Italy part 4: Florence and Tuscany

Flashback Friday to Florence and Tuscany!

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For Flashback Friday, we thought we’d take a stroll down memory lane and reminisce about our trip to Italy this summer. Now that we are on a boat in the Caribbean, it seems like a lifetime ago, even though it was only 3 months ago.

We left Sirmione on Thursday, September 7, and headed south towards Florence in our rented Fiat Punto. Our hotel in Florence, B&B Bonsignori, was located in a ZTL, a limited traffic zone, so we had to park, offload our luggage and have the hotel register the car’s plates so we wouldn’t get towed. We absolutely loved this b&b, with its large rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, impressive ceiling beams and big breakfasts. Its location was also ideal, just one street away from the Palazzo Pizzi, which houses several museums. 

Our room in Florence
Palazzo Pizzi, right behind the hotel
Our Fiat Punto, after a harrowing parking adventure in Florence

Florence is an incredibly picturesque city, a perfectly preserved piece of the Medici era (until you come across a shiny new H&M that catapults you back to modern times). We were only in Florence for 48 hours, but here were the highlights:

  • Walking around the Duomo under stormy skies
The Duomo stands up to the threat of rain

  • Bistecca fiorentina
The famed florentine steak. May have caused a serious case of the meat sweats.
  •  Galeria dei Uffizi

All’Antico Vinaio

Amazing sandwiches near the Uffizi
Florence scene

If you know Mel, you know that we couldn’t go to Italy without spending a bit of time in Tuscany, the epicentre of Italian winemaking. Here, rather than going the hotel or AirBnb route, we opted for agriturismo, a farm that doubles as a hotel to give tourists a unique yet authentic Tuscan experience.  We stayed at Cesani, a vineyard with a pool and a wine tasting room (a potentially dangerous combination)! We had amazing views overlooking valleys of vines, made particularly spectacular when the fog rolled in. 

Our welcome drink at Cesani
Seat with a view
View from the agriturismo
Foggy view
Foggy panorama

We spent our Saturday afternoon exploring the quaint town of Certaldo, then headed to San Gimignano in the evening, where we had a fabulous dinner at Le Vecchie Mura. We then got the requisite gelato and discovered San Gimignano by night. With its dozen towers, this town is definitely one we’d like to return to. 

The following pictures are not in order (sorry):

San Gimignano night scene
Gelato
Delicious pasta dinner

View from La Vecchie Mura
Certaldo

Sunday was a jam-packed day of wining and dining. We did a wine tasting with lunch at Tenuta Torciano, then after a nap went to another agriturismo my dad and stepmom had recommended for dinner. They had warned us it was an incredible dining experience, but we were completely unprepared for the amount of food (all produced at the farm, by the way) that was put in front of us that evening. We would definitely recommend Fattoria Poggio Alloro to anyone heading to the San Gimignano area.

Only part of our afternoon wine tasting
Thankfully food was provided
A taste of our amazing dining experience
We were served every single one of these items, some twice!

We loved everything about Tuscany. With beautiful panoramas, amazing food and gorgeous wines, there’s something for everyone!

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