Italy Travel Diary + Vlog | Part 3 - Florence
Video was shot using the iPhoneX + DJI Osmo Mobile 2 for stabilization. Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 and Adobe After Effects CC 2018.
Buonasera! Here is the final installation to my trilogy of Italy vlogs—a short video on my 24 hours in Forence. If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out Part 1 on Rome, and Part 2 on Venice + Burano (probably my favorite out of the 3). If you're liking the videos so far, please give them thumbs up, or subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Although I was only offered 24 hours in Florence, I was able to explore a variety of places because the city was very condensed and easy to navigate on foot. Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is filled with famous masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s David and Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. Despite not being very well-versed in art history, I still found the city to be intriguing and filled with gorgeous monuments. Oh, and scattered with delicious authentic Italian food on every street corner.
We decided once again to do one of our early morning photo/filming trips. Since the area around the Duomo (otherwise known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) is always crowded with tourists during the day, I attempted to get some nice shots at dawn but found dozens of other photographers and vloggers trying to do the same thing.
As a general rule of thumb: your knees and shoulders must be covered whenever you enter a cathedral or church in Italy. But don’t be alarmed, there are dozens of vendors selling scarves and capes outside the church for women like myself—who, finally getting a break from her work wardrobe, chose to bring along the most revealing pieces from her wardrobe on her vacation.
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best vantage points to get a view of Florence as a whole. Do note that you will have to work for it though. Google maps might tell you that it’s a twenty minute walk from wherever you are in the city… but that twenty minute walk is a walk straight uphill. And if you’re doing it in the 90 degree Italian summer, do expect a workout before you’re rewarded with the view.
After hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo, we were quite starving by the time of dinner. Because Italians usually eat very long dinners late into the night, we booked a reservation at La Giostra at 9:15PM. I was dying to try the Florentine steak, and the internet was telling me that La Giostra was the place to try it. Although the steak itself set us back 84 euros, the restaurant provided us with multiple glasses of wine on the house and a free appetizer platter. We also ordered the pear ravioli, which was divine.
And by no means did they skimp on this appetizer sampler. On it was a tasty salad, bruschetta, foie gras, vegetable fritters, and house-made bologna. This would’ve set me back at least 15 bucks in San Francisco. But here it was 0.
The restaurant is dimly lit with hundreds of small ceiling lights that created a romantic but nostalgic vibe. On the wall are photos of famous celebrities that have visited in the past, including John Travolta and Tom Hanks. If you’re interested in dining here, be sure to make a reservation in advance on La Giostra’s website.
Our small but cute Airbnb. Filled with all sorts of nostalgic furniture.
Being a tourist, I was obligated to say hi to the David statue at the Accademia Gallery. David was created by Michelangelo when he was only 26, and is considered one of the most renowned works of the Renaissance. Because it’s such a famous piece of art, be sure to book your tickets to the Accademia online in advance to avoid waiting in the long line that stretches far around the block.
The Accademia is also home to a myriad of other famous works of the Renaissance. If you get tired of looking at paintings and sculptures, be sure to stop by the music gallery that showcases a variety of ancient instruments.
Stop by Ponte Vecchio, a bridge that houses multiple shops selling everything from jewelry to leather goods.
Taking the train out of Florence? Stop by Mercato Centrale Firenze, a hipster marketplace/food court that’s located few minutes away from the Firenze SMN train station. You’ll find a variety of vendors selling authentic Italian street foods, and loads of locals and tourists alike enjoying a casual lunch.
Below the food court is a marketplace, selling fresh vegetables, meats, spices, olive oils, pastries… you name it. I was really hard to walk through without the urge to get myself a second lunch.
I had a fairly smooth time traveling throughout Italy thanks to the Frecciargento—which is the high speed train that connects Italy’s major cities. Previously known as the Italian Eurostar, the train got me from Rome to Florence in 2 hours and from Florence to Venice in another 2 hours. I would highly recommend taking the Frecciargento or Frecciarossa, especially if you’re traveling first class, in which case they will offer you a free small bottle of wine and snacks!
Although I’m relieved that I’m done with all my Italy vlogs, I’m also sad to finally put this vacation behind me. I truly had a great time, and learned lots of the Italian language and customs along the way. If you found any of the content helpful, please pin these ideas on your boards on Pinterest, give the video a thumbs up, or subscribe to my YouTube channel :)