Postcard From: Florence
Our Co-Founder Louie has visited Florence more times than she can count, she fell in love with the city whilst travelling to the super chic Pitti Filati textile show for many years. She always wanted to take her husband, Andrew, and show him why she was so captivated.
Incorporating Florence into their month long European honeymoon was always going to happen. Here she tells you about her favourite little places that will make your trip a total Tuscan treat.
Our honeymoon was one of the most exciting parts of the whole wedding process. Planning a trip that was all about us, a total luxury and indulging in our favourite things which happen to be food, wine, and food.
We decided to venture on a 'Grand Tour' of Europe, starting in the turquoise Cyclades of Greece and ending up in the dizzy glitz of Paris. Stopping along the way in one of my favourite cities. Florence.
After flying into Pisa airport we took the quaint 50 minute train ride through the Tuscan hills into Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station. A 5 minute taxi ride and we arrived at the breathtaking Hotel Continentale, located along the banks of the River Arno and literally a stones throw from the Ponte Vecchio. You couldn't get more central.
After the joy of being given an upgrade, we were led to our suite that was straight out of a modern fairyale. Swathes of linen draped from the ceiling, around the bed and gently sitting around the edges of the room, a honeymoon couples perfect private sanctuary.
One of the best views of the city is from the roof terrace at the hotel. An intimate setting with luxuriously designed seating areas to rest and while away the afternoon sipping bellinis, waiting for the sun to set over the rooftops. An absolute must and open to all, even non hotel guests.
After a day of leisurely walking across the many bridges and quaint streets the highlight of our day is going out for dinner. In Florence you are spoilt for choice. On our first night we visited my top restaurant pick. Buca Mario.
When you step through the door it's like travelling back in time 50 years to a bygone age not known today. You will be welcomed like family and be ready to feast on Florentine delights. I recommend booking in advance to secure a table as they get booked up early in peak season.
If you want to escape the streets for an afternoon of peace and quiet, head over the river to the South side of Florence and make your way to the Boboli Gardens.
You'll be transported into an Italian Narnia and get lost wandering between 16th century sculpture and Roman antiquities. This place is insanely instagrammable so get your honeymoon outfits all planned out!
There are so many little nooks that you can find yourself in as you wander the streets. We found ourself snapping at every turn as it's just so beautiful.
There are attractions that you must see, like the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the iconic multi coloured church in the centre of the city, it's definitely worth going inside to marvel at the interior, it's just as impressive as the exterior. Do note that you must be modestly dressed to enter so make sure you are carrying a scarf if you plan on entering and are in a shoulder bearing outfit.
The Uffizi gallery is always on the list of things to see and it's magnificent, my top tip is to make sure you book your tickets a few weeks in advance as the queues to buy ticktes on the day are insane and you don't want to waste hours standing in line.
One of my absolute favourite restaurants is La Cucina Del Garga, an eclectic mix of art and design packed into a quaint dining room that is always full of Florentine characters and Italian hustle and bustle.
You will be shown to your table and given a set of pens to which you are instructed to draw on the table cloth. Such a fun little touch that we really went to town on.
I always order the famous Garga salad, a refreshing mix of avocado, artichoke hearts and a secret citrus dressing that I cannot ever recreate as much as i've tried.
Another favourite restaurant pick that you must try is Trattoria 13 Gobbi, it's like walking into something from The Talented Mr Ripley, it oozes old world chic. An authentic vintage glamour that's hard to find mixed with their famous Florentine Bistecca and Tagliata just can't be missed. Again I recommend booking in advance to secure a table.
I have never visited Florence without taking a trip to the magical Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella to stock up on lotions and potions. It's easy to miss the entrance of this majestic place as the doorway gives away no clues to the treasures within.
This 600 year pharmacy creates skincare and perfume from ancient recipes combining flowers and spices that are unchanged from the 16th century. You can buy the same scents worn by the royalty of renaissance Europe, and they smell divine.
My go to products are the Latte Per Il Corpo (body milk) in Rose Gardenia, their milk soaps will change your life and also the floral bud infused wax tablets that you hang in your wardrobe and softly scent your clothes for what seems like forever.
Finally, no trip to Florence can be complete without a walk down the Via Tornabuoni to dream of owning that limitless credit card. All the top boutiques are here for you to treat yourself to a little honeymoon souvenir.
After our four days in Florence were up, we rolled our pasta filled bodies onto the plane at Pisa and jetted to our next destination. Leaving behind the most wonderful place where we had created memories that will last a lifetime. Florence, we love you!