Europe Trip Part 2: Florence

(Read Part 1: Rome post here).

So our next trip was to Florence.

We took a train from Rome, and the journey took about an hour+. It was almost 6pm when we arrived Florence and most shops were closed, so no shopping that day. We spent the rest of the day checking out the city.

 

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Being in Florence is like stepping back in time. Compared to Rome, I would say Florence is more picturesque and full of arts (and not as busy as Rome). I love it! Glad we spent the longest time here (5 days). There were sculptures and architectures everywhere; it was so beautiful.

Some even say that Florence is like an “open air museum”. I couldn’t agree more.

 

 

IMG_2692This is Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s city hall. Our apartment is just about 10 minutes walk from here.

 

 

IMG_2706Nude men guarding the entrance of the city hall

 

 

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I cannot imagine if we brought our girls here. They would probably say, “Eee malu la!” when they see the nude men sculptures and then they would probably ask, “What is that?” at you-know-what. Haha.

 

IMG_2705Loggia dei Lanzi, which houses a number of statues

 

 

IMG_2700There are a lot of ways to get around the city if you’re tired of walking – you can rent a bike, vespa, car, horse carriage (that counts too, right?) and even Segway. How cool is that?

 

 

IMG_2760Ponte Vecchio – Medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno River

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IMG_2756Lots of small shops around here, selling jewelries, arts and souvenir stuff

 

 

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IMG_2776Found a nice cafe to have breakfast

 

IMG_2793Chocolate crepe and hot chocolate with whipped cream. The hot chocolate was thick and kinda bitter for my liking (I think they used dark chocolate)

 

 

IMG_2796We also had this cannoli. Was supposed to wait 2 minutes before eating it, but I took a bite right away. Well I didn’t know! Isn’t the filling supposed to be soft and creamy? This one is like frozen cream. Brain freeze kejap.

 

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IMG_2808Hubby and I just love to feast our eyes at all the pizzerias and gelaterias that we found bersepah along the streets. One thing I like about Italy is that their pizzas and pastas are mostly vegetarian. They sure love their tomatoes and cheese!

 

IMG_2820Just had to take a peek. Everything looks yummy!

 

IMG_2715This is Santa Maria del Fiore, or simply known as Duomo – one of the largest cathedrals in the world

 

 

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IMG_2717Just look at the details. Such an amazing work of art. Took 140 years to build this!

 

 

IMG_2720 The exterior is covered in a decorative mix of green, pink and white marbles. And the 13 statues…. Hubs mentioned those were the 12 disciples and Jesus or something.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetInside the Duomo

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IMG_2884This is the biggest artwork in the cathedral – a painting about the Last Judgement

IMG_2847Saw this horsey outside of Duomo and I just had to take a pic

 

 

 

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IMG_2970Had lunch at this fancy place, Caffe Gilli. I had been wanting to eat ravioli ever since we first arrived in Italy and finally found one! Their spinach and cheese ravioli was delicious (hubby had risotto, which was also yummy).

IMG_2854My sister told me that the best gelato she had ever had in Italy is at Eataly and so we went to hunt it for our dessert

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThey don’t have a lot of flavor choices tho (only about 5, I think). We tried chocolate and pistachio. Sedappp! Tasted like real pistachio.

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IMG_2812The Italian Wheels. You can rent a vespa or Fiat 500 for a guided group tour through the Tuscan countryside. If we weren’t on a personal shopper mission here, we would have definitely joined this tour!

IMG_3004Saw one of the cars outside, and couldn’t resist a pic. Then one of the guys saw us and was so cool to offer taking our pics. He even told us to get inside the car.

IMG_3008Aihh bestnya kalau dapat jalan-jalan around Tuscany in this!

 

 

IMG_3148San Lorenzo market. Was fun walking through the market. There were shops selling souvenirs, scarves, leather bags, jackets and belts all Italian-made. I even bought a few Pucci inspired silk scarves here.

 

IMG_3263Art is everywhere in Florence – even on the streets!

IMG_3215Just WOW.

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 IMG_3030“Can we just go over there?” *points to Chanel*

 

 

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Oh hey, there’s Salvatore Ferragamo Museum! (the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was… Damon Salvatore! Heee)

 

 

 

IMG_2699And there’s Gucci Museum too

 

IMG_3022My husband searched for “best gelato in Florence” on Google and found 3 places. We tried all 3 but this is the best!

