Hey beautiful people – welcome back to my Italy Diaries! If you aren’t all caught up, make sure you take a read of my Day 1 and Day 2 in Rome. Italy’s such a beautiful place, you’re going want to read about all the bits I visited – trust me.
So, Florence. Because we caught the train from city to city, my day 3 in Rome/Day 1 in Florence was pretty non-descript, so we’re skipping it. Cool? Cool.
Now, I feel like the order we travelled in was perfect. Why? Because Rome . . . was beautiful. But Florence? Well, Florence was breathtaking. Unfortunately, I did not take OOTD pictures that did it justice, but I’ve committed to writing these OOTD diary posts and I’m not a quitter. Let’s do this.
Firstly, can we have a moment of appreciation for clothes that get worn for years on end? I’ve had this Missguided shirt dress since secondary school and it’s not going anywhere soon. I’m pretty sure I picked this up for something crazy cheap like £10 on sale (because I was a broke student; all my clothes were sale steals. Actually, nothing’s changed – I’m still a bargain hunting kind of girl.) and it’s been worn countless times.
Here are some alternatives that you can grab! (Links are affiliate links.)
For our first (and only) full day in Florence, like day 2 of Rome, we went the tourist route. Again, we were super lucky with hotel placement and the bus into the center of Florence was right outside our hotel – so we booked a walking tour, headed in a couple of hours early and explored for a while.
Now, while I could wax poetical about the beauty of Florence and all the (quite frankly awe-inspiring) architecture . . . I’ll get to all that later. Because the first thing we did was pop into Accessorise to buy some sunglasses (I mean, yes, I already had 2 pairs . . . but you can never have too many sunglasses) and then, my dear friends, then I found the Lindt store.
Honestly, I have no idea why I was so entranced; I’m pretty sure you can find Lindt everywhere in the world. But, hey, I’m a simple girl – I see a shop selling loads of chocolate, I enter said shop and buy more chocolate than is healthy for any one human.
After a brief chocolate interlude and some lunch, we went in to the central square where we were promptly blown the fuck away.
In fact, let me just pause right here and say: this place (Il Duomo di Firenze) is a straight-up bucketlist add. It’s so immensely intricate and beautiful that you absolutely can’t miss it if you’re in Florence.
Il Duomo di Firenze, also called Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or according to Google “Florence Cathedral”, is . . . well, I mean, it’s what it says on the tin: a cathedral. However, what makes it noteworthy (aside from all the jawdropping architecture, of course) is that there are actually four awesome buildings in the same square.
1. The cathedral. Free to enter, but the museum requires a ticket.
2. The dome. Absolutely fucking amazing and way higher up than my photos make it look. You can climb all the way to the top for 45 euros, if I remember correctly. The dome is technically part of the cathedral, but tickets are sold separately.
3. Not a clue what it’s called, but the place where babies are baptised. I have no idea if this is open to the general public, but on the day we went it wasn’t.
4. The belltower. We didn’t look into this one, as we knew if we were going to do anything it would have to be the dome.
I actually have a photo of it ready to show you. Albeit a terrible one.
Can you see the four buildings? The dome is at the back; the cathedral in front of it; the belltower to the right and the baptist-part (so official) is at the front.
So in just one square you have so much history and beautiful architecture; well worth a visit, right?
Our walking tour naturally included these beautiful buildings – and we found out some really interesting things about them. Want some facts you’re likely not going to use ever again? Let’s do this:
- Those statues you see in the photo above are from the Florence Cathedral; there are multiple layers of statues, God being depicted at the very top (not pictured). This row is of all the saints – but above the saints are some of the great minds of the time. Scientists, artists, sculptors – Galileo, Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci are up there! – are the ones directly under God.
- The cathedral’s exterior is pink, white and green marble – but the pink was originally meant to be red, so that the colours represented the Italian flag. The Italian flags colours mean: faith, hope and charity.
- The architect (Brunelleschi) who designed the dome was, naturally, a fucking genius – but, much like the Egyptian Pyramids, nobody knows how he did it. Sadly, this means that if the dome is ever damaged or destroyed . . . there won’t be any way to exactly replicate it.
- That architect also hand chose every brick used in the dome.
- In that little gold ball at the top, there used to be remains and relics, but the dome was hit by lightning, the ball fell off and when they replaced it they decided to put the relics inside the cathedral.
Honestly, the tour was amazing and we learnt so much that I’d really keep you here all day just on these buildings – and there’s still more to see! If you are in Florence, though, there’s so much rich history that I highly recommend a walking tour. It really helps you to appreciate the beauty of everything.
This olive tree was planted to represent peace; a mafia bomb was set off outside a house in Florence (in that spot) back in 1993 and it killed 5 people.
Okay, I’m going to cut this post off here because we’re over the 1,000 word count and I’m sure you beautiful people have better things to do than listen to me yammer on all day! Our day in Florence was far too short and it’s easily one of the most charming cities I’ve been in; dare I say, I preferred it to Rome! I’d love to come back and climb up the Dome (my grandma has a bad back, so that was a no go this time round.)
If you want to take a trip of your own to Italy (and I highly recommend it) you can always do what I did and use a Wowcher. I visited Rome, Florence and Venice for 6 nights (hotels, flights and transfers included!) for £250. My exact deal has expired, but they always have similar ones up. Here’s one I found (and if any UK bloggers want to go CAN YOU TAKE ME WITH YOU PLEASE, I’LL HAPPILY GO AGAIN!):
What did you guys think of Florence? Isn’t the architecture beautiful? Did you like my OOTD? Shirt dresses are an easy outfit, right? Let me know your thoughts down below!