Our very first weekend trip of nomad life finally arrived and we were heading to Florence, Italy for the weekend!
We woke up at 6 am and headed to Termini, which is the train station in Rome. The duration of our train ride was slightly less than an hour and a half so we arrived in Florence super early in the day!
Did you know that in Italian, Florence translates to Firenze?
Prior to coming to Italy, I had only ever heard the English translation of Italian cities. So it was very cool to learn their authentic Italian names as we became more familiar with the country!
Arriving in Florence
We got to our Airbnb and our hostess met us there to give us a tour and show us how to use everything in the apartment. Additionally, she provided us with some recommendations for Florence!
The Airbnb had an INSANE view from the giant balcony… it felt like a penthouse overlooking Florence. I WAS OBSESSED! I will show you the pictures in a little bit since they were still cleaning when we arrived. But for the price and the views… this place was a home-run in my book!
We dropped off our stuff, grabbed the keys, and made our way into Florence. It was breakfast time so we were starting to get a bit hungry. Italy doesn’t typically have a lot of breakfast restaurants, so all we were able to find in the area was a tiny cafe that served croissants and cappuccinos called Cafe 1968.
The guy who owned the shop was so sweet. He welcomed us in with a warm smile and wanted to give us anything that we needed. The seating area for the café was outside, and we saw the owner sit down with other customers (who were probably his friends at this point) and they were having a grand old time together. He is exactly what I would picture a local Italian cafe owner to be like… so pure and adorable!
Another funny moment from this café was we saw an old man at 11 AM order a large glass of red wine and he just downed the entire thing in what seemed like one gulp. Impressive, sir! I bet he had a fantastic day.
Seeing the Duomo For the First Time
The whole reason we decided to come to Florence this weekend was to visit my younger cousin, Dea, who was studying abroad here for the semester! After our breakfast, we walked about 20-minutes from our Airbnb into the city center so we could go meet up with her!
We were reunited by the Duomo, which was a building I had not researched beforehand and, frankly, I did not know what I was in for. The Duomo was truly one of the most strikingly beautiful buildings I had ever seen – I was truly taken aback! It was grand, had intricate details and colors, and really holds a strong presence in the city center of Florence!
We found Dea! Yay for cousin reunions on a whole different continent!
Being Introduced to Limoncello Spritz
Since Dea was pretty much a Florence local at this point, we told her she could just bring us to her favorite places in town during our visit! We went for lunch at a place called Boccadama and this spot was definitely an A+!
We were sitting smack dab in the middle of Florence at an outdoor restaurant, the weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the city was alive. It was such a lovely place to eat.
First things first, though, we need to talk about drinks! This was a big moment for us because Dea introduced us to our new favorite drink – Limoncello Spritz!
Limoncello Spritz is basically a combination of Limoncello and Prosecco. Unfortunately, when we left Florence, people were not too familiar with making this drink, so we aren’t sure if it’s a Florence drink or a touristy concoction or just not well-known… but guys this drink is good.
Limoncello Spritz is the perfect drink for when you’re sitting outdoors, loving the weather, and purely enjoying life. I am looking forward to the day when we can have one again. (hopefully, it will be on a summer day on a beautiful balcony overlooking the Amalfi Coast… that would be my dream!)
And, of course, here is a photo of lunch – more pasta! Super fresh and super delicious. This is what Dea ordered and if my stomach wasn’t on the fritz from traveling/having caffeine, I definitely would have wanted to get this. It looked amazing!
Over lunch, we caught up on Dea’s study abroad and our travel experiences! She has been living in Florence and venturing off on the weekends to as many European countries as physically possible. I truly admire her dedication and sense of adventure!
Meandering Around Florence
After lunch, we walked over to the Arno River, which is nice and close to the city center. This river runs right through Florence and it is truly stunning! There are colorful buildings lining the water and people sitting along the river with bottles of wine and sandwiches they picked up from various sandwich shops around Florence. Since it was a weekend with beautiful weather, this area was very lively!
