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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer in Italy: Florence Part I

~*Florence Day 1*~

The drive from Venice to Florence took about 3 hours. As usual our trusty GPS, Daniel brought us to the hotel's doorstep without giving us reaction time to find a parking lot. Since there were one-way roads everywhere in the district, we had to make a few rounds before we finally snagged an unofficial lot a stone's throw away from the hotel.

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Hotel Ferrucci in Florence was the cheapest hotel for our whole Italy stay. Decent hotels in Europe do not come cheap and hence we were pretty thrilled to pay about €300 for a 4-night stay at a room that looks like this. Listed as a 2-star hotel, it is ranked #62 out of 468 hotels in Florence and received an 89% thumbs up based on the reviews written.

[Aside: Gasp! I saw the review written by the hubz when I was writing this. The hotel requested for his feedback to be written on Trip Advisor and he did.]

We were assigned to Room 4. The purple, grey and white theme is pleasing to the eye and the white furniture reminds me of those Parisian furniture. I like the little key that took some finger power to lock and unlock the wardrobe. As usual, we lived out of our luggage and needn't really use the wardrobe. I was simply trying out the antique key to see if it worked. I don't know about many of you reading this but Singaporeans and typically Asians have the culture not to wear shoes indoors. We could not do so for this hotel. Our feet caked with dirt when we walked barefoot and decided to wear our slippers around the room. It was a little inconvenient as I hate to step into the toilet with footwear. Hence, I used wet wipes to "mop" the toilet floor and made it a no-shoes zone.

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The bathroom is elongated breadth-wise and a little small. But no hotel could beat the size of Hotel Galleria in Venice.

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We were thrilled to know that our room was the only room with a patio attached. Not like we made use of the patio to sit there, sip wine and count the stars in the dazzling Firenze night sky. (The table and chairs looked like nobody had sat there for months.) We were more of glad for the convenience of the patio leading straight to the hotel's private carpark. When we checked in, the lovely hotel staff informed us that they had reserved a parking space as requested over the email. It was really a huge breeze dragging our luggage up and down the steep slope straight to and from the car during our check-in and check-out. It was literally a parking lot in our backyard.

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A video tour of our room. Pardon my shakey hands. I know, it's like a mini Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. =P

If you haven't already caught it in my past post, this is the instavideo of Hotel Ferrucci.

By the time we settled down, it was already about 4pm. What could we do with half the day at Florence? The timing was neither here nor there to visit attractions that closed at 6 or 7pm. We decided to walk along the Florence River (also known as Arno) and slowly take snapshots of any attractions along the way, have our first meal at Florence and capture the night scenes of attractions in the city centre. Sure sounded like a great plan... only that the weather was scorching hot with the sun mercilessly beating down on our faces, its ray's angling itself exactly in the direction of us walking along the river. The sun was literally in front of us.

This river scene was taken on Ponte di San Niccolò (Bridge of San Niccolò) with the sun behind us which also meant that the city centre was behind us. Our hotel is located on the right. Yes, you wouldn't have guessed that there are buildings behind those trees right?

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There were people sunbathing on the concrete "slopes" of the river. Pretty curious to see concrete in the river, isn't it? It reminds me of those huge canal with concrete base. In the background, you could also see Torre di San Niccolo (San Niccolo Tower) located at Piazza Giuseppe Poggi which is slightly down the hill of the famous Piazzale Michelangelo.

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We thought that the Florence River would make a lovely walk but it was really difficult to soak in the sights with the sun's glare. I took this shot using my sunglasses as a filter. Other than the blinding glare, the soaring temperatures seemed to weigh us down. We always thought that we could survive the heat in Italy as long as it wasn't humid (or so we heard that summer in European countries is hot but not humid like in Singapore and that we wouldn't perspire too much). Well, we possibly excreted a litre of sweat from the walk.

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"The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze is a public national library in Florence, the largest in Italy and one of most important in Europe, one of the two central libraries of Italy, along with the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Rome." -- Wikipedia

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By the time we set foot on the fringe of the city centre, we were famished. Our last meal was the breakfast served at Hotel Galleria in Venice earlier in the morning. At 6 pm, many restaurants were only opened for their bars and not ready for dinner yet. We were elated when Paolo, the waiter at Franceso Vini replied that they were serving dinner. Finally! After a few rounds of being turned away by other restaurants.

