Florence hands down is one of my favorite cities in all of Europe.
I love so many things about the city that this list could go on and on for days, but I found a way to narrow it down into the top five things I love: the food, the city at night, the Tuscan countryside, the wine, and the gelato.
One of my absolute favorite things about spending time in Florence was eating! The food was so amazing that I dedicated a whole post to everything that I ate while I was in the city.
Going off of personal recommendations, checking out local food bloggers, and taking a vespa tour led me to some of the most amazing food that the city had to offer. I created a massive list on Google Maps of places that I wanted to try but unfortunately I did not have enough time to get to them all. It looks like a trip back to Florence will need to occur in the very near future.
The Tuscan Countryside
Ah Tuscany! Your rolling hills, sweet aroma, fields of grapes, and cute little homes are something that I have been dreaming about seeing for ages.
I was able to see the beautiful Tuscan countryside on the outskirts in the best way possible: on a Vespa! It was an amazing experience (despite some bumps along the way) as I whisked through the narrow little streets taking in the view and having a true feeling of freedom. The ride alone is something I would return to Florence for!
Florence at Night
Whether it be daytime or nighttime, Florence always shines. I absolutely loved it during the day and I fell deeper in love with it during the night.
I found it quite surprising how few people were out in the streets at night compared to the swarms of people occupying every area of the city in the daytime. At night, I felt that the city seemed to come to life as the lights covering Ponte Vecchio cast a stunning reflection in the water, the Duomo can be seen across the city, and the Il Mercato Centrale comes to life!
Italian wine just might be one of my favorite things in the world. Everyday (or sometimes twice a day), I would have a glass of wine with my meal.
The Tuscan region mostly produces red wine and I had quite a few glasses of glasses of Chianti. Besides the wine being very delicious, it was also very cheap. Many people even say that drinking wine in Italy is cheaper than drinking water, and I think there might be some truth to that.
I became a HUGE gelato fan in Italy, so much so that I was consuming the same amount of gelato as I was wine (yes, you read that right).
While I was told the names of a couple of different gelato places in Florence, my favorite was from Gelataria La Carraia, on the Oltarno side of Ponte alla Carraia. Their gelato tasted like a little slice of heaven on earth and I had to stop myself from going back for seconds.