I usually prefer to do my posts in a “10 things to do in…” way, but our stay in Florence this January was anything but usual! My sister, our friend Hannah and me borrowed our parent´s car, drove to Venice, spent 2 days there and added two days in Florence. We stayed at the Locanda Rocco hostel (http://www.hotelscombined.it/Hotel/Locanda_Rocco.htm) , which was cheap but didn´t really have a heating, which made us sleep in skiing pants, winter jackets and gloves because we were freezing. It was really annoying but gave us a funny story to tell for ages! 😉
Generally I have to say that I really liked Florence in Winter, as there were only really few tourists and we could enjoy all the amazing attractions without waiting in queues for ages! I know, loads of people would prefer the summer anyway, but personally I hate being in a crowd of tourists without any chance to get to know the locals or to really see a place as it is and not get run over by hundreds of other visitors.
We arrived late on a Wednesday night and had a quick stop in the Hard Rock Café on our way to the hostel to get a drink and compulsory T-Shirt 🙂
After checking in we got ready to have a late night walk to visit la Piazza della Signora and the amazing statues there!
Afterwards we followed a friend´s recommendations, tried various types of beer in the beer house club and had pizza with it as dinner.
Afterwards, on the recommendation of the barkeeper we went to the Bamboo Club the http://www.bambooloungeclub.com/home.asp to have a girls night 😉
After we arrived, we found out that they kind of just reopened or something, anyway, they gave us free shots & entry because we were girls. The “club” didn´t open until 01:00 in the morning, so we stayed at the lounge first, to get to know the other guests. There was a group of crazy Brazilian girls who were just as crazy as us, together with them we danced all through the night 😉
The next morning we got up anyway and met our roommate, an incredibly friendly Chinese girl. She was on her own, so we decided to go and have breakfast in a real Italian bar to start off the day. We strolled down the street and found the cute restaurant & bar (www.thecorner-restaurants.com) where we spoilt ourselves with croissants and uncountable espressos. Here I asked the waiter for advice what´s best to see in Florence in a day, and he recommended us the temporary “Body Worlds” exhibiton. I love it how locals always want to help you if you just ask nicely (plus in Italy it really helps if you speak Italian).
On our way to the exhibition we took our time admiring at all the jewellery shops at the Ponte Vecchio and the lovely view from it.
The exhibition in Florence was part of the “Body Worlds” organisation, which displays their reconstructed body parts all over the world. Unfortunately, the one in Florence left the city already, but check out the website for current exhibitions: http://www.bodyworlds.com/
With the motto “Al cuore della vita”, the exhibition stunned us with astonishing facts about our heart and impressed with detailed, but just a little weird figures. All in all, it was really worth seeing!
We spent the afternoon strolling through Florence, exploring little souvenir shops, spent half an hour in the Lush store (we don´t have one near our home so we had to take the chance 😉 and totally got lost in the little alleys, which was lovely!
An attraction not to miss is the Palazzo Vecchio, of course, which I explored by myself that evening, leaving my sister & our friend to have a coffee at “The Corner” again 😉
I asked the guy at the entrance really politely in Italian about the entry fee, and he let me in for free, so keep in mind, politeness can always help!
The “Hall of the five hundred”, the main attraction at the Palazzo Vecchio was stunning! I joined the “Secret Passages” tour as well, which was great, definitely recommendable!
The next morning we got up early to start our six hour car ride back home.
I know, we didn’t even see the Duomo and loads of other sights, but for us this trip wasn’t about ticking off sights from a list, but rather venturing through a city and seeing what happens 😉
I love not having any pressure, just strolling around and stopping whereever and whenever you want to!
I hope this post inspired you to see Florence yourself 🙂
Have you ever been in Tuscany? Which cities did you love most?
I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section!