Amanda and Tim’s Italy trip: Florence

Categories   Honeymoons

While on a complete high from the proposal in Lake Como, we scurried down in the direction of Florence. Neither of us had been there before and we heard it was an amazing city, so we were pretty excited to see what all the buzz was about. We arrived at our hotel a little late due to getting lost in Milan on the way down (and being a bit starry-eyed) but we finally made it. The hotel manager at Riva Lofts ensured someone was waiting up to see us to our space (thank you, Alice!).

florence honeymoon ideas

Exploring this city with so much history and art was fascinating. Of course we hit all the popular spots, the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, and saw the David, which was so much more magnificent and enormous than I ever had thought it would be!

Our dinners were spent in the Oltrarno quarter, which any local will tell you is the *only* place to go out for food. We had a lovely bistecca alla Fiorentina our last night there at Il Guscio, hidden on a quiet street.

Since we love the markets, we had to hit the Mercato Centrale, where we picked up some dried pasta, olive oil and almost 3 pounds of grana padano cheese to take back with us. yum! The most delicious sandwich we had on the entire trip was in the Mercato building where one of the stands sold prosciutto, pecorino and smoked tomato paninis. We took them over to the steps by the Basilica di Santa Maria Fiore and gobbled them up, stopping only to snap a quick photo before I took the last bite.

florence honeymoon ideas

A true delight that I would recommend to any couples traveling to Florence is to spend some time in the Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Dominican monks began concocting herbal remedies here in the 13th century and today, they still sell traditional elixirs along with more contemporary skin-care products, oils and perfumes. Once inside, you’re in another world. You feel the history and smell the strong, sweet fragrance of flowers and essential oils wafting through the rooms. And needless to say, it’s a pretty romantic place to go with a lover.

florence honeymoon ideas

farmaceutica di santa maria novella

I had been searching high and low for a good cooking class to take in Italy and came across Cooking in Tuscany from the Italian Visits website. We had a great time learning the proper techniques for making the perfect noodle dough, spinach ravioli, Tuscan crostini, risotto, pistachio chicken, zucchini flan and ricotta torta.

florence cooking class

Found the cutest gelateria near the bridge, Gelateria Santa Trinita, and since it was pink I had to give it a try! Ended up being some of our favorite gelato in Florence, right behind Vivoli.

florence honeymoon ideas

One of the highlights of our time in Florence was the “hotel” where we stayed. Riva Lofts was nothing short of amazing. Rustic, Italian countryside chic on the outside with a sleek, modern interior accented by antique decor touches. If we could live here, we was the most unique and coolest hotel we stayed in the entire trip (and probably in our lives). Plus the staff was incredibly helpful, recommending restaurants and routes to take through town. They make their own delicious olive oil which you can purchase at the hotel. Plus they have a collections of cute bikes that you can borrow, which we did one evening and rode through the streets of Florence at night.

riva lofts

riva lofts

They also hold wedding receptions at the hotel. The manager, Alice, (who is also the hotel architect’s daughter) sent me some photos of a past wedding..

riva lofts

Here are a few Instagram snaps of the stylish and simple breakfasts we had there. The bottom two photos are some pretty bottles we came across in one of the shops (that might slightly influence the style of our wedding invitations?), and some delicious fresh fruit puree popsicles near the Palazzo Vecchio.

florence honeymoon ideas

Buonasera! Stay tuned for our trip through the Tuscan towns of Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano, Siena and Saturnia!

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Angela Dal Bon Custom Invites on Oct 19, 2011

This post makes me want to go there now! Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures!

Filipa on Oct 19, 2011

Thank you for sharing the details of your trip with us - I look forward to the next post. Italy looks wonderful.

Annie on Oct 20, 2011

Oh those Riva Lofts look divine!! Seriously thinking about booking them for our honeymoon now.

jen k. on Oct 20, 2011

Looks like you had such a wonderful time in Florence ! I love that city. And that hotel is oh so stylish!

Yvonne on Oct 20, 2011

Florence is a really great city for food. I studied there in college and ate my way through the city. I've never heard of Riva Lofts...they look really amazing and such a dreamy place to spend your time being newly engaged! Congrats!

esther on Oct 20, 2011

seriously amazing!!! you have totally inspired me to start planning my honeymoon -- and that cooking class is a definite must for our itinerary. how long did you stay in italy and how long were you staying in each place?

100layercake on Oct 20, 2011

Esther, the cooking class was so fun! And pretty reasonably priced at like 140 euro. We were in Italy for 3 weeks, which was definitely a long time, but we hit a lot of cities...which was really fun and adventurous but at times pretty exhausting. I'd say 2 weeks is the perfect amount of time for a honeymoon there, and maybe hit 2-3 cities so it's not too overwhelming (you will want to relax after the big wedding!). Good luck!

Heath on Jan 10, 2012

Looks Amazing. I'm in the process of planning our honeymoon in Italy. Curious, Did you guys rent a car and drive to all of these cities or take trains? Thanks!

Jenny on Jul 12, 2013

Florence Italy looks like a beautiful place to have a wedding! I know there are many resorts that are able to offer a once in a lifetime experience for your event.

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