Florentine Nights

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It is always a mistake for me to think that I can survive without Google Maps. We had gone from the airport into Pisa and then from Pisa to “FIORENZI SMN” train station. We were so excited, smiling and super happy! We had a number of different landmarks to find in order to get to our hotel, the first one of which was a pharmacy. We had congratulated ourselves on our amazing travel awareness, intelligence, Duke of Edinburgh Award map reading skills and advanced honing pigeon attributes…but that was when we had looked for this same pharmacy 40 minutes earlier when we decided to jumped off the train at the wrong train stop… So we couldn’t really say all that again because by now neither of us could pretend like it was true…but we did exclaim again “FLORENCE WE HAVE ARRIVED ARE” even if the “WOHOO” which followed wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as the first time we said it…

A green light at the end of the tunnel marked our first successful marker of our quest. By now it was dark but the city had a magical air about it. I can only describe it as if we had walked through the wardrobe and stumbled upon Mr Tumlus’s Narnia. Beautiful delicate lights shone above the quiet streets and we gazed at the window displays and glided through throngs of joyous Italian shoppers. Fairy lights were all around us and all that was missing was for an Italian gentleman to push open one of the sets of large wooden shutters on his Tuscan apartment and shout down to a fellow citizen below “Merry Christmas Mr Pickwick” or the sexier Italian version of such a phrase…It was enchanting and in keeping with the magical spell, the invisible trail laid down to us by the guest house owners pulled us along. Our instructions became more and more crumpled but we passed every landmark and eventually we were standing outside the large tall gates of a Palace. We peered above the bell and as if written by mice, the monotype corsiva font read: Relais Cavalcanti*

We had arrived! WOHOOOO!!!!!!!!

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Relais Cavalcanti is a beautiful guesthouse in the heart of the old town. A grand apartment in a Palace which was passed down through generations was never sold and instead turned into a beautiful guesthouse in the heart of the old town. Minutes from the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio, this place captured the opulence and craftsmanship of Florence beautifully. High ceilings, antique furniture, velvet day beds and headboards with gold leaf, our room was beautiful and we even got to share a traditional kitchen where we could go and eat, make food in and which had 24hour breakfast and refreshments on offer for free!

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Like the olden day Medici family lords, we planned our offensive in these royal surroundings.Β  Tonight we would get a real feel of the city, but first… we had to have a go on the carousel in the main plaza πŸ˜‰ PS please excuse the angle shots up my skirt…

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After pandering to the little child within me, we got back to the important stuff. Nothing could really have prepared me for the incredible sight that was Piazza del Duomo and Florence’s pearly white Cathedral with its bell tower reaching into the heavens, stark against the night sky. We saw the dark wooden shutters with their large bolts and metal frames of the tiny old jewellery shops that were all shut up along the medieval arched bridge Ponte Vecchio. My favourite night time sight though was Plaza della Signoria. It was so large and the Romanesque fortress Palazzo Vecchio loomed over the place where the original Michaelangelo’s David stood and now where the replica stands. Musicians played classical music opposite Vasari’s secret walkway, which echoed around the street and filled the wide arches of the Loggia dei Lanzi. It was an incredibly powerful moment and we walked around the celestially carved statues of Renaissance man in awe. Plus we were surrounded by fit naked men…One to add to your bucket list if you haven’t done so already πŸ˜‰

Every night we ate at a beautiful restaurant that my sister’s Italian friend or our hotel had recommended: from pasta stuffed with pear, to salads and steak, the food was incredible. More importantly the Chianti Wine was hangover free. I can try to find the names of our favorite places if you’d like?

We laughed and joked until the early hours of the morning. I was in love with Florence already and I hadn’t even seen it in the daytime! For our evening our I wore a black sequin and lace dress with a long ornate gold and black floral blazer. Everyone here looked very smart and people wore quite conservative colors, so I thought that this would give a good twist on the classic Florentine look but would still be in keeping with the opulence of the city.

