Adventure 13 // Florence, Italy
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Length of stay: 10 nights
Accommodations: Apartment in City Center of Florence
Travel Time: via MIA 9 hour flight to Lisbon, 2 hr 45 min flight to Bologna 35 minute fast train to Florence
Goal: Explore the most beautiful city we have ever seen and eat gelato every day
Family Friendly: ★
Here is where we begin. Week one.
We booked a one way flight to Florence to begin our full time family journalistic endeavors and our plane never made it to Florence.
Our luggage got lost along the way.
We wound up in Bologna after fighting to not go to Amsterdam and withstand an additional 20 hours of travel when we were only 2 hours away.
It was a rocky start, and it soured the better part of week one. Honestly, I was ready to call it quits and go “home”. I figured it was a sign we made a bad decision and we should just quit while we are ahead. Maybe I was feeling a bit dramatic, but I am happy we powered through the jet lag, eventually got our luggage 5 days later, and wound up really liking Florence. It didn’t help our first apartment had a major wifi problem, but lucky for us we set up Tep Wireless before we left the states and were able to activate it the next day.
*We added the wipes we are talking about in the video to our amazon shop! Worth it!
Some elements we didn’t expect - all. the. tourists. It’s insane how this small town is just saturated with people non stop. It’s mostly a pedestrian town. We didn’t realize you can’t hail a cab for the first few days. We also realized being the type of people we are, we should have scheduled Florence during a non-summer month.
The thing about Florence is that (if you haven’t been), it’s so much prettier than you can imagine. It’s just over-the-top beautiful, and it’s a non-stop kind of beauty. The door knobs, the hardware, the gardens, the sculptures, the architecture, the stores, the alleys, the river, the bridges, it just keeps going and it’s all so good. Florence also knows how to make things smell good. The scents from all the perfumeries and diffuser shops just make it that much more magical. Every archway has a secret just a few feet beyond.
After finding the good food, the quiet nooks, and getting the lay of the land, we began to really enjoy ourselves. Truth be told, it’s not super kid friendly. It’s got all the makings of a place that could be kid friendly, but it just isn’t accommodating for the dat-to-day with a small child.
The sidewalks are tiny and zig zag with intensity, and the cars and mopeds zip by, the playground parks aren’t kept to any typical standard and seem to be neglected, and there aren’t any inside things to do that don’t require a lot of shhhhhh-ing. What we did find that you can do with a small child is:
hunt for the best gelato
hang out in a rose garden
walk around in the open squares
go to the handful of toy shops
ride the carousel
We contemplated a pizza making class and a green eco golf-cart tour, but that felt redundant because we knew we were heading to Lucca for a day of pasta making and bike riding. It’s been 15 years since Florence has seen heat like this in June, which also made for us being less in nature than we hoped.
Even though this doesn’t sound like a ton, it wound up being a very lovely trip with an excessively rocky start. We use the time to find a groove, reconnect as a family post-school schedule, and gage to see how Atlas has been taking this transition. We got a lot of school work done and every time we left the apartment there was something beautiful to gawk at. Really can’t complain about being surrounded by so much beauty.
When we left Florence, we took a train to Lucca. For about $8 per adult and $3 per kid, you can get a little less than 2 hours out of town and have a totally different experience. We used the main station in town, Firenze Santa Maria Novella and bought the tickets online on their website. If you are coming into Florence, it’s good to know there is a taxi stand there when you can catch a cab on arrival to bring you to your destination. There are also lots of shops and snacks to grab opposite of the station.
Because Florence is so visually inane, we went over the top with the amount of pictures we took, so grab yourself a coffee and get cozy. Hover over image for more details.
Our Favorite Vegan Food
Best Places to Rest and Reset
Not Too Touristy, Touristy Stuff
Ride the carousel
Gawk at Duomo
The Three Best Gelato Spots
Gelateria Fontana dal 1914 Firenze
Sbrino - gelatificio contadino
Unexpected Favorite Shops
Gucci Garden Gift Shop
Sileno Cheloni Profumo Personalizzato
Alessandro Dari Gioielli
Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy
From Florence we are taking a $8 train to Lucca then we found a cheap rental car to noodle around and explore with before we head off to Northern Italy.
‘Til next time, safe travels!
PPS Want to check out all our travel videos and posts? Here is a shortcut.
PPS For all the Instagram friends asking out where we stayed with the pretty ceilings, here is 15% off.
PPPS What do you pack for a trip around the world? Here is a good place to start!
Family Trips to Date: 41
Carousels Ridden: 9
Roller Coasters Ridden: 2