Florence, il mio amore 🇮🇹🎄

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Apologies for the tardiness between this post and the last…

The explanation – An unexpected sabbatical on my behalf due to a manic fortnight. End of year work deadlines, never-ending festive celebrations, yada yada yada #TellSomeoneWhoGivesAFuck…

But since my last Pharmer’s Journal rambling, I managed to squeeze in a mini break to the SRSLY beautiful Tuscan city of Florence.  And subsequently my grá for Italy has grown, (exponentially, and irrevocably)…

 

We hit up Firenze via one Aer Lingus flight to Rome. (FYI – Should you wish to visit Florence from Ireland any time soon, Rome and Milan are the go-to airports; with Pisa (Florence’s closest airport) scheduling  Dublin flights only during the summer months unfortunately).

 

We spent one night in Rome before getting the (90 minute) train to beautiful Florence the following morning. Having already hit up Rome at the start of the summer (Click here for my Rome synopsis), we weren’t in a major panic to see/do too much.

 

That was, except for the Trevi Fountain, which was being renovated back in April. Alas there were still many a high-viz worker knocking around it this time too, BUT no biggie. Florence was where it’s at.

 

We checked into Hotel Ville Sul’Arno, and I instantly became obsessed. We somehow managed to have the entire five star hotel to ourselves, with only a handful of (never to be seen) other guests staying put. Subsequently I obviously refused to leave the place at all for the first 24 hours, hauling ass between the spa and the bar to my heart’s content. Yolo.

 

Fast forward to the following morning, and one fine day spent discovering the city. Jesus H Christ, it’s a beauty – hands down the prettiest city I’ve seen at Christmas time. It’s magnetic. The narrow cobbled streets, the infamous Fiorentina cuisine, the river Arno,  the Duomo,  it’s all just flaaawwless. 

  

 

 

My touristy highlight – climbing the 400 steps to the top of the Giotto’s Campanile Bell Tower, (after dark) and marvelling at the view overlooking the Piazza del Duomo from the top. Fabliss.

  

 

Another pretty amazeballs viewpoint is that at  Piazzale Michelangelo, a panoramic square reached via a ten minute uphill (struggle) walk along the Serpentine Road, which overlooks the rolling Tuscan hillside.

 

 

If you’re into art, Florence is obviously the creme de la creme – it’s literally brimming with Renaissance masterpieces. Every second building is an architectural masterpiece of a cathedral, with a priceless fresco hangin’ at the top… Meanwhile, every cobbled corner has a nonchalant naked sculpture strewn admist the buildings.

 

My favourite arty sightings however, were thanks to the F-Light’s Festival (December 8th to the 27th) – where Florence’s most famous monuments were illuminated with iconic projections every day after dark. Sew amazing!

 

 

 

 

Whilst hanging in Tuscany, we also got to catch up with Bae’s niece, who coincidentally was on erasmus in Florence for a semester via FITNYC (the dream!).  Thanks to said niece we sampled a side of Florence more off the beaten track, which is always right up my street.

Her best advice in my opinion?! Gusta Pizza (Via Maggio, 46R, 50125 Firenze)… AH-MAZING! As in, possibly the most delicious pizza I’ve eaten and well worth a visit if you’re knocking around… Another place worth checking out is La Menagerie – a tapas bar/garden shop/live music venue/cocktail bar/homeware store…

If you’re feeling spendy, Florence pretty much has it all – from Zara to Chanel. I wasn’t really in the shopping zone tbh (zero luggage allowance fml), but I did manage to pick up one or two handmade gems from the leather market (where everything is incredible quality – The locals take their trades very seriously)…

We also couldn’t not wile away a few hours at the Firenze Christmas Market – which although is a carbon copy of every other European Christmas Market – was made all the more beautiful simply by its Piazza Santa Croce surroundings.

 

 

 

 

With Mark being Mark, we also couldn’t not check out Florence’s Botanic Gardens (not a whole lot to see with it being in the depths of winter but he still adored it)…

 

My highlight of the trip you ask?! Being proposed to, of course! Thanks to beautiful, romantic, magnetic Florence I am now a fiancée. Eeeek.

 

And with that, I’d love to know if you’d like me to add a ‘Bridal’ section of sorts to the blog… I can see many a night in 2016 being lost to Pinterest and bridal magazines already – and I’m totally happy to include/exclude it all from The Pharmer’s Journal depending! Holla to me with your opinion…

PS: Have you entered my Glamglow Youthmud Giveaway?! Snap to it!

xo

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