When on Holiday in Florence…

When on holiday in Florence, eat lots of good food, go shopping, and taste the delicious ice-cream, that was my plan. So last week, when I finally got to visit this absolutely beautiful city, I did just that. I have come back from my holiday feeling so relaxed, because the entire attitude in this city is so laid back and friendly, it was just impossible to do anything but relax.

The Hotel

I stayed at the Hilton Florence Metropole hotel, and whilst I didn’t realise until I was at London City Airport, how far away the hotel was from the city centre, I was actually very pleasantly surprised that a free shuttle bus was provided by the hotel, to and from the city. The bus only went once an hour or so, however that was plenty as I simply timed my day around this.

The hotel itself was not too bad. I had an executive room on the 14th floor, which had a fantastic view of the city by day and night:

View from the Hilton Florence Metropole

Florence Night-Time View

The rest of the room was fairly comfortable, with a nice, modern bathroom, a flat-screen TV and big enough wardrobe to fit all of my things:

Hilton Florence Metropole Bedroom

Florence Hilton Metropole Room

Hilton Florence Metropole Bathroom

The staff at the hotel were so nice, I was really happy there and felt super welcome. If I ever had a question the staff would go out of their way to provide the best possible answer.

The Food

My first meal in Florence was at a little Italian place, and of course I had pasta (or Gnocchi) with gorgonzola sauce and a nice glass of white wine:
First Meal in Florence: Gnocchi

The second and fourth nights were spent in the hotel with room service, as I just wanted to relax and not wait for the shuttle bus to go back into town. Room service wasn’t too bad, but I did wish at times that the hotel was more conveniently located for me to pop out into the centre and eat at a restaurant:
Caesar Salad at the Florence Hilton Metropole

Ham & Cheese Toastie Hilton Florence Metropole

For lunch I usually opted for a nice quiet restaurant and had either pasta or pizza with a glass of wine or a nice big cocktail:

Porcini Pasta for Lunch

Pizza Napoli & Martini in Florence

Pina Colada in Florence

Tagliatelle Alfredo

I always had breakfast at the hotel, as a breakfast buffet was included within the price of my room. The buffet consisted of the usual cold cuts and cheeses, pastries, yogurts, cereals, juices, coffee or tea, and of course toast or bread with jams.

Of course, aside from the breakfasts, lunches and dinners, a few coffees and gelatos did not go amiss, and I am sad to say I only had two gelatos during my stay in Florence. I very much wish I had had more as they just taste so amazing, the flavours are just out of this world. My favourite had to be a chocolate fudge and coconut flavour which I just swooned over for a little while:

Coconut & Chocolate Fudge Gelato

First Coffee in Florence: Latte Coffee and a Book in Florence

I love Italian food, it is one of my absolute favourites, so it is safe to say that I was in seventh heaven in Florence!

The City

There are a number of places I would recommend visiting whilst on holiday in Florence, namely:

  • Ponte Vecchio

Sunny View of Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio in Florence

This is a bridge on which a number of shops (in this case mainly jewelry) have been built. The bridge looks very quirky, but the views of the river Arno are fantastic and again, this is a great place for an excellent picture opportunity.

  • Il Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral)

Florence: Il Duomo

Florence: Il Duomo di Firenze Il Duomo di Firenze

The Duomo is a beautiful landmark in Florence, absolutely worth a visit. If you go all the way to the top you will actually have a fantastic view of the city. Really worth it for some great, panoramic pictures.

  • Palazzo Vecchio

Florence: Palazzo Vecchio

This palace is absolutely beautiful and also has some gorgeous grounds just behind it, which have some of the most fantastic sites in Florence.

  • The Gucci Museum

For all you fashion lovers out there, this is the perfect stop to browse through various Gucci clothing and handbag exhibits.

Other gorgeous places include the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, which is just by the main train station of Florence:

Piazza di Santa Maria Novella Florence

Overall Impressions of my Holiday in Florence

I did a lot of relaxing (and sleeping) on my holiday, as there was only so much to even see in the city. My overall impressions were that everyone is so friendly and welcoming here, and for someone like me who doesn’t speak much more than a couple of words of Italian, everyone was so helpful in English!

I absolutely loved the food, the drinks, the ice-cream and (on most days) the weather. I would definitely recommend a little visit to anyone who loves a bit of good old Italian culture. I would recommend a maximum of Three days, however. I spent five days in the city and whilst it was perfect for me, there is not enough to see in just Florence to warrant five full days (unless you plan day trips to other close-by cities like Pisa).

As always, thank you for reading Coffee Guaranteed. x

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