We walked along the river and made our way over to see more architecture, fountains, and statues. Dea told us all of the fun facts she learned from her classes, which was so amazing! She was basically a Florence tour guide at this point!
There are three statues of David in Florence, one original and two replicas. Unfortunately, to see the original you need a pre-purchased ticket and they were completely sold out that entire weekend we were there. So if you have your heart set on seeing the original statue of David – I would advise pre-booking a ticket far in advance!
Thankfully, we were perfectly happy seeing a replica statue. So that’s what we did. Here is David in all of his glory:
After wandering around for the afternoon, we went to one of Dea’s favorite cafes called Cafe Agora and got more drinks and gelato! I tried a combo of dark chocolate and chocolate chip gelato and it was divine!
Random Side Note: While we were in the city, Dea took me to a store called Caddy’s so I could find a better curling iron. (finally) I’m sharing this because this was one of my biggest shopping challenges in Italy. In case you’re on the lookout for a curling iron, straightener, or hair styling tools in Italy… Caddy’s was a place that actually had them!
Walking Back To Our Florence Airbnb
Then Dea went back to her apartment and we decided to take the 25-minute walk back to our apartment! On the way, we stopped at a little local pizza shop and grabbed pizza and desserts so we could eat dinner at our Airbnb tonight.
We didn’t have any pre-planned notions to go to this place – we purely went in because we walked by and it was convenient. But Vecchio Forno was so, so good. Again, that’s the thing with Italy – you can wander into basically any restaurant and get really delicious food on a whim. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this country?!!
Photos Of Our Florence Airbnb
The moment you’ve all been waiting for… we finally made it back to the Airbnb which meant I finally had the opportunity to take some photos! I did have to take pictures at night because it was already dark out and once you get settled into an Airbnb there’s no going back, photo-wise. But I hope these photos do it justice!
Here are some photos of the living room area, which is connected to the kitchen:
It had one bedroom with a really comfy double bed:
The bedroom closet – decent storage space!
And the bathroom:
Most importantly though… the giant BALCONY! There was a table and lounge chairs and plenty of room to spread out. You could truly have a whole gathering out here overlooking the views of Florence. This was our favorite part of the whole thing.
I will share some photos in the next blog post of the balcony during the day because wow was it beautiful when there was a bright blue sky.
In case you guys are heading to Florence, I’ll share the link to this unit with you! (not sponsored or anything, just out of pure recommendation) Here’s the link to this Airbnb!
Our points to note – It had an absolutely lovely patio and a very nice unit with a comfy couch and a waterfall shower. There were also a lot of places to sit in case you need to work! It was about a 20-25 minute walk from the city center of Florence.
Some functional things weren’t working properly/there was subtle wear and tear which made Steven conclude he probably wouldn’t do a month here in the future, but for a weekend or short-term stay it was LOVELY. I absolutely loved it. And the best part? It was only 90 dollars a night. For that balcony? It literally blows my mind.
Dreamy Balcony Views
There was only one logical thing to do for the remainder of the night and that was to sit on the balcony and enjoy the views of Florence. The edge was very wide and completely walkable, so we walked over to the corner so we could get as close to the view of the Duomo as we could.
We ran back inside, heated up our pizza in the oven, grabbed some wine, and brought our pizza and desserts to the balcony.
Plus, tomorrow was Halloween so our little desserts from Vecchio Forno were a little pumpkin and spider! (and we got a Mickey Mouse one too because that’s a must.)
We ate while we were overlooking this stunning view from above – it was quiet, still, and so, so beautiful. To set the tone to the next level, we played the Lizzie McGuire movie score and I’m pretty sure we both had tears in our eyes. This was magical. Talk about a dream come true moment.
By that time of night, it was getting pretty cold so I was wrapped up in a blanket until we were ready to call it a night. We brought everything in, got ready for bed, and passed right out.
Thanks for reading along today all about Florence! I have one more Florence post to share, so come back next time to continue on the adventure 🙂
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