during our vacation in portugal we were itching for a city break that would make us feel we were abroad. florence seemed like the obvious choice – it’s close (we could get a direct flight to bologna and then a quick train into the city centre of florence), perfect city to walk, great for shopping, and the food never disappoints!
the purpose of my last trip to portugal was to celebrate my mum’s birthday, she always has a travel bug on her, so decided to spend a week in florence visiting my sister, who was studying there at the time, and spend some mum and daughters quality time.
we stayed for a whole week and since we all had been to florence before, we felt like enjoying the city without having to rush and wait in the queus for all the touristic (but still so worth) spots. we spent ou days strolling the city, chatting during our long lunches with a good glass of red wine, deciding where to go for more at dinner time, and a little shopping…of course!
other than the delicious pastas, pizzas, burratas, all sorts of pecorino cheese and paninis – i tried something completely new to me. it’s called cecina, and it’s a kind of pizza base, made with chick pea. i had it with stracchino cheese on top, and went to heaven and back!
it was kind of cold, but that didn’t stop us from having ice creams at venchi* almost every day. and then we could buy the gianduja topping (chocolate and hazelnut) in a shot glass, sort of like hot chocolate, but very rich and hazelnut flavored.
we did take a train to lucca and and then pisa to see the tower of pisa – spent hours posing for the pictures, trying to find the right angle. it was one of those touristic attraction, some said it can be deceiving when you see the real. i fell in love with it, maybe because it was a beautiful night and there were no tourists around, but i found the tower of pisa so pretty.
it was an amazing trip, we took loads of pictures, walked for hours and laughed like crazy. looking back at the pictures they look so wintery, we were having so much fun we just forgot it was actually freezing!
we booked to stay at the nh porta rossa, perfect location, huge rooms and very friendly service.
my sister planned a list of restaurants for the week, and she did an amazing job, here are my favourites if you would like to know.
* all’ antico vinaio – trip advisor’s number 1 restaurant in florence, for a glass of wine and a quick panini, try to go in between meals, because it’s always crowded. i had a panini with artichoke, pecorino and arugula…
* venchi – for ice creams and chocolate fountains, get the venchini di gianduja, if you are a chocaholic like me.
* cibreo – we had my mum’s birthday dinner here, an unforgetable meal, a bit fancy but the food is amazing. their tuna with celery is unforgettable.
* il pizzaiuolo – napolitan cuisine, simple and casual, but the best pizzas in florence and the freshes burrata. i also liked their smoked tuna with arugula. it is usually packed.
* il santo bevitore – the place where i liked the atmosphere the most, fancy, but casual, great for a cheese and wine dinners.
* 5 e cinque – perfect for a casual girls lunch, they serve the freshest ingredients and mostly organic, and a wide selction of vegetarian too, our favourite was the cecina and the focaccia with cheese (see picture above).
ps – some other trips.