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!!!!!!!!
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!
Like the olden day Medici family lords, we planned our offensive in these royal surroundings. 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 😉 PS please excuse the angle shots up my skirt…
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 😉
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 🙂
Gold and Black Floral Blazer – NEXT
Black Sequin and Lace Mini Dress –
Black Glitter Slip-Ons – OASIS
Black Tights – Borrowed from Estelle’s suitcase 😉
You can now keep up to date with out travels and my outfits with my real time updates on: