A Mini Trip to Florence and Firenze…

I was going to update you on my trip to Iceland now that I am back and have had a day to catch up with myself, it always amazes me that I come back more tired than I left, when I realised that I hadn’t actually shared anything from my wonderful trip to Italy earlier in the year. Actually, that is not quite true as I did show you a little trip we took to Juliet’s balcony in Verona. Anyway as it is rather grim outside today I thought I would add some sunny snapshots from part of a holiday which, and this is no exaggeration as I will probably never have one quite like this again, was an absolute dream. I can honestly say I think staying at Il Salviatino in the Firenze hills just outside Florence was one of the most amazing places I have stayed in my life.

As we drove up the drive the evening before the above picture was taken it was a little bit like I imagined the unnamed narrator of Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ feels, only without all the rain she had, as we were driven up the winding candle lit driveway surrounded by trees through which we kept  glimpsing the lights of the villa ahead. A villa which has been rescued from ruin, with a life saving £50,000,000 pound restoration project (and there are only roughly 40 bedrooms), which has returned the building and its grounds to their former glory of the times as you can see from the view we had from our bedroom.

They have also reinstated and renovated the library that was built by Italy’s art critic and journalist Ugo Ogetti who used to host Literary Salons in that very room. I love it when somewhere I have gone for non-book-based work ends up having a lovely literary link and having tried my hand at Literary Salon’s it was nice to feel this building had a real reading history and this room in specific.

Speaking of reading, this was a trip where I was determined to masses. From the moment I saw the pool (and we had the most amazing massages in the spa) I had visions of endless hours simply sat reading by it…

However I did absolutely no reading by the pool at all. It seemed that I needed a break, The Beard though was another matter as he spent pretty much the entire time by the pool devouring some serious summertime salacious reading…

I am going to be in big trouble for popping that picture up, let’s hope he doesn’t see it. The other thing that was amazing about the hotel was the food and each night we were treated to an eight course ‘taster’ meal (which I think should be on every menu) of delicate and divine little dishes forming a selection of what you could have from the menu.

Amazingly on top of these, and the wine to match each dish, we still managed a huge breakfast and indeed a pizza at lunch each day. For which of course we went to Florence, and whilst there how could we not be complete and utter tourists and go and see all the sights including the Ponte Vecchio…

Which I thought was a bit overrated, though beautiful, but the bonus of it was it had a massive ice cream parlour on either side which of course I had to sample. We also visited all the statues, some bookshops (which I will report back on) but the highlight for me, apart from a gorgeous hidden pizzeria and another hidden local restaurant, was definitely The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Duomo, which I found as breathtaking on the outside as I did on the inside…

Despite the fact that both The Beard and I are scared of heights we decided that we simply had to walk all the way to the top, how could we not? Well if you ever want to really fall out, if briefly, with your other half then I recommend doing something that you both hate. As we ascended there was much snapping and grumping, before more of the same on the way back. It was an amazing experience and I was even brave enough to lean over the edge to prove we had been at the top (which resulted in much rage filled swearing from a certain beardy person who seemed to think I was dicing with death, you wait till you see what I did in Iceland!)…

All was restored and forgiven afterwards, mainly because I was smothered in ice cream which always works, and all in all I think we are both agreed that we had the most amazing holiday, utter bliss.

Alas I will never be able to afford to stay there, but I will always have the memories. It makes me think of a certain renowned first line in a book ‘last night I dreamt of Il Salviatino again’.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “A Mini Trip to Florence and Firenze…

  1. novelinsights

    You make me want to go back to Florence. Lovely pictures!

  2. Gorgeous pictures! And yes, that building is very evocative of Manderley, minus the blood red rhododendrons..

  3. Love Florence. LOVE it. And I love The Beard’s hat. Super cute.

    The gardens in Florence are enough for me to live in. Lush and cool even when it’s miserably hot. I miss Italy. I could live there.

    • I think he was trying to be Olly Murs haha. I have to say the heat was a bit too much for me, and I never say that normally, I couldn’t read I was all flustered and having to run to the pool whenever I could. But sometimes a reading holiday is called for and where could have been better?

  4. I love this post. Thank you for such a beautifully description of the must sees.

  5. Oh I loved Florence. Agree that the Ponte Vecchio is overrated but it’s not too hard to escape the crowds and see amazing beautiful things. That villa does look gorgeous. That library!

    • The library was amazing and they had made sure there were books in every language. Lots of wonderful sounding books set in Florence but alas I wasn’t in a reading mood which was a little strange. That said I was having the holiday of a life time so who cared? Ha.

  6. wonderful pics ,all the best stu

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