Florence & Pisa City Break

Ponte Vecchio bridge at night

The boyfriend and I love a good city break and over the past 3 years, we have been to some beautiful places in Europe. Florence may not be the first choice for most people wanting to visit Italy but it definitely shouldn't be overlooked. Although one of the smaller tourist cities in Italy, it is classed as one of the most romantic places to visit in Europe. This was both our first time to Italy and as lovers of Italian food, we were really excited. Here's a little review of our experiences in Florence and Pisa.

Accommodation
The hotel we stayed in was a collection of suites and it blew us away. The bedroom had a queen sized bed with a jacuzzi in the room, a stylish bathroom and a separate living room with kitchenette. 


Breakfast was served in the room every morning which was an absolute god send (saves having to look decent just to go down to breakfast!) Our suite was located right near the Ponte Vecchio bridge which meant we could walk to most attractions within 10/15 minutes. 


Views
Arguably, The most romantic spot is the Piazzale Michalengalo which boasts an amazing panoramic view of the city. We hit this at sunset and found couples sitting on the stairs, drinking wine and cuddled up watching the sun going down. You can see why this is this such a popular spot for couples, look at that view!


The Duomo and the Bell Tower also offer some great views of the city. You can buy a 15 ticket which gets you entry to the top of both as well as entry to the cathedral museum. It's definitely worth buying as queues were very long on the day. This fast tracks you without the need to queue.

View from the Bell Tower
Food
We found a great family run cafe/restaurant that was around the corner from our hotel and we ate there most lunch times and some evenings. Freshly cooked Pizzas, Pastas, Panini's, everything you would expect of Italy. We also ate in a heated terrace restaurant in the main square which was a little more special and worth the money.

Service charges in Florence is something to be aware of. This is often hidden and added onto the bill. From our experience, we were only ever charged 4 but I have heard horror stories where this can be much more. It may be obvious, but try to avoid to real touristy areas and go for the smaller, family run restaurants. We found a lot of places were booked up so always a good idea to plan ahead if there is a certain restaurant you want to try. Your hotel concierge can show you the best places to eat and where needs to be booked.

Gelato - Need I say more? Florence is known for it's Gelato and I can see why. There are so many gelato shops around the city, you'll never struggle to find somewhere to stop. I couldn't believe the size of the cones, on the first night we bought €7 cones each and they were massive! We easily could have shared.


Some more photos of Florence...

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Florence Cathedral

Inside of the Duomo

Pisa
As we flew into Pisa Airport rather than Florence, on the way back to the airport we stopped by the Leaning tower of Pisa. Buses operate from the airport and take around 10 minutes. We picked the perfect day for it and it really didn't disappoint. I was surprised at how much it leaned, photos never pick it up!

Leaning Tower of Pisa in all it's glory

Florence has to be one of my favourites cities we have visited so far and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a little taste of Italy with everything in good walking distance. You certainly won't be bored or hungry!


Hotel details: Ponte Vecchio Suites and Spa http://www.pontevecchiosuites.com/
Tickets to Cathedral museum, Dome and Bell Tower https://www.museumflorence.com/

Where have you visited in Europe and where would you recommend?

Thanks for reading!

Lady Zen xo

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