IMG_3014There were soooo many gelato flavours to choose from – I think about 30 flavours! Rambang mata aku. They have unique flavours like chocolate pistachio chili, ricotta cheese and strawberry pie that tasted like real pie.

IMG_3020I tried coconut with nuts gelato and hubby tried hazelut chocolate. Seriously the best gelato ever!! You really have to try their gelato if you’re in Florence. Wajib! (we actually ate there 3 times!)

IMG_3079My husband also searched for “best pizza in Florence” and found Gusta Pizzza. As you can see, they used wood-fired stone oven to bake their pizza.

IMG_3087Best pizza in Florence. The tomatoes are sweet and juicy, the cheese is so creamy and the pizza bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Another must-go place in Florence!

 

IMG_3099Another gelato, this time from Gelateria la Carraia (also Googled by hubby). Mine was white chocolate with pistachio. Bit sweet but overall not bad

 

 

IMG_3011Told my sister and BIL about this nice cafe with open windows that we saw and decided to have our breakfast there the next morning

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IMG_3144Meet the friendly owner of this cafe, who is also the barista, Signori Francesco. Apparently, he won World Barista Championship 3 times so he knows his coffee very well.

IMG_3132My husband and BIL tried his “unbelievable coffees” – Esmerelda Geisha and Nekisse (such pretty names for coffee!) and explained to us about the origin, how to drink it (you are not supposed to drink it with sugar and milk to heighten the taste) and how to make it. I even recorded a video of how he made the coffees and shared it on my Instagram. I’m not a fan of coffee but this was surely interesting!

IMG_3139Everyone else ordered coffee, so I felt obliged to order one for myself. I chose something mild – cafe latte. Not bad and I can totally taste the difference of Italian coffee, but I still prefer te

IMG_3172And the shopping mission continues… again

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IMG_3208Next on my must-eat-Italian dish is gnocchi. Had this yummy tomato and mozzarella cheese gnocchi at Caffe Concerto Paszkowski (sister’s treat)

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IMG_3275Oh hi, here’s another gelato from Grom. You can never have too much gelato when you’re in Italy, ok? :D

IMG_3291Every corner in Florence is a work of art. I can’t stop snapping pictures!

IMG_3338Sat down at a cafe with Duomo at the back. Sigh… so picturesque

IMG_3326The barista commented “Very English!” when I ordered tea. I supposed not a lot of people drink tea in Italy? Hehe

IMG_3361There are a few designer outlets in Florence, but my sister said the best is The Mall.

IMG_3358They even provide direct bus from the centre of Florence to The Mall outlet (journey took about 45 minutes)

IMG_3365Hee-ugeee Gucci outlet

IMG_3360Lots of luxury brands here – Dior, Emilio Pucci, Burberry, Tods, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci, Fendi, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Lanvin, Ferragamo, just to name a few.

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IMG_3400Had lunch at the restaurant inside The Mall outlet. This is my sister’s salmon and spinach ravioli. Sedap oih

IMG_3401And this is my cheesy gnocchi with pesto. Sedap jugak. Semua la sedap :P

We also took a taxi to Prada Space outlet, which is located about 30 minutes from The Mall. It’s kind of like a factory (I think?) so imagine how big the place is! Of course it also mean more selections for Prada and Miu Miu bags, shoes, shirts, sunnies and other accessories.

IMG_3438Done shopping at Prada. Now where’s the taxi?

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IMG_3456Had our last meal in Florence at this one restaurant, overlooking Duomo

IMG_3463Hawaiian pizza (without the ham) and mushroom pizza (Pizza Hut lagi sedap).

Right after dinner, we went to Gelateria dei Neri again for our last gelato in Florence. My sister and BIL even said that was the best gelato they’ve ever tasted. I’ve lost count how many times we had gelato in Florence alone. Must be… 12 times, I think? Haha. We just had to have at least 2 gelato every day. Bak kata suami, “bila lagi nak makan?”. LOL :P

And that’s the end of our stay in Florence.

Stay tuned for the last part of our Europe trip!



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