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We started off with charming white wine and moscato recommended by our waiter, Paolo. After having a sip at my moscato, the hubz ordered another glass for himself.

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The Selezione di formaggi con mostarde was a selection of mixed cheeses with homemade jams. What looked like chilli sauce was actually a delightful fruit jam.

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Kh had Tagliolini alla crema di pecorino e tartufo-- Tagliolini of fresh pasta sauteed in a pecorino and truffle cream sauce.

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I had Capolovoro di Linguine allo scoglio-- Linguini with mussels, clams, shrimp and calamari sauteed in a white wine sauce. Yes I know. Mussels and clams in white wine sauce for 2 consecutive dinner? I really really love all these shelled stuff in white wine sauce. The people at the next table and the next and the next kept on looking at my dish coz you know why? Check out the next picture.

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Look at the size of our main course in relation to our bodies. Paolo nearly placed my seafood pasta at kh's side. When kh gestured for him to place it at my side of the table, Paolo apologized and said "The missus can eat a lot". I couldn't finish a quarter of of my food in the end but I made sure I slurped up all the white wine sauce as usual.

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Al fresco dining by the busy sidewalk at a lovely restaurant was one of the highlights of our first day in Florence. Prior to this meal, we didn't know that Francesco Vini has a 4.5-star rating on Trip Advisor. It seems like many eateries and hotels in Italy pride themselves for being listed on TripAdvisor with fond reviews written of their food and services. No wonder Paolo served us so well and even wrote down his name when I asked to take a picture of the menu to remember the dishes we ordered. (Hehehe... I spied his name being mentioned on Trip Advisor.) He gave a surprise look at first and when kh told him that I would usually write about my dining experience. He nodded his head with a smile and returned shortly with the menu. He enlightened us about the dishes we ordered, the culture in Italy and also asked about our experiences in Florence so far. Most affable service to complement the delicious food, I would say, that we tipped him. He was so thankful for our tip that his mannerisms sort of made me suspect that there isn't a tipping culture in Italy. It was only from a tip app which I downloaded on my iPhone did I learn that it isn't compulsory to tip in Italy and that the bread served at restaurants act as a "tipping fee". Nevertheless, we continued tipping serving staff who exceeded our expectations during the trip.

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Throughout our stay in Florence, we frequently walked past this alley and would look in to see of Paolo was at the restaurant. Also throughout our stay in Florence, kh would ask if we should eat at "Paolo's" again but we decided to try out more restaurants rather than to keep going back to the same one.

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After our 1.5 hour dinner, it was already 8pm. We slowly made our way to Piazza della Signoria. Instead of taking photos of the night scene, the sun had yet to set in the long summer day so we took day shots instead! Piazza della Signoria, containing various attractions in one stop, is such a dynamic space that we found ourselves wondering back multiple times during our stay in Florence.

"It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near Ponte Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery." -- Wikipedia

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The Palazzo Vecchio ("Old Palace") is the town hall of the city. Overlooking the piazza with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most significant public places in Italy. I just hope they get the clock working again coz it was supposed to depict 8:20.

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The Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria, is a building on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria, adjoining the Uffizi Gallery. It consists of wide arches open to the street and is effectively an open-air sculpture gallery of antique and Renaissance art. I read this place is strongly recommended for students on a backpacking budget to view replicas of famous sculptures without having to pay to see the actual ones housed in various museums.

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I was totally intrigued by the bronze statue of Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini (see top left) which shows the mythical Greek hero holding his sword in his right hand and Medusa's decapitated head on his left. What seems like blood and other gore gush from the head and the neck of the dead Medusa.

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I was also drawn to the Rape of the Sabine Women. This impressive work was made from one imperfect block of white marble, the largest block ever transported to Florence. (source: Wikipedia)

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A self-taken shot just to depict us at Piazza della Signoria.

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The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy. It is also referred to as Duomo di Firenze which is its original name.

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The exterior of the basilica is really beautiful. It has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade with ornate polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white.

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In the backyard of every beautiful city, uglies thrive in the form of vandalism, graffiti and litter. Graffiti truly mar the beauty of this ancient city. Unlike in Paris whereby graffiti often exist in the form of street art, the graffiti in Florence and Italy in general are just tag, the most basic form of graffiti with spray paint.

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The sun set at about 9 and by that time, we were quite wearied from the long walk to continue snapping outdoor shots of the city centre. Moreover, the basilica is further away from our hotel and the walk back would be exhausting.

