Italy was an amazing trip for Josh and I. We started out our “wedding/honeymoon” in Florence. We stayed here for three days. This was my first time in Italy so I wanted to do it all! This is what I would recommend for the must-do’s and see’s in Florence.
Where to stay:
Josh and I decided to find a hotel with the best view and that is what we found. We booked Il Salviatino just outside the city center of Florence. This hotel is a 15th century villa turned hotel. The nightly stay includes shuttle service to and from the city, breakfast every morning with a large variety of fresh pastries and meats and cheese, fine dining and a pool with a view. The shuttle service leaves every hour from the hotel, ending at 8pm. The taxi from the city back to the hotel is around 20 Euro, in case you miss the last shuttle back to the hotel. The views from this hotel are breathtaking. You overlook the entire city of Florence. This is also where Josh and I had our ceremony. The average cost of this hotel is 500 Euro/night. Well worth every penny.
If you are on more of a budget, there are plenty of hotels and AirBnB’s available. Since we flew our photographer in from Prague, we booked an AirBnB for her. The booking process was simple. I made sure to check out reviews before booking anything. This particular host was located in the city of Florence, in a flat on the 4th floor. I messaged the owner, who was English speaking and met her at the apartment to grab the keys. This particular AirBnb was walking distance to the Duomo. The owners were very friendly and accommodating to myself and our photographer. We paid around $130/night.
Where/what to eat: Honestly, you’re in Italy. Everything is amazing but here are a few of our favorites from our trip:
Tu Mi Turbi – This little restaurant had a sign outside that said “I+II=10Euro.” Two courses for 10 Euro, sign us up! We went in and each ordered a tortellini and veal dish paired with wine. The food was a perfect lunch portion to fill us up and not break the bank. This is a perfect little “hole in the wall” that we found wandering the city. I am so happy that we did because we will definitely be going back.
Bevo Vino – This is a step above the previous restaurant, price wise. Josh and I found this restaurant while we were trying to find Zebb (the next restaurant I will be talking about). We saw that Zebb was not open, so we found this little restaurant that just started aperitivo. Aperitivo is the Italian version of happy hour, except better. All you can eat appetizers and your first drink is 8 Euro. Some of the food they offered were pizzas, bruschetta, mini sandwiches, meats and cheeses. I couldn’t get over this place. 100% my favorite little spot in Florence. We only stayed for Aperitivo, but I am sure everything else is amazing too!
Zebb- The highest end of the three restaurants. This place is located a few doors down from Bevo Vino. We were told by a friend that this restaurant is a must-do. She was correct. We walked in last minute without a reservation and luckily got seated. The menu is on a chalk board that changes everyday. The entire restaurant seats 12 people. there is one server, who owns the restaurant with his mother. He comes around with the chalkboard menu and read/explains the menu. He then asks you what you like to drink, what kind of wines you like and what you think you will be eating so he can pair the perfect wine. The service of the restaurant and the quality of the food and wine were out of this world. By far my favorite restaurant for dinner in Florence.
What to do:
Get married, duh. Just kidding. But, Josh and I did get married (if you didn’t already know) on our 3rd day in Florence, which was awesome.
Get lost in the city. Josh and I found so many cool little shops and restaurants by just wandering and hoping for the best. It’s a walkable city with options to eat, drink, shop and hang out everywhere.
Purchase something from the leather market. You will know the leather market when you see it. There are vendors that line the streets with leather everything, for a good price! So many options and colors to choose from.
Mercato Centrale. This market is awesome! The first floor is full of shops that sell meats (all the parts…if you know what I mean), fish, vegetables, herbs, wine, beer, liquor, cigars, EVERYTHING. After lunchtime, the bottom floor closes and the top floor opens. The top floor is a modernized food court. When I say food court, I don’t mean like the mall. Think nicer. lol. There were Chinese, Japanese, Italian, American and all sorts of cuisine. There were a ton of tables and a variety of bar areas to grab a drink. This is a must-do.
Ponte Vecchio. This area is a bridge that contains the most high end and beautiful jewelry stores overlooking the water. Such a beautiful spot and a must see, even if you don’t buy anything.
David/Uffizi. The Uffizi is a museum in Florence showcasing art and masterpieces from the Renaissance period. This is the most popular attraction in Florence. You have to purchase tickets for this, but they are inexpensive. If you are into history, this is a go-to. The Statue of David, created by Michelangelo is located in The Accademia Gallery in Florence. This is also something you must purchase tickets for. *You are not allowed to take pictures of David.
These things are what Josh and I did on our recent trip. Don’t forget to drink lots of wine and there is no open container law, so you can wander the streets with a cup of wine!
Hope you enjoyed! What is your favorite spot in Florence?