Sunday, 20 November 2016

Why Florence Is My Favourite Place In Italy

I didn't know what to expect on my travels during my time in Italy but on my return my most asked question is "What was your favourite place?". As you can imagine this was pretty hard to answer taking in to consideration all the incredible cities I had been and memories I have made there. At the same time there was one place in particular I walked around and it almost felt like a second home even though I'd never been there before and that place was Florence.
That feeling of belonging made me realise it's power and influence on me as an individual. I knew in that moment what my answer would be to that question if anyone ever asked again and thought I would tell you exactly how I came to that decision. Now I haven't been everywhere in Italy so I'm sure there maybe other hidden gems I'm yet to discover which could take over this title at a later date but for now this is defiantly a front runner. In case you are new here or haven't read my other Italy posts its contenders are Rome, Venice, Verona and Turin (I have been to Milan on separate occasion too). At this point I just want to state that these are all beautiful places and just because they aren't my favourite doesn't take away their likability. This is all personal opinion and what resonates with me which could differ to others or your own views. 

For me Florence was that little bit more special, I think that this was mostly down to the fact that although it has and cherishes its historical background it also welcomes modern concepts. The mix of the two not only makes it an interesting place to visit but also brings in a wide range of people. The crowds surrounding me were from all over the world, with different ages and varied agendas, making this a melting pot of all the above. I am passionate about fashion and art both something Italy prides itself on and in this environment I could see why. I visited both the Gucci Museum as well as the Leonardo Divinci Museum which are around five minutes apart. As a creator it really was an inspirational hub of inventors, artists, designers among other talents. Another reason I felt so fond of the place, I actually fitted in, miles away from my normal village life.
Like the other places I travelled to in Italy it wasn't short of architectural beauty. The Duomo captured my heart with its white, pink and mint exterior, like seriously I want to move in. The detail can keep your eyes and mind stimulated for hours. You can lose yourself in the engraved images, intricate patterns and holy statues - that's only the outside. 

Tip: If you call up the Duomo customer service team first thing in the morning and reserve a ticket you can skip the queue for no extra charge! Such a time saver.

Another tourist destination the Ponte Vecchio, which I actually shamefully had no knowledge of before arriving in Florence was a hive of entertainment. I walked along admiring the stunning jewellery, window shopping wishing I had brought my parent's with me. My mother is a real big jewellery fan and my dad always gets her two beautiful pieces a year for her birthday and Christmas. Sometimes he will add an extra necklace, ring, bracelet or set of earrings if we go on holiday somewhere, seeing this really reminded me of them and kept them close regardless of them being in a different country. Nonetheless, an interesting concept shops on a bridge but the views from the windows are some of the best I've seen in my lifetime. 

One of my highlights from my entire trip was walking around the Boboli Gardens, this is a must-see. I was filled with happiness and contentment as I strolled through the grounds. There is a lot to cover, I honestly spent around three hours in there making sure I didn't miss an inch of it. There is an element of surprise at every corner. It's a childs dream playground with mazes, secret pathways and open spaces. As a blogger and photography enthusiast I loved the stunning views of the area and got very snap happy in this zone. It was so peaceful there and I couldn't help but smile the whole way thinking how lucky I was to be there, the ideal place to reflect on your time in the city. The sun shining was an added bonus, my last bit of winter warmth to keep me going until spring.
Life takes you unexpected places, Love brings you home.

Have you been to Italy? Let me know what your favourite place is and why!

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