Catching the last bit of summer in Italy

florence

I realize that as I’m writing this that it was actually 25 degrees in Paris this weekend, so technically, I’m still catching the last bit of summer here, buuuuut Tuscany was very summery as well (and will probably remain so until November). A few weeks ago I flew for a long weekend with a friend to Florence, where we spontaneously took a trip to Cinque Terre (which deserves its own post), Pisa and the Chianti region for some wine tasting.

It was a much needed break in the midst of an avalanche of administrative paperwork. In France, when it rains, it pours, and in my case, I managed to get into administrative hiccups with my apartment, bank and visa all at once. So one weekend of sunshine and amazing Italian food was all I needed to get re-energized.

Pisa

My plane landed in Pisa and I took the opportunity to have a quick look at the leaning tower to see what all the hype was about. It’s located in a square surrounded by walls, which was nothing like what I imagined. It’s peaking out from behind a fairly big cathedral, which has a funny-looking baptistry in front of it. I was a bit tired from the trip and had a big backpack on me, so I decided not to climb up the tower, but took photos of all the goofy people posing in front of it instead.

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Wine Tasting in Tuscany (Chianti)

Ok, I get it now – I have to agree with Hannibal Lector on his wine choice (not the food choice though). Chianti has made it on my list of favourite wines, which is embarrassingly short considering that I live in France – I blame it on a goldfish memory. While we were in Florence we went to a great restaurant (details below) where we had a few bottles of a very nice Chianti over a big dinner. A few days later, we decided to sign up for a little wine tour, which included a sampling of a few different types of wine, along with olive oil and truffle oil…and great views during the tour.

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Florence

In the end, we didn’t see much of Florence (luckily, I had already been there and did my fair share of museum visits), except in the evening. It was so nice walking around without the throngs of tourists elbowing past you at every corner. We were able to really get a feel for the city and enjoy it.

Where to Eat in Florence

I love Italian food so I couldn’t wait to eat in Florence. Luckily, we met some people in our hostel that knew about this great restaurant that serves local dishes (and great Chianti wine):

La Maremma
Via Verdi 16/r
Florence, Italy

We also stumbled on this delicious little bakery that made excellent coffee and was actually reasonably priced, even though it’s right by Piazza della Repubblica:

Coronas Cafè
Via dei Calzaiuoli, 72
Florence

Tomorrow: Cinque Terre!

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