If you’re looking to level-up your upcoming trip to Florence, we can’t think of a better way to do it than to include a Florence-to-Cinque-Terre day trip.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We are big-time proponents of spending a solid two or three nights minimum in the Cinque Terre. This is an area you want to let yourself sink into for a truly satisfying experience, and that means taking your time getting to know each of the villages, enjoying leisurely sunset dinners once the day-trippers have cleared out, waving to the same fishermen you walk by in the marina every morning, and exploring the hillside paths beyond the famous Blue Trail.
But we also understand that your holiday time is limited, and that the right taste can still be full of flavor, even if you can’t take a whole bite. Continue Reading…
Florence is a city I love to love.
1. It’s big enough that there’s tons to do.
2. It’s small enough to be able to walk the entire historical center plus several neighbourhoods in a day or two.
3. It’s suitable all months of the year (read on to see which one month I recommend avoiding).
4. It’s romantic (so much kissing on the bridges!), beautiful (Renaissance architecture, lotsa money for artistic patronage), inspiring (look what your fellow humans painted, sculpted, created!), and fun (I was a student there and never slept…). Did I mention beautiful?
If you’re still not sold, here’s my list of the most inspiring things to do in Florence.
My hope for you is that you’ll love to love it too! (Trust me, it’s not hard.)
It made me jump every time — a fist coming down on the card table, a menacing lunge forward, sudden raised voices, everyone’s hands doing half the talking. I always stopped what I was doing to listen, and try to make sense of what these little old men would get so heated about day after day outside the gelateria where I worked when I first moved to Italy. It had to be something important, right? Like politics or ideology or some ancient wound, a betrayal that kept getting dragged out.
And then my Italian got better. Little by little words began to surface that I could recognize, I started to be able to string a few threads together here and there. It took some time, but I eventually discovered what all the hand waving and passionate speeches were about. And though it had nothing to do with current events or old double-crossings, it was no less important to the little old men, no less deserving of their fire and zeal. All along, they had been talking about food.
Whose nonna had the best recipe for ragu, full-on debates about what goes into a proper pasta al pesto, a play-by-play of everyone’s dinner menus that night and exactly how each dish was going to be prepared… These guys would go on and on for ages — about food! And the thing is, they weren’t unique to the little town in the Cinque Terre where I was working at the time. I had studied in Florence the summer before and had witnessed the same intense conversations there. In fact, I find that Florentines are passionate about food on a whole other level — they take pride in what they prepare and eat because family traditions in both the city and the surrounding countryside are rooted in a strong attachment to the land and what it produces.