Let me know what you think of the look and your first impressions of Florence πŸ™‚

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WEARING

Gold and Black Floral Blazer – NEXT

Black Sequin and Lace Mini Dress –

Black Glitter Slip-Ons – OASIS

Black Tights – Borrowed from Estelle’s suitcase πŸ˜‰

You can now keep up to date with out travels and my outfits with my real time updates on:

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22 thoughts on “Florentine Nights

  1. I stayed about one block from you at Hotel Davanzati when I visited almost 2 years ago and thought the Duomo shared its color palette with a Mah Jongg tile on first impression. I also enjoyed Florence much more than Rome.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Florence πŸ™‚ Your hotel was so central! What a great choice. I agree the Duomo did have those colours, and they made it look so striking and unique. My sister said the same thing, she went to Florence and then Rome afterwards and felt that Florence was much smarter and felt a lot safer/less touristy than Rome… Truly appreciate your thoughts, Ab xxx

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  2. Gorgeous photos, you really took me back to this beautiful city. Last time we were in Florence we stayed in an apartment right next to the Duomo, it was so close you could see the dome from the garden. Please do share your restaurant recommendations xx

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    1. Hey Janelle, I am so sorry for my delay in getting back to you but I wanted to try to find the names of the restaurants that we went to… The apartment you stated in sounds amazing, with a view of the Duomo it must have been incredible! It truely is a breathtaking city! Here are some of the restaurants and places that we went to that I thought were really nice: Perseus which specializes in steak,Acqua Al2 which has great steak and great sampling menu of 7 different courses to try, the family run Trattoria dell ‘Orto, a great place to hear the authentic Godfather accent. We had lunch at II Cernacchino a small family run coffee shop, who’s pride and joy is the Turcan stew (beef tomato) served in a piece of hollowed out bread. Celestino is by the Ponte Vecchio and has a massive menu and everything is amazing – had some great pasta and steak…Best ice cream place was Vivoli and we are at another great place but I can’t remember the name at the moment. In Manarola village in Cinque Terre I would recommend II Porticciolo for amazing Muscle pasta and sea food.
      Thank you for your lovely comment and I am glad that you enjoyed the post. All the best, Abi xxx

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so pleased you like the pics of Florence at night. It was such a magical first evening and the Cathedral looked so spectacular I just had to share it πŸ™‚ I am sure you will get to visit Italy too and when you do I am sure you will love it! ❀ Abi xxx

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    1. Hey Raman,

      Thank you for your lovely comment! I am so pleased your liked our night time pics of the city πŸ™‚ It was such a great stay and we really enjoyed Florence. I can’t wait to share some more of your Italy road trip stories and pictures with you soon ❀ Abi xxx

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    1. Thank you! I am so glad that you liked the post of our pictures of such a beautiful place. I have only been to Italy twice and I must say every time I have had an amazing time and the cities are just so stunning. Where abouts in Italy have you been? Perhaps you could share with me your favorite part? Abi xxx

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so glad you liked the pics. When did you go there? What part of your stay did you like best? I am so glad it brought back such great memories and I agree with you Florence is such a stunning place, it definitely is up there with some of Europe’s best cities ❀ Abi xxx

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      1. I went last year during summer. Such a beautiful place. I felt like I was back in time walking down the cobblestone streets and enjoying the glimpses of rich architecture. Best part was when we dined from Michealangelo Piazza. The view was just stunning. I will post some pictures in the near future πŸ™‚ Happy holidays. Happy to have connected with you.

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      2. Wow! I bet the city was just stunning in the summer, with the sun hitting the buildings. You are right, it is like going back in time and Michealangelo Piazza was so stunning, what a great place to have dinner! Yes do post some pics, I’d love to see them! πŸ™‚ I hope you had a lovely Christmas and a good start to the New Year ❀ Abi xxx

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