Day Trips Outside Florence

Siena's main Piazza, the Campo

I noticed this article about Florence on the Huffington Post the other day that lists 8 great day trips outside Florence. They are absolutely right that the city can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and crowded and that, luckily, it is easily accessible to many other amazing cities that will feel significantly less crowded and just as picturesque (if not more so). The winners according to the Huffington are:

1. Siena. Couldn’t agree more. A wonderful city with some amazing vistas and killer food, not to mention the most gorgeous Duomo around. Continue reading…

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Carrara, Italy and its 3 M’s (Massive Marble Mountains)

Remember the fight scene in the most recent James Bond movie (the one with the super pretentious sub-title…Quantam of something)? Remember the amazing car chase sequence over mountains covered in white dust that immediately followed the fight scene? Well that whole sequence (which appears to be just minutes after the fight scene on some of Siena’s roof tops) takes place in a city called Carrara. Just FYI, it is about 2 and half hours drive from Siena to Carrara. (See map below) Continue reading…

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Roma! Roma! Roma!

After all that Florence talk I feel I owe something to my other great love…ROME! Here are just a few tips, some of my favorite spots to eat, and some must-see sites in this glorious city.

**TIPS**
Ok my inner-mom requires that I say, just for the record, that the buses are a little more dangerous in Rome. So just in general BE AWARE. Watch each other. If someone is getting too close and looks sketchy take note. If they are up to no good and see that you see them, they will usually back off.

—> Ok. THINGS TO DO!!!:
There are so many things to do in Rome it is pathetic. I also think it is one of the best walking cities so you could just roam the streets of Rome (hardy har har) for days and do nothing, per se, and be ridiculously content. My absolute favorite thing to do is wander around at night (in safe areas, obviously, and never alone!) The city is a golden color during the day and at night it seems to somehow absorb that glow and use it to light itself from the inside at night. It is just beyond magical. But there are some places you just have to go inside to experience. Continue reading…

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Coffee Culture in Florence! The basics.

Of all the beverage in Italy to be enjoyed there is one I love above them all (you’ll have to ask Carrie about the wine…)

ITALIAN COFFEE CULTURE:
**TIPS**
Italians tend to stand and eat for breakfast (and often lunch as well). It is a little odd for most Americans, but that is how Italians do it. If you sit at a table in a Bar (not the beer kind, the coffee kind) they will charge you more money even if you are eating and drinking the same exact thing as the people standing. It is not a scam; it’s just how it is done.

A stunning latte from a local Italian bar

There are often two menus: the sitting menu and the standing menu. They are exactly the same but one tacks on a euro or two (minimum) to all the prices. It is a painful lesson to learn as the same exact cup of coffee and a pastry that usually costs 3.50 Euro standing can cost 15 Euro sitting. I kid you not. They will see that you are American and try to get you to sit. Just kindly say no and stand like the cool, hip Italians. Continue reading…

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THE BEST FOOD IN FLORENCE!

best_food_florenceFood.
Italian food.
For some of you, it is the entire reason you’ve come to Italy, and believe me, we don’t blame you. In fact, we’re here to help. While it is relatively hard to eat badly in Italy, that’s no reason to throw caution to the wind. Come prepared, come with some basic eating/food ordering know-how, and get ready to find out how good Italian food can really be. We’ll start with some really important tips (to save you headache, heartache, and hard earned cash) then we’ll get on with the list of some of our favorite places in Florence from cheap eats to super fancy (want to skip to the list?).
Happy Eating! Continue reading…

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