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June 29, 2017
While planning our trip to Europe this year I was reminded of just how much work goes into making a trip interesting for myself, this time I also had to consider my husband and kids too. This was our first trip as a family and I wanted everything to be just right. We all have very different interests so it was a challenge. My husband and I have traveled to Italy and France several times but it has been a really long time since we have been together, so that was also challenging. I always want to stay somewhere comfortable and that is difficult with a group larger than 2-3 people. So I opted for more apartments than hotels and was not disappointed in what we found. I sourced a lot of things online and did not invest in a traditional travel book for this city, I did buy a Map Easy map (they are my favorites) to help us get around to the major sites and then made a list of adventures and other things I would not mind seeing. I tried to keep this trip very "unplanned" so we could change our minds as we wandered around the city, while hitting a few major things. Overall it worked pretty well.. and we fell in love with Florence along the way.
To say I was taken with our apartment/cottage was truly an understatement. I fell in love before we even entered the courtyard for it. I love the way things in most European citys are understated from the street and just beautiful inside. The space that we met the property manager in was the most amazing thing I have seen in a very long time. It is a commercial space with offices and a few apartments scattered inside. I loved every inch! A huge thank you to my instagram friends who recommended places for us to stay- this was by far a favorite and is from Sleep in Italy. I rearranged the entire beginning of our trip to stay in this space and it was well worth it.
I am a wander the streets kind of traveler, so we tried to avoid the crowds and did not go inside a lot of the major sites. We did however see a lot of the city, our apartment was in walking distance of just about everything. If you are planning to visit the museums and sites I suggest purchasing your tickets ahead of time, this will save you a lot of waiting in line out side. We decided that we did want to go inside and see the Statue of David and the beautiful pieces in the Galleria dell’ Academia, which we did wait in line for about an hour to get inside. I loved the architecture and the people watching is amazing in Florence. Another favorite was discovering the fun graffiti throughout.
Travel shopping is one of my most favorite parts of traveling and Florence did not disappoint, our apartment was just steps from some amazing vintage shops and a bunch of beautiful boutiques and bakeries. I only wish I had been able to peek into more of them.
We were just a block down from the Arno river and all of the amazing bridges.
On our last evening in Florence we walked up to Piazzale Michelangelo to catch a view of the city at sunset. It was beautiful but very crowded.. start early for this one.
If you are planning a trip to Florence these are my notes from our trip just in case you need some ideas to start on....
We stayed in the Ponte Vecchio Cottage- Sleep in Italy
I got such great information from Girl in Florence whom I discovered on instagram.
All images by christina for greige
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