Florence = Dreamy Vacation (Part 3)

Dustin and I woke up to better weather and had to say goodbye to my dad who was flying back to Moscow. Our meeting on Italian soil was brief but memorable with lovely Tuscan sights, delicious food and many shared laughs. Dad was off to the airport and we had three more days to explore Florence. At first Dustin and I wanted to jump on a train and go to Bologna, but traveling from Rome to Cinque Terre and now Florence, has left us rather spent and we decided to settle in the town of Dante.

We woke up late and ran over to the Pitti Palace to enjoy the Boboli Gardens before it rained. The impending stormy weather resulted in some pretty poetic moody images:

The Pitti Palace’s Costume Gallery had a vintage exhibition featuring classic Chanel creations as well as dresses and accessories belonging to prominent Italian divas of the past. It was a perfect excuse to hide from the rain and give a little break to our feet.

We enjoyed the Pitti exhibitions and ventured back onto the streets. Searching for a cute cafe or bar to have a snack and enjoy a five o’clock cocktail we walked around lost in the narrow cobble stone streets, admiring architecture, people watching, passing time. For me, Florence is the center of street art. It is my second visit here and I cannot stop admiring the colorful graffiti and creative murals that are seen all over, if you only take time to look:

What is especially incredible is that you can make it your personal quest to discover a whole series of art by the same artist hidden throughout the city. This October trip Florence was dazzling with “L’arte sa nuotare” (Art knows how to swim) by Blub, featuring famous figures and artworks wearing swimming masks on small posters. I love Blub’s ironic flair as humorous contrast to Florence’s focus on preserving its “serious” art history. His art is temporary, fun and made to make you smile!  You can follow his work on Instagram.

At last we made it to happy hour! Florian on Via del Parione, close to the Via Tornabuoni, is a second location of the famous cafe in Venice (the oldest cafe in Europe actually) opened by Floriano Francesconi in 1720 and  known for its opulent interiors and exceptional menu and coffee. Legends say that in 18th century Venitian Florian was one of few spots admitting women and a favorite of Giacomo Casanova, a notorious heartbreaker of Italy!  

Even though Florian was not bustling with activity or patrons when we took our table, it surprised us with elegance of presentation and exquisite cocktail menu. Italy is definitely a country of wine and oftentimes it is pretty difficult to find a lounge to sit back and enjoy mixed spirits. Florian exceeded our expectations!

Slightly buzzed we continued to explore the city, taking in the fresh air after the rain. Florence is definitely one of those cities you feel cozy in and can fully explore by foot. If I ever get a chance to have an investment property or vacation base in Europe, I will call Florence home. It pulls on my heart strings every time I have to say goodbye! Seriously, where else can you look up and see this steps away from your apartment (thank you Airbnb!):

Since I have taken very few food pictures at our dinners (lighting is always strategically deemed for romantic vibes and leisurely wine consumption!) I highly recommend referring to my Foodie Notes for recommendations. Dustin and I have discovered many hidden gems. Whether it is cannoli you crave, Bistecca alla fiorentina or the most delicious pasta, we got you covered. Also check out my previous post, FLORENCE +TUSCANY = DREAMY VACATION (Part 2), for additional tips on food and cool sights.

I leave you with this Italian motto to live by:

Foodie Notes:

Trattoria Zà Zà (delicious pasta)

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26, 50123, Firenze, Italia

+39 055 215411

http://www.trattoriazaza.it/
Osteria Del Cinghiale Bianco (Tuscan classics)

Borgo San Jacopo 43 R, 50125, Firenze, Italia

+39 055 215706

http://cinghialebianco.com/
ARA': è Sicilia (the best cannoli in town)

Via degli Alfani, 127 R, 50121, Firenze, Italia

+39 333 1983927

http://www.araesicilia.it/ 
Florian (happy hour)

Via del Parione, 32, 50123 Firenze, Italia

+39 055 284291 

http://www.caffeflorian.com/
La Ménagère (lunch & cocktails)

Via Ginori, 8 R, 50123, Firenze, Italia

+39 055 0750600

http://www.lamenagere.it/