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Our trip to Venice was a bit of a blur. We arrived around 2pm to our airbnb and set out to explore. We tried to watch the sunset from a location our host said was nice but it was a long walk and we realized mid-way that the sun was the opposite side of the city from where she told us to go, haha. Whoops! (Maybe it was still a pretty view?) I ended up not taking photos that day so these are from our first full day in Venice. We started our day by walking through St Marks Square and hopping on a boat to head to San Giorgio Maggiore island so we could go up that bell tower instead of the overcrowded one at St Marks. Unfortunately the elevator was broken and that's the only way to get up the tower so we couldn't do it. We did manage to get these lovely windblown photos on the island before heading back to the mainland for more exploration!

Side note: We went into Prada so I could look for the bag I like (Prada - Cahier Astrology) and found it in PURPLE there - I didn't know they made purple so I was very excited. That's now on my wish list after my Gucci Marmont, but they don't make it anymore so it will be very hard to find once I save up.  Anyway, the girl at the store loved my dress, it's always fun getting complimented on your outfit - especially at Prada. This is one of my favorite dresses so I'm always happy when other people notice it.

Chambray Jacket: Cloth + Stone (shop denim jackets), Dress: Carven Paris Map Print dress (shop more knee length dresses), Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Alethea' (shop Ancient Greek Sandals),  Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Natural Selection Mini Messenger Bag', Sunglasses: Chanel (shop oversized sunglasses), Simple Pearl Necklace c/o AUrate




Christian and I only had one full day in Florence on our trip as there were so many places he wanted to see. I did want him to see the major artworks and to have my delicious butter chicken again so I made sure we at least had time for that. All this to say, this is a guide to Florence if you just have one day and one afternoon/evening.

We arrived at our airbnb at 4:30 giving us just enough time for dinner and to check one thing off our list. Originally I had wanted us to visit the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens but since we wanted to see the sunset at a specific location we just didn't have the time. We took a quick walk by so he could see how big the building was.

As a quick add-on from my first Florence travel guide - if you're going to be there for a number of days and want to visit many museums purchase the Firenze Card. It gets you in to almost all the museums in Florence for 72 hours (one entry per museum) and you don't have to wait in the regular lines. You can buy it online before your trip or at multiple locations in Florence. This time it was cheaper for us to just buy individual tickets because we only visited a few museums.

What to Do

Piazzale Michelangelo

Viewing the sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo is a must-do activity. It's a bit of a hike (aka walking up a lot of stairs) to get there but the view is worth it. It was a bit more crowded this time than when I visited in 2017 but still enjoyable. You'll get a panoramic view of the city and at the center of the piazzale there is a reproduction of the Statue of David in bronze.

We had dinner before arriving but there are a couple small cafes at the piazzale that you can eat at as well. There are also salespeople aplenty with touristy souvenirs if that's your thing.



Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

This church is free to enter but there are very long lines. Christian and I opted out of going in since I had already seen it and he doesn't care too much for churches. But we had to at least enjoy the outside because it is BEAUTIFUL. If you take the time to go inside you will also want to climb the Bell Tower for the view and visit the museum, both require tickets.



Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi is very large so, if you don't have too much time to explore, research the top paintings/sculptures before you go so you can speed your way through. We walked through all the rooms and made sure to see two of my favorite paintings, Botticelli's Primavera and The Birth of Venus. This museum is also home to da Vinci's Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi (which is an unfinished piece!) It was still being restored when I visited in 2017 so it was in a smaller room with information on the restoration process. but now it is in a permanent location in the museum.

Accademia Gallery

The Accademia Gallery is where you will find arguably the most famous piece of artwork in Florence - Michelangelo's Statue of David. There is also another room FULL of beautiful statues (both originals and reproductions) that is not to be missed. I'm always in awe of how the artist can create the details of hair and fabric out of stone. I have so many photos of braids and hair on my camera roll.



Museo Galileo

Christian is a big fan of science and cool gadgets so I knew he would love the Galileo museum. It's full of inventions and science equipment. It's not as popular as other museums so you don't have to worry about long lines to get in which is always nice after a day of battling crowds during other activities.



Gucci Garden / Piazza della Signoria

The Gucci Garden opened in the Piazza della Signoria in January 2018. We walked through the first floor, which has a store and a few displays but opted out of the €8 upper floors because of time restraints. There is also a cafe, but I've heard that the service isn't really that great so I would only go if you really really want to. Our airbnb was also in this same square, which was pretty cool!



The square is home to the Palazzo Vecchio (with another reproduction of Michelangelo's David outside,) Loggia dei Lanzi (containing Perseus with the Head of Medusa and other statues,) Fountain of Neptune and more.


Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Full of jewelry shops and other touristy pieces there's something for everyone on the Ponte Vecchio. You don't have to shop either, just walking across and you'll be able to see all the fun. There are also some spots with lovely views of the city, great for photos. (forgot to take pictures of the actual bridge, so here are some around it)



Where to Eat

Trattoria Sostanza

The second I booked our Florence airbnb in March I had our host make reservations for Trattoria Sostanza because I NEEDED to have their butter chicken again.  The restaurant is cash only and only has 2 seatings for dinner in their very small dining room so reservations are crucial.  We started with the tuscan salami, shared an order of their chicken breast in butter sauce and finished with a meringue cake with raspberries. The cake was sooo good, normally I'm more of a chocolate dessert girl but this was very refreshing.




Gelateria dei Neri

I remembered this as being one of my favorite gelato places from my last trip and luckily it was just around the corner from where we were staying! We hit it at just the right time too and there was no line.


Oliandolino

We happened upon this cafe on our way to the Accademia Gallery and had a very tasty lunch. I enjoyed another pizza (the Salamino Piccante) while Christian had a panini (the Michelangelo with salami, pecorino cheese, artichokes and arugula)!


Osteria Santo Spirito

This restaurant was recommended by a friend and while I enjoyed my meal Christian wasn't as impressed. We didn't have the best service here but it is in a less touristy area, which is nice. I had the Spaghetti Alla Chitarra, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (garlic, oil and chili pepper) and Christian had Chitarra con Pomodori Datterini e Basilico (tomato and basil - but there was only one basil leaf...)

We didn't do many museums on our trip but this was the day of museums. We started at the Uffizi to see some gorgeous paintings (Primavera and Birth of Venus being my favorites,) followed by the Galileo Museum and then Academia to see the Statue of David. We ended the day with a delicious dinner at Trattoria Sostanza.

As you can see I bought myself a little treat at Chanel - a new lipstick! They changed my favorite lipstick earlier this year so I needed to find a color that matches one of my most worn shades of the old formula. I ended up with Rouge Coco Flash in 'Desir' (formerly Rouge Coco Shine.)

Top: Zara (shop floral blouses), Jeans: IRO "Faxy Cropped Jean" (shop boyfriend jeans), Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Alethea' (shop Ancient Greek Sandals),  Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Natural Selection Mini Messenger Bag' (shop more Marc Jacobs bags), Sunglasses: Chanel, Simple Pearl Necklace c/o AUrate




And we're off to Florence! I wore this the day we arrived so half the day was spent on a train and getting to our airbnb. But then we were off! We went out to an early dinner and then headed to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunset before getting gelato (which we ate a LOT of.)  This was one of our easier days so we didn't do too much apart from that. We stayed right in the Palazzo della Mercanzia which was a perfect central location!


Top: eight sixty (shop sleeveless blouses), Shorts: Banana Republic (Clinton Crossing), Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Alethea' (shop Ancient Greek Sandals),  Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Natural Selection Mini Messenger Bag', Sunglasses: Chanel (shop oversized sunglasses)





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