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Ponte Vecchio was still so far away... You would see more about this touristy place in later parts of Day 2 updates of Florence.

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By the time we returned to the hotel, it was 10:10 pm. We walked a total of 4 bridges along the river back to our hotel. If you looked at the map of Florence, that's a hell long of a walk. I've never loved the signboard "Hotel Ferrucci" as much as that night.

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~*Florence Day 2*~

Complimentary breakfast was served daily in a little room at the basement of the hotel. We chose that corner seat every morning if it wasn't taken coz I loved the illustration on the wall. There wasn't too much of a variety of food but it was sufficient energy for us to tide through the walk to the city centre. We ate lots of hard boiled egg white and that little oblong pieces of bread with ham every morning.

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We decided to kick off the day with a visit to Piazzale Michelangelo and the area around that hill. That whole hilly area was just a few roads down from our hotel and we felt that it was a brilliant day to be taking photos of Florence city centre from atop the hill.

At the foot lies Porta San Niccolò (Torre di San Niccolo). Kh wondered why I took pics of yucky stuff that grew in nature. I like how there is beauty in some places that look unkempt and forgotten. Oh and there was an owl hooting in that arch that resonated throughout. It was hauntingly beautiful.

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We soon realised that it was more than just a little trudge up to Piazzale Michelangelo and then, to the very top of the hill where San Miniato al Monte stood. No wonder everyone recommended getting there by bus. We thought we were lucky that the hill was near our hotel. By the time we reached Piazzale Michelangelo, kh discovered he wasn't properly attired for the walk up. Truckloads of tourists poured forth from ginormous tour buses staring at these two idiotic Singaporeans who decided a walk up the hill was prudent. The other handful of people who thought that the walk/ run up the hill was prudent were the brisk walkers and runners clad in their spiffy running gear.

Ranked as the #2 attraction in Florence on Trip Advisor, San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain) is a basilica in Florence, standing atop one of the highest points in the city. It has unsurpassed view of Florence city centre and has been described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

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"The interior exhibits the early feature of a choir raised on a platform above the large crypt. The crypt is the oldest part of the church and the high altar supposedly contains the bones of St Minias himself (although there is evidence that these were removed to Metz before the church was even built). In the vaults are frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi."-- Wikipedia

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Surprisingly, there weren't many tourists around for a #2 attraction and the basilica was almost empty. It was to close at 2pm that day and it was fortunate that we reached there at about  1 pm. The basilica's opening hours during summer is typically 7am till sunset so I'm not too sure why it closed at 2 pm that day.

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There is an adjoining Olivetan monastery and monumental cemetery. Beautiful tombs with illustrious men, such as Carlo Lorenzini (Collodi), author of Pinocchio, is being buried there.

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This is what it meant by having unsurpassed view of the city centre. With our backs to the front of the church, we were greeted with an impressive view of Florence, from the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio, to the last standing parts of the medieval walls that once surrounded Florence. We were on higher grounds than Piazzale Michelangelo and hence there are trees framing the bottom of the cityscape.

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The remaining medieval walls.

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Just to stamp our mark here.

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Instead of going down the grand stairs that led right to the heart of the basilica, we went by the left of the church and led ourselves out through this heavy door

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This photo is aptly titled "SPACE".

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A forgotten door with thick layer of cobwebs and dust. I wonder what's inside.

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Just beside the heavy door on both sides are "holes" to look through to the outside. You could see how thick the wall is and if I were an evil blood elf, I would have shot an arrow through the head of the person looking from the inside.

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Along the way down, we stumbled upon this lovely spot which could jolly well be the backdrop for my ootd shot.

Outfit of the day:
♥ Uniqlo Airsm lace spaghetti strap top
♥ Valerie outer wear
♥ Liz Lisa skorts

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After that, we made our way down to Piazzale Michelangelo. Panning from the right, you could see the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (the one with the dome), Palazzo Vecchio (the one with the dark brown tower) and Ponte Vecchio (the bridge across the river).

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Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

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The side view of Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross).

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Ponte Vecchio is the focus in this picture.

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We left our mark on the best representation of Florence. A friendly Japanese "Uncle" offered to take this picture for us coz our Singaporean accent was soothing to his ears. He often travels to Singapore for work and loves our country.

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Chi Cats also left their paw prints on Florence.

