Gladiator sandals: Matt Bernson (comes in a variety of colors)// Sunglasses: Kate Spade (sold out, but similar linked here) // Backpack: via Fiorenze 😉 // Dress: Boutique find back in my Gainesville days
Geeeez, who would’ve thought a full-time job and training to be a yoga instructor would be so time consuming?! I’ve missed blogging though, and after reading Yuliya’s blog over at styleprn.com, I realized that I never got around to sharing our travels in Florence and Venice.
It’s another long one, but since it’s been over a month since we were there, I’ll only be able to share the highlights my mushy brain will let me remember! Also, since I already shared Rome was my fave, it’s obvious I won’t have as many gushing things to say. Don’t get me wrong, Florence and Venice are beyond beautiful places, but something about the energy in Rome makes you want to explore for days. Florence, however, has the most unreal views – I felt like I was walking around in a photo half the time.
First stop (well, really it was our second), Florence!
I can’t start our trip to Florence without sharing how ridiculous and hilarious our trek to get on the train to Florence from Rome was. We left in what we thought was plenty of time and David said “I hope everything goes smoothly.” To which I said my famous last words, “What could go wrong?” Don’t ever ask this question. You usually don’t want to know the answer.
Long story short, when we got there, the nice man at the station told us we needed to go allll the way to the other end to board our train which was, no joke, about 1/2 mile away. We speed walked, which eventually turned into a run – one of us in loafers and the other in lace up sandals (I’ll let you choose which was which). David eventually grabbed my bag and ran ahead of me carrying both while I trailed behind. We finally got to our stop to be told in broken English (because the only Italian we knew was “vino” and “mangia”) that our stop was actually all the way back on the other end. We ran back the other way and when we finally got there, our train was LEAVING. As we were about to suck it up and pay another $100 for tickets, I looked up and said WAIT – THAT’S OUR TRAIN. Somehow, our email ticket had an earlier time listed with a different train number than our actual ticket, which we never happened to look at. Oops. I’ll spare you the rest of the ridiculous details, but we ended up sitting in the wrong seats three times. We were too exhausted to realize seats were assigned which made the French family whose seats we accidentally sat in quite annoyed.
Anywho, we finally got to Florence and spent the first day wandering around, which seems to be our MO on the first day we get anywhere. We found a late breakfast which was amazing for Italian standards (Italians are not known for their breakfasts) which I’m pretty sure was 90% butter and 10% eggs. We then had a chance to walk around the piazzas that have the beautiful carousel and of course, the amazing Duomo. It honestly looked like a castle out of a Disney movie. While it was absolutely beautiful, it was SUPER packed and touristy and I couldn’t walk five steps without someone asking me if I wanted a selfie stick. Spoiler alert – I did not.
We spent the next couple hours eating the most delicious sandwiches from Antico Vinaio (go there) on a stoop fighting off the pigeons. David then took me to the outdoor leather market he went to his first time in Florence which was basically heaven on Earth. I purused and didn’t plan on buying anything until later, until a vendor said I could get a gorgeous small-ish leather backpack for $20 euro… who knows if it’s actually real, but it’s beyond adorable.
We then spent the evening hiking Piazza Michaelangelo to see the sunset. When we got to the top, we got some drinks and just sat watching the sunset while sitting on a railing. This was easily one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen in my life. After sunset, a musician came and started playing the JAMS and I ended up predicting he would play Dave’s fave band. It was a pretty special moment – he even thought I somehow requested the song without him knowing beforehand! It was fate, I suppose.
We finished the evening getting pizza at Gusta Pizza (also highly recommend), and I’m pretty sure we turned in early that night due to the train fiasco.
On day 2 in Florence, we spent the morning having breakfast outside the Duomo and listened to the musicians in the street. We considered taking a tour of the cathedral and the tower, but the lines were outrageous, and I was able to sneak us in the cathedral through an open back door for a few minutes! People even followed and we eventually all got kicked out… oops! We eventually decided to spend our morning/early afternoon at Galleria dell’Accademia so we could see the David statue and some other beautiful paintings. The David was magnificent and more amazing than I thought it would be in person!
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the Boboli Gardens and taking in of the sights. There were tons of statues in the garden and outstanding views, along with really beautiful landscaping. I think I even fell asleep for a nap at one point!
We finally went back to the area with all the leather shops, and sadly, many of them were closing! But, where there’s a will, there’s a way. We both walked away with his and hers leather jackets and I even scored a “free” wallet along with D’s leather jacket (this is what D refers to as “Ashley logic”). Speaking of, I recently got a stain on my leather, so if anyone has any recos of how to get it out, I’m all ears!
I honestly can’t remember how we ended this night, but I’m sure I won’t be far off if I say it was with a pasta dinner, vino and gelato!
As for my outfit in these posts, you can certainly tell this leopard dress is one of my faves and a staple for me each summer since I bought it in Gainesville from my fave boutique (back in 2010) that’s no longer around. It’s the perfect length for my 5’0″ frame. I’m also wearing the Matt Bernson gladiators I wore all over Italy and my new amazing backpack mentioned earlier!
Next up, Venice… stay tuned.