Although I live in one of the most beautiful city’s in the world, Florence will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve lived in that wonderful city for quite some years and I miss it everyday. I’d such a great time living in Florence and I have so many good memories that it is just incredible difficult to forget. This city has stuck to my heart. Heck, I even feel more homesick when I think about Florence than I probably ever will feel for any other place in the world. Today I’ll share my top 10 reasons why I love Florence so much.
Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower) is absolutely breathtaking. It’s a true Italian masterpiece that towers above the city. It manages to stun you over and over again, every time a little bit more. The feeling I get when I see the Duomo rising up while walking in its direction is just impossible to describe and something you just must experience at least once in your life. I’m telling you. My old apartment used to have a direct view on the Duomo and sometimes I would caught myself just staring at it out of my window. I love the Duomo so much. It will probably always be my favorite piece of architecture ever.
Not only the Duomo is a true masterpiece, the whole city is covered in art. You’ll see it everywhere, the city contains out of Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. There are numerous museums and art galleries, such as the famous Uffizi and Galleria dell’ Accademia, but there are also a lot less known places worth a visit while in Florence. The city is nowadays still exerts an influence in the fields of art and culture and you feel this everywhere you go. Even though I knew the city inside out while living there I would discover some beautiful and centuries old pieces of art while just wandering around, so don’t forget to look up and down when you’re in Florence.
San Lorenzo is the neighbourhood around the famous Basilica di San Lorenzo, one of the largest churches in Florence and the final resting place of several members of the Medici family. It used to be a lively neighbourhood consisting of locals and expats. A lot of my friends are located here and I even lived in San Lorenzo for few months myself. Unfortunately I’ve heard of my friends that the place has changed a lot last year and now most of the market is removed by government. I havent been there for a while so I couldn’t tell you how it really is nowadays, but it used to be a very nice spot to hang out. The San Lorenzo Market was set up daily and vendors would sell clothing, leather goods, souvenirs and art. Mercato Centrale, the place to eat your heart out is also – and still- located in San Lorenzo. At nighttime the neighbourhood would turn into a great place to hang out in one of the budget-friendly pubs and enjoy a few beers with friends.
Florence it quite a big city but has the soul of small village. You get to know everyone. Everyone! Italian people are warm, friendly, beautiful, passionate and hospitable. They absolute go out of their way to help you and put a smile on your face. And not only do they have a great way of living their life, they also have a great attitude towards life in general. I’ve met some great people and made some amazing friends.
Well, this is quite an obvious reason isn’t it? The cuisine is absolutely amazing and it might just be why I miss Florence -or Italy- that much. Food is very, very important in Italy and also very, very delicious. The cuisine is characterized by its simplicity and fresh ingredients that are in season. I miss cheese, prosciutto, salami, olives, tomatoes, bread, pizza, ravioli, tiramisu, basil.. I miss the meat and the fish. I want gelati and pastries. The fruits are amazing and.. I miss the food. I really do. I miss it lot and I don’t know what I wanted to write down because my mouth is watering and I can only think about food at the moment. Oh, I remember. Although you barely can’t go wrong with Italian food as it is always good, I would recommend you to avoid the touristic places in the city center of Florence. There are a few places where they actually manage to ruin the Italian cuisine. And because those places aren’t cheap either it would just be a waste of your money.
Coffee and Wine
I couldn’t possible choose between the two, but I would be a very happy girl with either one of them. I loved to start the day at the bar with a cappuccino, spend the afternoon at the bar with a spritz, having dinner with a good glass wine and end the day with a good espresso. That’s the way of life in Italy and the way I miss my life to be. A few tips for who isn’t familiair with with the rules: 1. only drink cappuccino, caffé latte, latte macchiato or any milky form of coffee in the morning, 2. drink your coffee while standing at the bar, they might even charge you extra when you take a sit 3. order at the cashier before handing your receipt to the barista who will make your coffee 4. don’t use the word espresso, but say un’ caffè.
Florence has some really good nightclubs to go for a dance or two and quite a lot good bars to have a few drinks and chats with friends, but also the nightlife on the streets is fantastic. Everyone hangs out in piazzas, or squares while eating pizza and drinking beers. There are a lot small bars where you can order food and wine to bring with you to the streets. The nightlife is very lively and entertaining and the overall atmosphere so relaxed and easygoing that I long back to it.
Giardini di Boboli
The Boboli Gardens that extends from the hill behind the Pitti Palace as far as Porta Romana are an open museum of history and art. It’s one of the city’s finest gems and absolutely breathtaking. The gardens are the perfect place to cool down during summer. Bring a blanket, some wine, bread, mozzarella, tomatoes, some friends or a good book and have a wonderful afternoon in the fresh air.
How could I not mention how great shopping in Florence is. It’s truly a shopping heaven for everything you desire. You’ll find high end stores, small cute boutiques, thrift shops, great markets and lots of street vendors. Bartering is not that common to do, but socially acceptable in Italy and you can definitely find some quality high end pieces for great prices or make great prices for some quality high end pieces. It’s up to you!
The city has a great vibe and vibrant Italian atmosphere which is difficult to understand if you’ve never been there. Florence is not just the historical city center with its famous art and tourist crowds, there are so many hidden spots around the city to enjoy the local life that makes the city so perfect. It’s kinda difficult to describe how I feel when I say that I miss the smell and the colors of the city, the sound of the shutters are closed in the evening and vespa’s crossing through the streets. I miss to be able to order un’ caffè per portare via and I miss to be able to speak with my hands and a loud voice without people thinking that I’m angry. I miss it to wander around the streets without a goal or to sit on the stairs of the Duomo while enjoying the sun. I miss it to have a four hour lunchbreak including lots of wine and I miss long summer evening in piazzas chatting with friends. But most of all I miss not living there any longer.