This week’s travel guide may be up a little late but it’s only because Florence is one of my favorite cities and province in the world. Read about all we did in Tuscany Italy in this week’s travel post.
Travel Guide to Tuscany, Italy
We took the train from Venice to Florence. Florence is in the Tuscany Region of Central Italy and known for its wine regions and a city famous for its Tuscan Cuisine. Tim and I checked into our hotel (which was literally across the street from the train station). We stayed at the Hotel Albani Firenze and got settled into our room.
After freshening up, we were hungry and ready for some sustenance! We wanted something light before dinner so we went to La Prosciutteria. It’s a small place and seating is limited but we managed to grab a table and ordered a spread of cheeses, meats, and bread. We also got some crisp chardonnay that was perfect with our snack!
After eating we went exploring. We saw the Duomo, the Pensione Pendini, a tower, the architecture is beautiful! We then started climbing a big/hill mountain thing to get to a church to get a better view of Firenze. We took a break about halfway up at a park and it was here I discovered the park nap. Apparently, people nap at the parks and gardens in Florence! We found a comfy spot on this hill, the Folon e il Giardino delle Rose, in the shade and I used my purse as a pillow and nodded off. It was so nice!
After our nap, we finished climbing to the top and saw the Piazzale Michelangelo, Basilica San Miniato al Monte, and Cimiteri Comunali.
We did a lot of walking and worked up quite the appetite! We had dinner, I had beef stew and pasta. I can say through this entire trip I never had a bad meal!
All of the museums are closed on Monday so Sunday was our day to hit up the museums. If I can say there is one thing you have to get in Florence, it’s buying a Firenze card. This card lets you skip all the lines and get into the museums before anyone else. This card also gets you free bus fare and has a wifi password to hop on to the Firenze wifi network.
We went to the Biboli Gardens, and fellow blogger babe Hunter Premo, recommended we go there and it was incredible! I could have easily spent hours and hours walking through the museum and beautiful gardens. Once you got to the top, it had the most amazing view. I could have easily sat there all day.
We were starving after all the walking and didn’t have much time, so we popped into a local panini shop for lunch. Like I said, never had a bad meal!
Next up was the Uffizi Museum. There we saw Michelangelo’s painting Buonarroti and a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci among many others!
From there we made a beeline to the Accademia Gallery to see the Statue of David by Michelangelo. After being in museums all day we went to Gustapizza and had the best pizza I have ever had in my life! Seriously, life-changing pizza.
Since a lot of the museums are closed on Monday we saw a few things we hadn’t gotten to see previously. We started the day with the Santa Maria Novella.
We finally had enough time to see the Duomo in Firenze but didn’t know that you have to schedule times to go to the bell tower, library and Duomo. Make sure you get tickets a day or two before to get your spot!
After visiting the Duomo, we saw the coolest record store across the street called Move On. It was a bar on the bottom and a record store on the second level. We spent a good deal of time in there looking through vinyl and finding some great albums! We ended up getting the Blue Album by Weezer and Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.
Then we had lunch at the All’antico Vinaio. We had the best sandwiches! I’m seriously drooling right now, thinking about all the good food!
Next, we climbed the Palazzo Vecchio and took in the view. It was quite a climb up there, and they only let 15 people up at a time!
We spent our last day in Florence exploring and getting gelato from Perché no!
We rented a car at the local airport and drove to Pisa!
Half of Pisa is in a no-drive zone so we had to park a mile outside of the city! We found a meter, had on comfortable shoes, and headed into Pisa. I recommend getting to Pisa early since we had trouble taking the perfect shot with the leaning tower!
Of course, the first stop was the Leaning Tower. After this, we visited the Cathedral and Baptistery. You can climb the tower or Pisa but again you have to get tickets ahead of time or it’s harder to get in.
Pisa is a small town with cute shops and restaurants, but after a few hours, you’ve seen everything. So it was time to explore Tuscany and the Chianti region! We had a couple of wineries we wanted to visit so we drove to Montefioralle. Tuscany is such a beautiful country, I wish we had a week there to drive and see everything! Pictures simply don’t do it justice.
We were hungry early and stopped at a nice restaurant for dinner. We shared a bottle of Chianti and feasted on spaghetti and meatballs. I also had a terrible chest cold during this time and kept coughing. The owner of the restaurant gave me a shot of grappa that cleared my chest up for a while! We explored a tiny town and shopping area, had gelato, and watched the sunset. We drove back to our hotel in Florence and packed up our stuff to leave the next day.
We left our hotel, packed up the car, and headed to Siena. Like Pisa, Siena has a no-driving policy in the city so we had to find parking and walk. Unfortunately, we only had an hour and a half in a change in the meter so we made a mad dash!
I wish we had more time in Siena but we started with gelato. My Italian is awful and I asked for chocolate and coffee gelato but ended up with strawberry and coffee – yuck!
The Duomo in Siena is absolutely gorgeous. I loved how each Duomo is different, beautiful, and perfect in its own way!
Then it was time for wine tasting. We drove to the Podere le Ripi and took a tour of their facility. We didn’t make reservations at a lot of the wineries and didn’t get to have a tasting or tour but the two wineries we did visit and got to tour were so fun!
After finishing up at the wineries, it was time to take the four-hour drive into Rome. We had to take the car back to the airport and then take a taxi to Rome (which was about an hour).
That’s it for my travel guide to Tuscany Italy. If I stress anything it’s to get the Firenze card for museums in Florence and get tickets in advance so you secure a spot to see some of these amazing places. Now back to the United States!
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