to get dark. But we managed to see some beautiful sights of Florence, including the Ponte Vecchio and some gorgeous Christmas lights, and we went to the Christmas Market on Piazza Santa Croce, where I definitely enjoyed embracing Christmas, which isn't much yet a major thing in Rome.
The mist, the lights, the sunset, the river - everything was so picturesque, and perfect. Good first impression Florence.
The next couple of days we did of course decide to do some proper sight-seeing - despite the fairly persistent rain. So of course we visited the Accademia Gallery, the Duomo, bell tower and Cathedral, and the Uffizi Galleries. We were quite masterpieced-out, if that's even a phrase, but it was all very breathtaking. My personal fave however was the wonderful view of Florence from the top of the bell tower after a pretty excruciating climb.
All of the climbing and art-admiring was fueled by some damn good grub. Some of the best grub I've ever had. Not excluding the above blackberry tart and Florentine beer (very good - would recommend). If you do find yourself in Florence, try and find a restaurant called 'Yellow Bar' which is located very close to Duomo. It serves some of the best fresh pasta EVER. I also treated myself to quite a divine cheesecake afterwards. I would also urge you to visit the piazza di santo spirito - we ate there all of 3 times and each time it was thoroughly enjoyed (Borgo Antico was particularly delish!)
Apparently Florentine Gelato is some of the best gelato in Italy, and unfortunately the wet and cold meant we weren't all too keen for ice cream. However, on our last night I did drag everyone to a gelateria. You really can never beat Italian gelato. Especially when it is served among Christmas decorations.
There was something quite magical about the city. I think being there for the Festival of light and the Festival of the Immaculate Conception added to that joyful, tranquil feel, and we were all impressed by the decorations.
The building designs reminded me of something from a geometric colouring book. Not sure if that is just me but please tell me if you know what I'm on about.
Overall, I had a wonderful stay in Florence. It was great taking a break from studying for a bit and spending time learning, and experiencing a city quite different to Rome - for me experiences like this are exactly what my year abroad is about.
Now enjoy a selfie of me on the gorgeous Ponte Vecchio this morning!
I can now see why my auntie loves Tuscany, and cannot wait to (hopefully) see much more of it in the near future.
For now, happy advent, and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
I'm still able to receive donations on my giving page for Cancer Research UK here, for the fundraising I carried out last month. Thanks so much to everyone who has donated already!!
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