Hey everyone, today I am back with the third and final blog post of my Italy trip to Florance for work in January 2020. My last day in Florence was on a Saturday as there were no late flights on the Friday evening heading back to London. Therefore, the next one I could take was the following evening on the Saturday. I was really excited to have most of the day to explore the rest of the city that I hadn’t already seen.
As I had to check out of the room quite early I decided to get a McDonald’s breakfast as it was about a 2-minute walk from my hotel. Luckily the hotel I stayed at let me store my luggage with them whilst I went out otherwise that would have been slightly annoying to drag everything I had accumulated around. For breakfast, I decided to go for a pancake, orange juice, and a tea because that is one thing that really got me through the trip after being so ill.
After breakfast, I got a taxi from the station which is just across from McDonald’s to head up to the Piazzale Michelangelo which had amazing views over the city. I knew that it would get quite busy so I decided to go as early as I could which was a good choice as when I started to leave it was already getting crowded. I decided to get a taxi up to the view point as I wasn’t sure where I was going, however, I decided to walk back to the centre of town as it was quite straight forward and I had lots of time to kill. I really enjoyed the walk back as it was sunny but also crisp as well.
On the way back into town, I stopped off at the Uffizi Gallery which is a famous art gallery. Usually, you have to book your tickets in advance, however, you can line up to buy them in person but sometimes the queue is quite long. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long and I got to get a ticket. The ticket cost about €10–16 and allowed you to visit the whole of the gallery for the day. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the main attractions to visit in Florence as it houses Florentine’s Renaissance painting as well as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
I am not really an art gallery type of person, however, I really loved the architecture of this one and I had some hours to kill so I thought that I would make the effort to visit it. I am glad that I did because although I didn’t really understand some of the paintings I enjoyed walking around the gallery in my own time. There was so much to see inside the gallery as well as on the outside. I definitely recommend going if you can because it was a great experience and I did enjoy it. There is also a cafe on the top which wasn’t open at the time but it’s a nice way to break up the tour of the gallery.
Afterward, I walked down to the Ponte Vecchio which is a medieval bridge that has lots of jewelry and souvenir shops on it. I didn’t buy anything but there were lots to look at and it was a bright sunny day so I was trying to make the most of the weather before I had to go on a plane. I then walked from the Ponte Vecchio to the Piazza della Signoria which is near the Uffizi Gallery. The plaza has many different sculptures that have political connotations.
As everything is so close by I was able to walk to Il Bottegone outside the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore which was the restaurant I went to before. This time I just got some tomato, mushroom, and pate Bruschetta as well as some of the same tomato pasta again. I wanted to make sure that I had a full stomach before I got on the plane. The only thing I would say that the service was quite laid back so if you were in a rush then you had to make sure you got eye contact with the waiting staff for them to give you your bill otherwise it could take them a while to come back to your table.
One thing I wanted to get before I left Italy was some Gelato which I hadn’t been able to get up until now. Luckily, the restaurant I went to had gelato there so I just got vanilla with chocolate chips cone afterward. I then headed back towards my hotel as it was almost time for me to head to the airport. The hotel I stayed in was Hotel Mario’s which is around £52 a night and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there. The staff were so lovely and the location of the hotel was so close to the centre of town. It was a typical Italian styled hotel however, I really liked the room I was in and it had everything that I needed. The hotel staff let me sit in the reception to charge my phone for a bit before I headed to the train station to get a taxi to the airport.
I always like to leave for the airport a few hours before I am due to fly in case anything goes wrong on the way and I am stuck in traffic for instance. However, everything went smoothly and I was there in plenty of time. I checked in and then headed to duty-free as there were still a few things that I wanted to pick up for my family, friends, and work colleagues. My flight was at 17:00 pm and was around three hours long which meant that I got to Gatwick around 21:00 pm. After making it through passport control, I headed straight for the train to Victoria where I took the tube home.
Overall, I really enjoyed Florence and the experience even if I was really sick throughout the trip. The food was amazing as always, and I really liked the hotel that I stayed in. The exhibition was a different experience as I had never been to a fashion one before, however, I learnt so much and saw a lot of things that I never would. I think I would have enjoyed it that bit more if I wasn’t so sick but I definitely made the most of it. I would love to go back one day and during the warmer months as it was bitterly cold when I went. I think I would like to take my mum as well for a long weekend as it is the perfect city for a three or four-day trip.