'Allora', 'Caio Bella!' Two phrases that take me fondly right back to living in Italy.
In this cold, wet, windy, English February I remember my Florence days with smile on my face. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can even feel the warmth on my skin and smell the scents of Italy.
If you are planning a little getaway I have outlined a few of my favourite travel tips for Florance.
First of all - I would say the best location to stay in is Santo Spirito - there are some great air B&Bs in the area.
Start with a coffee in Santa Spirito and a sweet pastry. yum.
Head up to Piazza Michelangelo before the crowds descend, and get a great view of the city. On the way down walk past Via di S Niccolo and pop into Alessandro Dari - trust me its worth a look!
For lunch have the best sandwich in town, maybe even in the world, Al'antico Vinaio. Its on Via dei Neri, on both sides of the road. While in the queue you can also help yourself to the wine, which is 2 euros a glass. Just ask them to make you the best sandwich they can - it doesn't disappoint.
The City is beautiful; walk by the Duomo, it never failed to amaze me every time I passed by, also the Ponte Vecchio. There are some incredible shops including shoemakers jewellery designers etc. Wander the Giardino di Boboli - beautiful gardens.
For an afternoon gelato head to Piazza Della Passera. The gelateria there is incredible, my favourite was Nocciola (Hazelnut).
Head down to the wine bar next to Il Santo Bevitore (via di Santo Spirito) and start your Aperitivo with some delicious wine and enjoy the snacks they bring you. Move on to Santo Spirito to Pop Cafe to enjoy their buffet of Apperitvo. Don’t forget your Aperol!
If you are looking for a good rooftop bar to watch the sun descend over the city, then just head to the roof of one of the hotels....
If the Aperitivo hasn't filled you up (it usually does) then some of my favourite restaurants were around Piazza Della Passera.
It's a beautiful city, be sure to explore and get lost.