Doing a road trip around Italy has been on my bucket list things to do for as long as i can remember. When Joel and I first started talking about doing one, over a year ago, we fantasised about; sailing around the Cinque Terre villages, wine tastings in vineyards, exploring Pisa, Siena and Florence, driving through the Tuscan countryside in a top down classic car, eating the best pizza/pasta Italy had to offer and consuming as much Gelato as we physically could manage. Looking at this list it feels impossible that we could do all of this in one week yet somehow we did and it was probably the best week of my life (so far).
Our week began in Pisa where we explored the old town, wondered around the botanical gardens, drank my first capo and took the 300 odd steps up the leaning tower of Pisa.
Soon after we made our way back down the tower it was already time to catch our train to Florence. As soon as we arrived we checked in to our first hotel of the trip. The Antica Torre was perfectly situated on Via Tornabuoni which is essentially the Bond Street equivalent in Florence right on the river next to the famous Ponte Vecchio. I had never been to Florence before but essentially you can't get a better location. I had already thought we had hit the jackpot even before the lovely hotel manager showed us the real "piece de resistance" (insert Italian equivalent of that saying) which was the enormous roof top terrace at the top of the hotel. With sweeping 360 views of the city we had only stepped foot in for less than 30 minutes it felt like we had seen the whole thing already. It was so breathe taking i nearly cried.
We had booked a restaurant called il Pizzaiuolo for dinner that came highly recommended and for good reason. Joel is a man that has eaten many a pizza in his time and he has declared that the burrata pizza he had at Pizzaiuolo was THE BEST PIZZA EVER. You heard it hear first. I have to say it was ruddy delicious. I'm more of a sexy salad or pasta girl myself and they were brilliant too.
After dinner we decided that it would be such a shame to waste the gorgeous view of Florence from the hotel so we headed back there, ordered some cocktails and watched the sun set on our first day.
The next day started with a delicious buffet breakfast overlooking the river.
We had only booked one thing to see in Florence and that was the statue of Michelangelo's David at the Accademia museum. Despite having tickets we still had to wait a while so i'd say definitely book early and turn up with lots of time to spare if you're going to go. To be honest, museums aren't really our thing. We are much happier walking around taking in the beauty of a city rather than spend what little time we have looking at art so although the statue was really impressive and i'm glad we saw it, we didn't stick around long to see much else. After seeing David, we headed towards the Duomo cathedral which is probably the most beautiful building i've ever seen, followed by our first Gelato stop at Gelateria La Carraia which was molto bene!
With only a few hours left before we had to go and collect our hire car we decided to walk up to the Michelangelo gardens which has the most beautiful views of the city. If you only had time to do one thing in Florence then make this that thing.
Despite only being in Florence for a day all in, it really blew me away and i'm absolutely, totally in love with it. When asked which was my favourite place we visited over the course of the week i answered with little hesitation, Florence. I was sad to leave but we had a car to pick up and a road trip start!