In case you haven’t caught on, “florals” was pretty much the theme of my wardrobe on our Italy trip! It was only appropriate since it was springtime when we visited Europe, even in the big metropolitan cities like Florence which was our next destination after Portofino.
I did not want to leave Portofino. It’s quite evident by the look on my face in the photos the paps caught of us. But other cities of Italy had to be seen, and Tor had always mentioned Florence as a city he wanted to take me to. After a quick taxi ride to the car rental place in nearby Rapallo, we hopped into our rental Ford Focus and drove the 2.5 hours to Florence.
This our journey to Florence was……. interesting. First, a major thunderstorm hit Rapallo as we were driving out, which gave way to torrential downpours. However, since we were driving through hills and mountains, most of the highway was through tunnels. The sun finally came out for a little bit, but I saw on my weather app on my phone that another storm awaited us not far outside Florence. That storm produced so much hail that I was convinced a tornado was coming (a tornado hit my hometown when I was 11, so I know the signs!). I was terrified but I still decided to Snapchat the entire time, because priorities.
We outran the storm and arrived in Florence, but we should have known that driving in Florence would be next to impossible. Here is where I really wish I Snapchatted the journey. I had to read the directions to Tor, but since we kept getting lost thanks to closed streets and missed alleyways, eventually I just became a screaming backseat driver. We kept making the same loop about nine times, trying to find a way down the street our hotel was on. Finally we followed a cab down a road that had just been closed about 5 minutes prior and made our way to our hotel at the end of the street.
But it didn’t end there. We checked in to our hotel, we quickly realized it wasn’t our cup of tea and we decided the best thing to do was to book another hotel since we were spending four days there. With all six bags, we darted through the rain down a cobblestone street to get to our new hotel – the NH Porta Rossa.
As soon we entered our new hotel, we were in awe. The lobby was beautiful with a big staircase lined with lit candles. Promptly they served us champagne and told us to relax as they brought our bags to our room. Turns out, they ended up upgrading us to a beautiful, massive room that overlooked the city and had steps up to a massive window, as well as steps up to a massive window and the shower in the bathroom!
We were so exhausted after our long day of thunderstorms, car rides, and hotel changes, so we decided to save exploring for the next day. But our hotel recommended that we try the restaurant Buca Mario for dinner, which was only a 10 minute walk from the hotel. They opened at 7, and we made sure we got there at 7 since we didn’t have a reservation. There was already a line waiting to get inside when we got there, but they were still able to seat us. We shared a delicious plate of burrata & pomodoro crostini (my favorite kind!) before I dived into yet another plate of truffle pasta. Just like Portofino, this truffle pasta dish was also insanely delicious! Highly recommend! Fun fact about this restaurant: It opened in 1886!
After dinner, I was craving gelato. Because it’s Italy. Tor quickly researched a highly rated gelateria just a quick 5 minute walk over the Ponte la Carraia, appropriately named Gelateria La Carraia. We ended up getting gelato here every single day of our 4-day Florence visit. Their mint chocolate chip made me so happy that I practically skipped all the way back to the hotel. But not before admiring the stunning city of Florence under the Tuscan twilight.
The next day, we finally began exploring Florence. Tor had been there before, but I never had. Not only did we walk by the shops of every single couture and high end designer that I love and adore, but the history of that city still remains in its architecture today.
Of course we hit up the Duomo and the David Statue. We visited those right away (our hotel was able to arrange tickets in advance for the David so we didn’t have to wait in line). What I loved about Florence was getting to walk around and completely lose yourself in the city. We never hailed a taxi once while we were in Florence. We walked to and from everything. We spent hours walking through alleyways and winding streets, never knowing where we were going to end up (most of the time they were dead ends!).
For our first full in Florence, it was quite warm so I wore this floral sleeveless silk dress by Topshop.
As you can see, I could not stop twirling in it!
For dinner, we found a cute little spot called Ristorante Pensive Peggio, not far from Buca Mario. We loved this spot so much, we ate here two nights in a row! We shared delicious crostini, garlic noodles, balsamic steak, and potato stuffed ravioli in truffle sauce. Just like Buca Mario, this restaurant had no cell service, which we didn’t complain about because it gave us evenings away from anything digital or social media.
Another Florence post is coming up soon, so stay tuned!
More floral dress options: