With summer around the corner, it’s time to start planning your vacation. If you haven’t visited the beautiful Italian city of Florence, I’d highly recommend paying a visit, because you will fall head-over-heels in love with it. Florence, also known as Firenze, is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, which is famous for many things, including Tuscan wine. The best part about this city is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time in it to have a Florentine experience – forty-eight hours are more than enough.
To make the most of your trip, try to reach the city by late morning or early afternoon at the latest. Start your day with a tasty brunch at Trattoria Mario, a small but homely restaurant serving up fresh, Tuscan soul food. But remember, try to get there as early as possible, because the best dishes usually disappear quickly! And you don’t want to miss them.
Once you’ve fuelled up, rent out a bicycle from the many stores around, and explore the city on two wheels. You can cycle around the Duomo de Firenze (park your bicycle and have a stroll inside the cathedral to be wowed by beautiful, Renaissance architecture) and Palazzo Pitti, which is a short distance from Ponte Vecchio. If you’re a fashion-fiend, you should definitely make a pitstop at Museo Gucci, a small but interesting museum covering the history of the Gucci brand, and showcasing some of their most iconic pieces. Then, make your way over to Piazza San Spirito for a quick break and a sharp Negroni – a strong but scrumptious cocktail that originated in Florence.
As the sun starts to set, make your way over to Piazza Michelangelo. It’s a tiring trek to the top, but the stunning views of the city as the sun sets are definitely worth it. You can grab a drink and dinner at the piazza, or make your way back to the city centre instead. Given that Florence is a student city, the nightlife is always on-point. Flo’ Lounge Bar, Tenax and The Blob Club are popular hotspots, but feel free to wander around and stumble into a club that catches your eye. Once you’ve had enough of dancing, head over to the secret bakery that is in an alley off Via de’ Neri if all that dancing has made you hungry – it’s a bit difficult to find, especially at three in the morning, but the tasty baked treats will make up for it, I promise. If you get lost, find a local to ask for help – they are always very friendly and helpful.
Sleep in the next day – because what’s a vacation without catching up on some shut-eye? Once you’ve had breakfast, make your way over to the Galleria de Academia and feast your eyes on the masterpiece that is the David statue by Michelangelo. Next, I recommend spending the day indulging in Tuscan wine through an organised tour. There are many operators that you can book a wine tour through, and they typically take you to four or five vineyards, where you can sample fresh wine with delicious, homemade bread and juicy cold-cuts, as well as meet new people.
In the evening, freshen up and head over to Trattoria ZaZa for dinner – a dining experience that you cannot miss out on. Their pesto pasta is to-die-for, and their specialty truffle fries will probably be the best you ever have. Crack open a bottle of wine for the ultimate date night experience and a lovely ending to your forty-eight hours in Florence.