Friday 29 August 2014

Holiday planning: Florence

I always get to the point just before I've planned a holiday where I suddenly realise that - oh god, it's SOON. And then I start panicking and looking up stuff to do, because god forbid I'll end up having a terrible meal, right?

We're off to Florence next Thursday, and so I've been hard at work compiling a list of places to go, things to do and restaurants to eat at. So many restaurants. I'm not leaving Italy without having excellent pasta and pizza, incredible sandwiches, garlicky tomato bruschetta, the famed Florentine Steak and all the street food I can manage. Arancini in my belly oh yes please. And gelato upon gelato upon gelato. And lashings of red wine.

Top 8 Lists of Top Things To Do
As much for my reference, and hopefully for yours, I'm compiled a list of all the best articles I've found online:

1. 11 completely free things to do in Florence
Although this list is dated February 2012, most of it seems pretty in date. There's a good list of all the markets in Florence, plus a link to a free walking tour - we should probably get some culture in, after all.

2. Top 10 restaurants in Florence
I'm keen on a lot of the items on this list, as it covers a variety of meals (rather than just, say, pizza) and a few bits of insider knowledge. Ever since reading it, I've been obsessed with trying blueberry steak at Acqua al Due!

3. Top 10 romantic things to do in Florence
I know, right, eyeroll. But I am going away with Matt, and we are probably going to be sickening and coupley at some point or another. I like the sound of the Boboli Gardens!

4. Top 10 Cheap Eats
Going through TripAdvisor, it seems like an expensive meal out in Florence for two people costs around 100 Euros including wine - that's about £80, which really isn't too bad to me... but maybe I'm jaded by London life! It's not hard to find places where you'll pay half that though, and this list is full of some great recommendations. I really want to go to Il Teatro del Sale!

5. Time Out's Top 20 things to do
I can't get enough of a good list! Time Out's recommendations are usually pretty good - I love the idea of the aperitivo. Buffets 4eva.

6. The best places for brunch in Florence
I got distracted looking up brunches, as I'm incredibly obsessed with brunch at the moment, but I've actually talked myself out it a little. Brunch isn't really a Florence thing, and if I want to have an American style breakfast, there are plenty of places back in England I can visit. Might as well take advantage of the light breakfast at our B&B and then skip straight to lunch. With wine!

7. Best Pizzerias in Florence
Well, you can't go to Italy without pizza, can you?

8. Best Ice Cream parlours in Florence
See also gelato. I've been to a couple on this list - Vivoli is great!

Food Places To Try
1. All'Antico Vinaio - awesome cheap sandwiches, apparently, and number one on TripAdvisor!

2. Acqua Al 2 - they had me at blueberry steak

3. Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco - glowing reviews

4. Il Vinaino - we went here back in 2012 - amazing steak!

5. Alla Vecchia Bettola - unlimited Chianti for 5 euros... and apparently the food is really good too!

6. Enoteca Boccadama - comes highly recommended from a friend, and I suspect we went there in 2012 too

7. Trattoria al Trebbio - another recommended one - great reviews!

My Own Recommendations
Oh, and not to forget looking at my own posts - this will be my third trip to Florence, I went in 2011 and again in 2012 for a day trip. I posted some top tips back in February, before we'd even thought about booking a holiday (it was actually a full month before Matt and I started dating) but it's good to see some reminders - the pizza at Toto's really was incredible. The bag I posted about in 2011 is still going strong - I can't wait to hit up the leather markets again and get something new! We'll probably pop to Pisa on the way home - there's not really much there apart from the tower but it's worth seeing, and as we're flying from there, it's pretty convenient.

Have you been to Florence before? I'd love more recommendations, if you have any!


  1. Ooooh have fun! I've always wanted to go to Florence, so i'm definitely bookmarking this page for when we finally do. I love researching holiday activity and food ideas - I hate feeling like I don't see the best of a place!

  2. I love the sound of Florence, hopefully I will get to visit over the next couple of years!

    Maria xxx

  3. My daughter and I went to Rome this year and loved it. We had fab accommodation in a B&B right in the centre. Is there anywhere you can recommend to stay in Florence that is pretty central? Florence is the next city break on our list to do. Thank you. xx


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