I am absolutely in love with Florence. While I only spent 3 days/2 nights in the city, I will definitely be back!
I stayed in the Santa Monaca Hostel. This hostel was in a great location, but unfortunately it did not have any AC. I decided to save money when booking my trip, but looking back I wish I had paid a little more for AC. As soon as I got out of the shower and dried off, I was immediately covered in sweat again. To cool off, I left the hostel in search of some gelato down the street at Gelateria La Carraia.
Once I finished my gelato, I was not eager to go back to the hostel. With the sun down, it was cool outside. I decided to walk to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the last bit of the sunset, and to see the city light.
This was my favorite place in all of Florence. As I have said before, I am a sucker for views, and nothing beats the view from Piazzale Michelangelo. After the sun had gone down completely, I walked back to the hostel. I bought a bottle of wine at the market next door, and had a few glasses to help lull me to sleep.
I woke up early and headed to the Leather Market. The leather market is so much fun, part of the experience is trying to bargain with people. Just have fun with it! I ended up buying a brown leather purse that I bargained for €20 (originally prices at €45).
After shopping, I headed to Santa Maria Novella church for my Florence Free Tour. This tour was great for giving me a lay of the land. We also stopped by Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo, which is a great place to grab a bite to eat. The tour ended at the Church of Santa Croce.
Once my tour was finished, I headed back to the Duomo. I recommend climbing Giotto’s Bell Tower rather than the Duomo. They are basically the same view, but when you climb Giotto’s Bell Tower, you can also see the Duomo.
Once I finished snapping 1000 pictures of the Duomo (with a view like that, how can you stop?), I decided to walk around the city while I killed time before my Tuscany Sunset Vespa Tour.
Walking around made me work up an appetite. I decided to stop by All’Antico Vinaio. Their sandwiches were so good! It honestly does not even matter what you get, everything is so delicious. It’s a little hectic but worth the wait.
After finishing my sandwich, it was time for me to walk to Tuscany Cycle to meet for my Tuscany Sunset Vespa Tour. Unfortunately when I arrived at the Tuscany Cycle shop, they told me that I was the only one signed up for the tour, so they had to cancel it (one of the downsides of solo travel). I will admit that I was pretty upset about my tour being canceled. I was leaving for Cinque Terre in the morning, so I could not sign up for their Tuscany Vespa Tour for the next morning.
It was only 4:00PM, so I decided to grab dinner and a bottle of wine and headed back to Piazzale Michelangelo. While I was upset about not getting to ride Vespa’s through Chianti, getting to watch the sunset from start to finish definitely made up for it
I sat there for two hours, simply enjoying the view. On my way back to the hostel, I stopped by Gelateria La Carraia for one last cup of gelato.
I woke up early to catch my train to Cinque Terre. What I did not know about Italy, was that they frequently have strikes which can impact the train schedules. Unfortunately for me, this meant that all of the trains to Cinque Terre were canceled.
After waiting for “the next train to Cinque Terre” that never came, I decided that I needed to adjust my plan. Instead of spending an extra night in Florence, I decided to head to Venice early. Read all about it in my Venice post.