After Barcelona (see Barcelona post here), I could not wait to get to Italy! Next stop.. Florence.
I have been to many parts of Italy, but never made it to Florence and always heard that it’s a crucial city to visit in Italia. I had already fallen in love with Rome, so it was going to take a lot for Firenze to steal my heart. I was giddy on the plane just from anticipation of the passionate and delicious italian lifestyle we were about to experience. The thought of REAL gelato and love-filled pasta had me salivating and ready to be there!
As soon as we stepped off the plane, I instantly felt at home and welcome. We made our way to our next temporary home and headed straight up to Giardino Delle Rose to catch the last light of the day gleaming through any of the 1,000 different types of roses throughout the garden. The sun started to set as we were at the top of Piazzale Michaelangelo that overlooked the whole city, which is where we ended up spending every sunset in Florence. That was beautiful and all, but okay where’s the pasta and vino?
One of our friends who met up with us took a road trip down from Northern Italy with her dad, who hung with us for a bit and helped translate around town. Luckily for us, he’s quite the entertainer and never left us with a dull moment. He started asking all the kids hanging around where there was a good place to eat. “Best to ask the locals and college kids” he says. Man was he right.. after a mini mish to find this restaurant, we finally turned the corner to a beautiful square, or piazza, that hosted one of the liveliest looking restaurants, Osteria Santo Spirito. It looked like something out of a fairytale book with old wood accents and vintage decor throughout. We walked up to the front to try and get a glimpse of what we were getting ourselves into. We instantly became speechless and wide eyed when we saw the waitresses bring out huge, beautiful Mediterranean detailed plates of jaw-drop worthy pasta. Every single table was full and overflowing with food, wine and lively conversation. We of course had to wait an hour to be seated so we headed next door for a glass of wine and quick aperitivo.
When it was finally our turn to be seated and order at Santo Spirito, we ended up with one of the best meals of my life. I could probably write an entire book about delicious food and how much I loved our dinner that night, but maybe just watch the video clip below to get a slight idea of how good the Truffle Gnochi was (waving hands emoji here).
After the first night of completely stuffing ourselves, we made time for several museums including the Uffizi Gallery and Museo Galileo. These museums hold some of the most profound and influential artists from the history of time. I was of course touched by the artwork that we came across, but I have to be honest that my favorite part was not inside any museum. There is something so romantic and dreamlike about walking down cobblestone streets in the heart of an Italian city, hearing the vibrant language firing in your ears left and right, seeing lovers sitting on bridges in no rush to get anywhere, taking advantage of the endless people-watching, relishing hilltop sunsets with a bottle of wine, and really seeing how these people live and truly apply “la dolce vida” e “la dolce far niente” (“the sweet life”, and “the sweetness of doing nothing”), to their lives. Many have heard that italians “work to live”, as opposed to the common alternative characteristic of “living to work”, and it is true. I genuinely feel that it is one of the sweetest gifts in life to be able to apply this concept of working to live and enjoying the little things; to your own world.
The next adventure was right around the corner with a bucket list check-off.. road trip through Tuscany.