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Piazzale Michelangelo's statue of David is a replica bronze cast of the original. Seriously. I don't understand the hype about David and never will. Kh doesn't understand the hype too and went on to make fun of David.

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We were doing jump shots at Porta San Niccolò (Torre San Niccolo) coz we finally reached the foot of the hill once more. I cannot do jump shots for nuts and always end up with dissected frog pose in the air. While kh is au naturale when it comes to jump shots, it took me 3 tries to look like I was dancing. Hey look at my right foot carefully, it's levitating. It's a jump shot.

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I overestimated myself and thought I could complete Day 2 in this post. How wrong I was. The rest of Day 2 would be combined with Day 3 as a consolidated post of museums and churches in Florence.

I've replied to your comments so do check back on the posts where you left yours. I will get down to visiting your blogs as soon as I have pockets of time for relaxation. Those of you who are acquainted with me on blogger long enough would know that I don't do cursory few-seconds visit to your blogs just to say hello. I would prefer to sit down and read (at least) your (latest) posts and catch up with you properly.

I'm so thrilled to see many newcomers leaving little notes here as well as new faces returning visits to my blog. I also spied a few more followers. Welcome here and thank you. I really appreciate the 2-way communication and meaningful exchanges. As for my long time blog friends, you know I always love to see all of you around. I hope to find the time to visit your blogs soon.

In the meantime, keep the love coming in and happy work week/ school week to all of you!


  1. Hi sweety, this looks like a truly unbelievable trip! The photos are amazing.

  2. How wonderful for you folks, sweetie. What an adventure! Those night shots particularly captivate me, so gorgeous. And the food just made me so darn hungry. Shame on you :)P It looked like you guys did a good to "be silly" in the "bascillas" :) I vote "yes" on the levitation by the way. Can't wait for more!

    1. You will continue to feel very hungry as you look at my Italy posts. There isn't really an unsatisfactory meal there. Sometimes I feel so hungry looking at my own photos and blogging. Thanx for your vote of yes for levitation.

    2. You know I always got your back sweetie :) Float free and proud :)

  3. Aww I wish I could go to Europe...the views and architecture look beautiful in your photos. 300 euros for a 4 night stay is quite affordable actually. I like how quaint the room is too :)

    1. Thank you, Rinny dear. I haven't seen you around on blogger for quite a while. Hope you aren't too busy with life.

  4. Looks beautiful doll, am glad you enjoyed yourself and had fun. Having the ability to park so close to your room was handy too. I hope you have a fantastic new week :)) xx

    1. Thank you sweets. Yes it was and I hope you have a marvelous weekend!

  5. Fabulous trip Jo! I love the pictures you took. The churches and statues are breathtaking. I love the stories of each statue. I know that is a replica of David, but when they showed David on The Travel Channel I think it's the height that compels most people. It's HUGE! What I wouldn't give for a glass of Moscato and plate of linguini & mussels. I was laughing at the portion size of your plate in comparison to your husbands. Too funny! The room had the basics. Pretty good for that price. Hip Hip Hooray for GPS! HAHAHA Thanks for sharing your pics. Loved looking at them.

    1. Ooh, thanx for sharing with me about what you watched on the Travel Channel. Sometimes all these channels make me to envious and itching for wanderlust. You love moscato and mussels too? We could cheers and enjoy our mussels as we chat about stuff. I'm glad to hear that you love looking at my photos. =)

  6. Beautiful place i must say :D wow you're lucky! and you both look perfect together <3
    I enjoyed reading your post and seeing those awesome places :)


    1. Thank you for your sweet words, dear Michelle.

  7. Peeking in on your blog posts as well!! I'm traveling right now so I don't have time to go back and look at the responses you made on the back posts but i'll be sure to check back in once i'm settled in again :)

    man oh man i wish we had had the time to go to florence.. my mom told me it's gorgeous.. and your pictures are proof it's amazing their!! the architecture is outstanding.. you guys look like two romantic love birds!! :)

    1. Thank you for your sweet words, dear Lisa. You managed to see Pompeii but not Florence? I guess we are fair now. Wahahaha... You should really visit Florence. Many of my friends who have been to Italy said that they guess Florence would be my favourite city. It's sorta a tie between Florence and Rome as they are too different to be compared.

      You are travelling? Yay for you. Enjoy your holidays! Will be checking out your posts soon!

