A Florence Adventure: A Girl’s Dream Getaway

Written by isabellacarney June 4, 2024

As my first-weekend trip has come to a close, I look back with thoughts of amazement and happiness. With a 3-hour train ride to the heart of Tuscany, Florence awaited with open arms for us 8 girls. Amidst the cobblestone streets and the Renaissance architecture, we indulged in the quintessential Italian experience. Each day was a new adventure, from scouring the local boutiques, to walking through the leather markets and twirling forks into the flavorful pasta that is the soul of Italian cuisine. We wandered through the streets where modern beats met ancient heartbeats, and every corner whispered its unique tale. We were followed by laughter, smiles, and eyes the size of our stomachs.
From the first bite of authentic pasta to the original gelato of Florence, we were in awe. As a tourist, I had always heard about Italian cuisine, but little did I know what I had just gotten myself into. The first stop was Agua al 2, a quaint yet packed authentic Italian restaurant that welcomed us with open arms. From the minute we sat down to the time we left, each of us was deep into the rich culinary heritage. As a pasta girl at heart, I was blown away by all the flavors coming my way, and the blueberry and balsamic steak sampler was out of this world. Imagine a steak, cooked to perfection, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a sweet blueberry coating. As someone who is already planning their next trip to Florence, Agua al 2 is a must.
Next, we indulged in what any smart person would do, Gelato. Florence boasts some of Italy’s best gelato and after scrolling through hundreds of TripAdvisor reviews, we had found just the place. Gelateria La Carraia is what my dreams are made of. From the large assortment of mouthwatering flavors to the crunch of the homemade cone, I thought my friends and I were never going to leave. The raspberry dark chocolate and the cookie crunch gelato were the hit of the night and were talked about the next day.
The last day we were there we pulled out all the stops. When I say stops, I mean All’Antico Vinaio, truly the best Panini (sandwich) I have ever had. From the prosciutto, cream of pistachio, and the homegrown tomatoes, my mind was truly blown. This place is known for its warm, olive oil-smeared bread and it did not disappoint (go early in the day or there will be a 2-mile-long line). At a loss for words over the Italian cuisine we had just devoured, we were ready for all that this incredible city had to offer us.
As the morning air became the afternoon heat, we wandered the streets, eyes feasting on the city’s art and history with a cappuccino in hand. From the majestic Duomo to the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo, life had never seemed so real. As a college girl who had never experienced life at this level, everything was new to me. As the days became nights, the memory-making started to blossom, and the photos started rolling. We walked until our feet were dumb, took a break, and continued.
Determined to find the perfect souvenirs to bring home, we girls were a force to be reckoned with. From the leather markets to Marlu (my new favorite jewelry store), to the precious street vendors, we did our fair share of damage thanks to the city. Wandering through bustling markets and chic boutiques, each of us found treasure we couldn’t wait to share stories about.
The shopping turned into sightseeing, and the adventures led us to marvel at Florence’s art and architecture. From the renaissance architecture, and cobblestone streets, to the picturesque views, words can’t do it justice; it’s something I can only hope to share with my parents one day. The depth and grandness of the Duomo, to the Statue of David, I found myself truly in amazement over history and the Roman empire; something I was never fascinated by before.
The amazement of this city has left me eager for my weekends to come, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I am sad that my Florence experience has come to an end. From a tourist who got to experience it for a short weekend, it truly is a living city with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From local cafes, and family-owned panini shops, to any Italian restaurant, Florence is a must during a European excursion. This bustling city is not just about museums, the culture, the walking tours, it’s about making it your own and soaking up every minute that the city has to offer.