Florence, Italy

Goodness, what an incredible city Florence is! I spent a long weekend exploring the ins and outs of this beautiful place with Amanda and Megan, and fell in love with its charm. The duomo. I mean come on. When I turned a corner through the winding streets filled with restaurants, bakeries, and leather shops, then looked up to see a building so unbelievable, I was speechless. I loved how easy it was to get around, the food, the atmosphere, the tiny streets and countless vespas. It was almost exactly how I'd dreamed Italy would be: the red roofs, stunning architecture, and food to die for. The only thing that surprised me was how touristy the city is. Living in Prague has me spoiled; I am immersed in a culture surrounded by Czech speakers and locals. In Florence, I was more surprised to hear a local speaking Italian than I was to hear a tourist speaking English.

^ After climbing the bell tower, we had a beautiful view of the Duomo at sunset!

^ Inside the Florence Cathedral

^ The cathedral ceilings (along with just about every other building we entered) were incredible!

Leather markets and shops were EVERYWHERE. I enjoyed bargaining with a few sellers in the market and became fairly good at knocking their prices down 50%.

^ Driving in Florence is terrifying. There were multiple moments on our taxi rides to and from the airport that I thought I was going to die. Their driving is extremely aggressive because it has to be - otherwise they wouldn't get anywhere! Florence in itself wasn't created for driving, so that adds to the chaos. The thin, winding streets don't give cars much space to pass; many locals opt for vespas and mopeds to get places.

^ The duomo, cathedral, and baptistry.

^ Gelato to. die. for.

^ We stopped by a charming paperie where the owner gave us a demonstration of how he creates his work. It was beautiful!

^ The Ponte Vecchio

^ Uffizi gallery views!

I could eat Ladurée macaroons for every meal and never get sick of them

^ We climbed up a huge hill and stumbled upon this incredible view of the city

Inside the Duomo

Don't even get me started on the food. Italian food most definitely has my heart! We had so much delicious pizza, pasta, gelato, pastries, bread, and coffee that I can't even remember it all.