  8. Wow I am dying to go to Italy. May be next summer. Definitely will come back to take tips if we do go next summer. Definitely not my type of hotel as I am very picky where I put my head down so will stay away from this one specially if the flows are dirty.
    After reading Inferno some of these places rings a bell.
    I was traveling too so did not visit any blogs nor did I blog for more than five weeks. Now I am back so will visit more often.

    1. You read Inferno? Oh man I was dying to visit the Vatican City after watching Angels and Demons. My friends who read Inferno said that they would be looking out for some familiar places in my photos as mentioned in the novel. I think it's really exciting to visit the setting of a novel. The floor of the hotel was like the floor outdoors but all other aspects of the room were clean.

      I'm glad you relaxed and went travelling too. I will be dropping by your blog soon as I haven't been there for quite a while.

  9. I enjoyed reading this post, Jo! Florence is definitely a place I'm dying to visit, especially for all its art and architecture.

    x Gi

    1. Yes, it truly is! Thanx for dropping by and leaving me a note, Geraldine. I love to see new faces around here. =)

  10. wow florence looks so beautiful and you're so lucky to have gone! i went abroad a couple months ago, and really had a tummyache because the food was so rich there - it doesnt look like you have that kind of problem! the seafood pasta looks so yummy T-T wish I could eat it~
    and im a new korean beauty blogger, do you think you can check out my blog and maybe follow if you like it so far? ^.^ Shinesque (xx)

    1. I heard that your tummy takes time to get used to the food and water in different countries as there are lots of bacteria (harmless or not) in the water and the food cooked in. I think that was what happened to you. I'm sorry to hear that you had to suffer on a trip. I read about the free public water in Italy too and how different people react to the water. My hubby and I didn't want to take the risk and bought bottled water whenever possible.

      Thanx for dropping by and leaving me a lovely note, Shin Esque. I love seeing newcomers around and I will check out your blog soon!

  11. The sights are just overwhelming! And even the complimentary food looks good. Whew!!! I'll never get there, so I appreciate you sharing your trip with us. :)

    1. Thank you, Rick. You are more than welcome to live vicariously through my travel posts. =)

    2. And the non-travel posts, I hope! All are interesting. :)

  12. Absolute fabulous post! I haven't been to Florence yet.... and I'm so jealous looking at all your photos. Italy looks beautiful just like in the movies ^o^ The pasta looks so delicious.. it's making me drool in front of the computer... oh gosh.

    Thank you for the post! I will be sure to visit your blog frequently to see more of your gorgeous photos....followed! :)

    1. Aww... you are so sweet. Thanx for your lovely words. I love seeing newcomers around and I would check out your blog soon!

      Hehehehe... I'm sorry to have made you drool. *wipes the drool*

  13. Hi Jo, I appreciate your kind words, wishing you a wonderful sunny weekend!

  14. You can do "Eat, Pray, Love" all in Italy, no need to go to India or Bali! But of course, traveling to those countries would be interesting, too. :D The place looks so nice and dreamy. And you got a taste of authentic Italian pasta! As usual, you and hubby look good together. :)

  15. Wow amazing pictures, the views all look so pretty~ I visited Italy once before but went to Venice and Verona instead. The buildings there are all so beautiful, but my favourite part was the food! *-*

    Thank you so much for leaving such a kind comment on my blog~ Id love to stay in touch if you'd like to^-^ I will follow your blog:D x

    1. I didn't get to visit Verona. Italy has got so many beautiful and diverse cities that it should be revisited again. Mm... I love the food too and I'm not even a pasta person. I wonder how they make their pastas to appeal to people like me. Thank you for visiting back and following, sweetie!

  16. As usual Jo I dunno where to start! All the photos are gorgeous and Florence looks amazing! Just like how I imagined it to be! Kk I'll just go down the photos lol I love your hotel room, its like a chic boutique hotel! I too do not wear shoes inside my house but when I'm a hotels I usually wear my flip flops or slippers that I bring with me, they don't mop/sanitize the hotel floors, usually just vacuum which isn't clean enough for me. (my sister works in the hotel industry and she tells me this ><) Which is why hotels that provide slippers, even the flimsy ones are greatly appreciated! lol o0o0o0o I was wondering if parking was hard throughout your trip, I hope not! (was there also a lot of pay parking? what about gas? hahaha)

