Beautiful Firenze, the city that many believed as the birthplace of my business, TasBijoux. Honestly, the last time I visited Firenze was in 2010, and it was only for a good few hours, I didn’t get to see much, nor remember much, but it was enough for me to start on my crazy venture as an entrepreneur a few years later in 2013.
Firenze, in late summer, is still quite hot. To make things worst, we did not pack enough simple clothing, but lugged around our coats! Ah yes, but we survive this beautiful city for about a week. Unfortunately, I will have to skip the whole meeting with my Italian partners part, that’s a secret, shhh! 🙂
Firenze is a very, VERY, jam-packed popular city. There are a LOT of tourists, making getting around a bit hectic, even in the late summer. You might want to consider visiting this city in October or early November instead. Since you could probably find out about traveling around Firenze just about anywhere on the Internet. Well, here are some of my notes about the city.
The main concern for us when selecting an accommodation is the distance of the place from the points of interest of the city. We selected an AirBnB which was perfect for a family stay, which is about 8 trams station away from the city center. It is a bit far, but because transportation is quite easy to figure out in Firenze, you won’t be having much problems. Be careful when selecting a place to stay, most buildings do not have lifts as they are pretty old.
Check out the super-perfect airBnB we stayed in here, the owner Signor(Mr.) Leonardo, is so welcoming, even if you are a Muslim!–>https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12024334
Another worry, for most traveling mommies like me, is how on earth do you drag around the stroller in a city that’s pretty ancient? Well the answer is, make sure your husband yang angkat stroller kalau takde lift..hahaha
Firenze is actually very well connected, but please, have internet, and search the points of location you want to go to. Say from your home to Ponte Vecchio, follow the steps and the transport mode the app shows you.
It’s best to bring a stroller if you are staying more than 2 tram/bus stations away from the city center. Firenze is quite big and there a lot of places to see.
For my Muslim friends, do not worry about a thing. Just go to the San Lorenzo area (about 15 minutes walk from the central station of S.M. Novella) and there is a row of halal food eateries. Honestly, Italy senang kot nak makan, kebab everywhere, nak nasi goreng USA pun ada! haha (no, seriously not kidding). If you want to try-out Italian food, some halal restaurant actually serves halal pasta as well. There are some pastries that uses LARD when making it, such cannolis. Be sure to check before traveling!
There are tons of cafe in the city, at every turn. Coffee and pastry is a very important lifestyle culture for the Italians. You should try out a few, and if you don’t have a small kid with you, boleh lah berangan ala Italian, and sit by the cafe and do people watching.
Gelato is pretty safe to eat, most of them are made with milk+fruit puree only. Just don’t buy the ones in Duomo area, can be quite expensive! For a list of top Gelatos in Firenze, read this list. My favourite which I visited is Carabe. It is not expensive, because some gelaterias can charge up to 10 euros PER SCOOP! So be sure to check the price first. While walking aimlessly, we discovered this cute market, La Belle Epoque. I totally loved! There were home-made jams, home-made chocolates, soaps and perfumes from France, and so many others. We thought of coming back the day after. However, nak cari balik tak jumpa dah selepas tu, since we were not used to the streets.
Where to visit in Firenze?
Honestly, when we were there, we did not queue or visit most of the Museums and Galleries. Aside from the super-long queue that continues until around the block, and you will have to pay for it, so nah…we decided to enjoy the vibrant city itself. Every street leads to an old classic architecture, that is so well-preserved, and of course if you’re lucky, unique Gelato parlours. We went to the same tourist spots twice, so that we don’t really have to go see it again in the future (I really can’t stand the crowd!).
There are many other small art galleries, churches and other attractions around the city other than the ones usually suggested. So walking around randomly may lead you to unknown secrets. I am currently in the process of putting together a video of our time in Firenze, will upload it in the next post! Until then, Ciao e Grazie!2