Florence: The Land of Space and Sunshine

We got into Florence around 10:30 pm last night. Because we are travel noobs, we didn’t book our Chunnel tickets back when we were planning this trip, assuming that it’d be something we could snag last minute for the same price. Well, prices went up astronomically so we ended up flying from Paris to Florence, and paying triple what we would have had we booked a month ago. Learn from our mistake — toss your footloose and fancy-free aspirations out the window and book in advance.

We’re staying at the Palazzo Ricasolo. After our miniature room in Paris, this is the mansion of all mansions. It’s not in the best area of town but you can quickly walk to the best area of town so it’s nearly as good. And it’s huge! We have a massive sitting room, a solid balcony, a nice-sized bedroom, and a full bathroom with shower, tub, toilet and bidet (do any travelers actually use the bidet?).

This doesn't look particularly nice in the photo but it's huge and clean!

This doesn’t look particularly fancy in the photo but it’s huge and clean!

Since we didn’t check in until 11:30 pm, we set out to find some food. What’s up with Europe, people? Why is everything closed by 11 pm? When we were searching for someplace to eat this late, we had several locals refer us the 24-hour McDonald’s. Instead, we opted for a tiny bar that served food. It had more of a pub feel and a cute dog hanging out, and it did the job for us. I quickly embraced the Italian feel with Prosecco; Dave is having a hard time getting out of London.

Our first Italian meal.

This morning we enjoyed the view from our balcony and walked around the city. The architecture here is simply astounding, and my photos don’t do it justice. So just visit Florence yourself (come on, do it) and be somewhat astounded every time you turn the corner and see another immensely huge and beautiful building.

The view from our balcony was pretty killer. Thus far, Florence wins.

The view from our balcony.

Another nice touch with the Palazzo Ricasolo is the complementary breakfast. This isn’t your stale Danish and lukewarm coffee kind of breakfast. It’s pretty robust — with eggs, meats, pastries, cereal, muffins, fruit, fresh juices, and really good coffee. AND they have a barista so you can order cappuccinos to your heart’s content. For us, this equals three per day.

We’ve been drinking a lot of these.

Thus far, Florence takes the cake as my favorite on this trip. It’s substantially warmer which helps its standing, seemingly more affordable, and just gorgeous.

Esther prefers her cappuccinos without the espresso portion.

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