    I must admit, seeing all the photos of the statues etc. made me feel like I'm in class sitting at lecture haha but I don't mind cause I love art history, particularly the Italian renaissance! So many of your photos don't have people overcrowding the background, its gorgeous. hahaha just think of walking up that hill to burn of all the calories for future good food lol =P I really like your ootd photo! Did you put your bag on the grass of did your hubs hold it? My bf refuses to hold my bag and if I ask him he will look at me like I had three heads LOL What's funny is that one time at H&M I wanted to try on a coat and asked him to hold my bag, he quickly looked around frantically to see if there were any clean surfaces he could have me put my bag -.-

    I agree that certain pieces of art that are world famous became so because of pure luck. Personally I'm a huge Michelangelo fan, how cliche I know hahaha but the way he made sculpture come alive is amazing, not to mention I like how his life story wasn't all hunky dory. Did you know the Dome to the basilica was left undone for years and years because no one could design a dome that did not have to use buttresses? It's quite an interesting story! The tower right beside the church is designed by my favorite renaissance artist, Giotto! I'm so envious you got to stand there and admire it's beauty!!!!

    I also noticed you wore sneakers for your trip so far? I think that is very wise and good for your feet. I'm writing this because I just came back from a short 3 day trip where I wore the same pair of flats and my feet felt like they were gonna fall off. I refused to wear sneakers because I wanted to look good in my photos -.-

    1. Hahaha... I also dunno where to start to let me number my points.

      1. Usually for carpeted hotels, bedroom slippers would be provided and we would wear that or our slippers. For non-carpeted hotels, I've never ever stepped into one that has such dirty floors. The room itself is clean and comfortable. It's just the amount of dirt on the floor which hints that it was not swept. Hence, I wondered about the sheets which touched the floor upon changing and start to wonder about more.

      2. We only drove from cities to cities. The rented car is more of a convenience for us instead of taking the train and being bound by their schedule. In each city itself, we mostly walked or took the bus and subway. We would pump petrol along the highway during the drive to each city.

      3. You love art history? You art buff. That's nice! I like it when people appreciate art. I don't know much about the personal life of artists and sculptors and can't differentiate the works of one from another except for their famous ones. I'm always very intrigued by European sculptures and paintings of humans. I really love admiring the human body. I knew stories about the architecture of the church only when I read about it over there. There are simply too many beautiful and interesting stories of the past. You would definitely enjoy Europe a lot since you are so into art. And I really agree about pure luck.

      4. My photos look like there aren't people around but in actual fact, most photos were teeming with tourists in the background. We had to catch the right angle and moments at times while at other times, we made do with all the photo bombs.

      5. It's so cute that you asked about where I put my bag! I'm very particular about where I put my bags and I don't put them on the ground/ outdoor floor. If I do, I would clean the base when I go indoors or before I put them on the chair. In my OOTD photo, I put my bag on a bench. There were benches in that gorgeous area and a girl was reading a book on one of the benches. My hubz is ok with holding my bag for a short while. Sometimes he likes to purposely hold them in a very girly gay manner. And at other times, he would sport a disgruntled look. I hope your bf would slowly learn that holding a gf's bag is perfectly ok (if it is for a while). I don't agree with holding for the whole outing.

      6. The bimbo in me thought very hard and long about my footwear for this trip. I'm usually in heels or slippers in Singapore. I know that European streets and roads are cobblestones or other types of tiles from the medieval times. Heels and slippers are a definite NO-NO if we would be walking big time. Hence, I decided that I would stick to Converse sneakers as they could be fashionable in a mismatched way. It turned out that Converse was really the footwear of choice for the more fashionable ladies in Florence. In fact, they could be wearing maxi dresses, formal flowy dresses and then you spy converse on their feet and they didn't look outta place at all. With that, I kept convincing myself that I was fashionable. Hahaha... in Rome, it was Adidas. One thing though, the arch of my feet would hurt as my converse shoes were too flat. I have slightly flat feet.

  17. I've been to Florence once and honestly, the city didn't really make an impression on me. I think it's because I didn't really do the right things there to give it a chance. For example, I didn't go inside the churches or climb the big hill.

    Can't wait to see what else you did!

    7% Solution

    1. I haven't seen you around for a long time, aki. I'm glad you stopped by and that gives me a chance to reconnect with you.

      I agree about the experiences being tied to a place. I'm sure if you had visited the right place, you would love Florence. For example, I felt Milan was really boring but I guess we had only a full day there to really appreciate the city.


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