A walk through Florence
Florence is the heart of Tuscany. Think of warm sunsets, where the terracotta facades dot the landscape in between rolling green hills of vineyards and olive groves. It’s the stuff romantic movies are made of and what draws over 13 million tourists every year to this region of Italy. Hills surround Florence and Fiesole is one village to the north east that has the perfect view of the city without being too far out of town.
Florence was the second stop of out Italian road trip, check out the vlog for a behind the scenes exclusive!
Hotel Villa Fiesole is a 32 room property that has that cosy Italian homestead feeling to it, but with enough privacy to make you feel like you don’t have to walk on eggshells around the staff and all the modern amenities you could ask for. Breakfast is a continental selection with enough chia seeds and fresh fruit to keep modern travellers happy, and in the evening the restaurant transforms into a romantic Italian Trattoria; I’d recommend the purple gnocchi or the zucchini risotto with prawns.
The number 7 bus stops right outside the villa, and it’s a 15-minute ride into town where you can explore the birthplace of Renaissance with big tourist attractions like the Duomo and Statue of David. Here’s a one day itinerary that we put together, feel free to take your time and stop for a gelato!
- Begin at Hotel Villa Fiesole and catch the bus into town.
- Walk to the Mercato Centrale and chat with local vendors while they let you sample cheeses and olives.
- Adjacent to the market is Trattoria Za Za, the perfect spot for lunch and you’ll be sure to find something to tickle your fancy here on their extensive menu
- Continue to the Duomo
- From there it’s a short walk down to Ponte Vecchio
- Walk back through town to view the duplicate or real Statue of David at Palazzo Vecchio or the Galleria dell’Accademia.
- Finish the day with dinner at the one-starred Michelin restaurant Il Palagio at the Four Seasons Florence.
Day trip to Siena
Just over an hours drive from Florence is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Siena. It is one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions and is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. Don’t do what we did and follow the Google Maps directions directly into the center of town, you’ll be escorted out by police! Instead park on the outskirts of the old city and spend the day wandering the streets. (When the streets turn into cobble stones you know you’re in the centre.) When you get hungry, pay a visit to La Taverna di San Giuseppe for lunch or dinner, it’s Michelins best restaurant in Siena. Don’t forget, there’s a behind the scenes exclusive on the vlog!
Passing through Pisa
As we left Florence and headed towards the coast and up north we stopped by the leaning tower of Pisa. There’s plenty to see and do in the town but for us the easiest was to park in the free allocated parking and walk to see the tower, which has free entry to the grounds so you can get your iconic photograph.