Ashley's Picks: Italian Edition
Ashley is back with her picks for August. She recently returned from an amazing trip to italy so of course, her august picks had to be about her favorite places in florence!
In June, my boyfriend and I took our first long trip together. We spent a week in Germany with my moms family and my parents, then we headed to Italy for another week on our own. We started in Venice, made our way to Florence, drove through some of Tuscany, and ended our trip in Rome. Florence was by far our favorite part of Italy. It will always be a special place for us because we also got engaged there! I came home with a fiancé! Here are our favorite spots from Florence!
Ditta Artigianale – Torrefattori Firenze
Good for a morning cappuccino or an afternoon spritz. I absolutely loved this space. There is also an upstairs if you need to get some work done on your laptop. They have great service with spicy baristas! We went every day we were in Florence! When you can’t decide what drink to get, just get all three! :)
Gorgeous views from up above Florence. This is actually where we got engaged so it will always be a very special place. We definitely will go back here and wander around more! It’s an open air museum full of oak trees, sculptures, and fountains, There are beautiful walking paths throughout. We walked to the highest point possible to get the best view. You can see the Duomo which makes me so happy! I would recommend going early in the morning before it is too hot or wait until later in the day to catch the sunset.
We watched a special on amazon prior to going to Europe this summer and it was reported that Vivoli had the best gelato in all of Florence. We went twice and it was VERY good. You really can’t go wrong with any of their flavors! It is a little old shop that is actually down a really quiet street. You would not come across it unless you knew about it or were wandering pretty far away from most of the touristy things people are trying to see. A gelato a day, right?
One of the days, we decided to rent a Fiat and drove to a winery. Honestly, it was one of our favorite days from our trip! Although the driving is terrifying in Italy, getting out of the crowds and away from all the tourists made us feel like we got the whole experience. We went to Guardastelle Vineyard near San Gimignano and can't recommend it enough.
The drive was easy from Florence so I would highly recommend trying to fit this into your itinerary. We showed up without a reservation and got very lucky. We joined a group of couples who were starting a tour of the winery. Our guide was one of the winemakers and she was amazing! So knowledgeable and took her time to teach us all about what they do there and why it is so special. We learned all about the process of making Chianti and the strict rules that are enforced by the DOCG. They also do not distribute any of their wine, they only sell directly from the winery because they make such small batches and want to keep it that way to ensure quality. After our tour of the vineyard, fermentation room, and the olive tree orchard, they fed us a 3 course lunch with wine pairings, of course! It was a small intimate group of 7 people total, including us. Fun fact: the winery also has small villas for rent and a pool. We decided when we go back, we have to stay there. It is very reasonably priced and absolutely gorgeous! Check it out on their website!