I have told friends that so far, Italy is my geographical and spiritual soulmate. Of course, if I continue to be blessed enough to travel to more new places, this may change but what will not change is how connected I always feel when I am in Italy. And moreso, in Florence.
I first visited Firenze back in 2010. I had a lot on my mind at the time. Funnily enough, I also pondered whether I wanted to take a vacation this year, but again, I went with God and jumped on the plane and I thought, one of the most relaxing and wonderful trips ever was my trip to Florence and so I added it to the itinerary and in fact, it was the primary destination as I stayed here the longest.
Someone asked me why I love Florence so much. It’s hard to put into words why you may love a place as much as you do.
If I had to liken it to a boyfriend or lover, I guess one could say I love Florence for its -
Warmth – My first visit to Florence was my first visit to Italy, and the city set me up for the fall I later had in Rome. The friendliness and warmth generally from the people I met along the way made me feel at home and ever so comfortable. Rome was the complete opposite as you know – cold, bordering on hateful (#travellingwhileblack). Before I left, I told one of my Italian friends that I hoped Florence had not changed, or that the love I felt five years before was not a one-off. But like an old friend, Florence welcomed me back with open arms.
Smells and Tastes – Robin Leach said ‘In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine’. Florence, to me, is synonymous with great food. Add amazing Chianti wines and you are never short of gastronomical pleasure. The food was the main highlight of the trip!
|The best ossobuco ever|
|I took a lunch break in Fiesole and decided it was the perfect time for pizza|
Beauty – Florence and the rest of Tuscany are like a living postcard. One sight that always captivates me, no matter how many times I see it, is the magnificent dome of the Duomo rising into the clouds, looking down on the city. You have to see it to understand how jaw dropping it really is. I think what I also love about Florence is that it is a city that does not have that stifling city feel, like Paris or Rome. Add to the fact that it is in Tuscany, and you are a heartbeat away from rolling green hills, vineyards, fresh country air and a much simpler life, and Florence is really pretty damn perfect.
|The moment the Duomo starts peeping above the city is my fave sight |
while walking through the streets of Florence
|View from Fiesole|
|The romance of Florence - sunset over the River Arno|
Next I will tell you about the best experience I had in Florence this time around and of course, it involved food.