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Florence experience wet via Amsterdam Schipol! #visitfirenze #destination2016

OUR RED CARPET DAY IN FLORENCE!

3 Must Experience Sites in Florence and Our Red Carpet Day

There is only one place in the world where after an original pizza snack, you can spend the afternoon walking amid magnificent renaissance and then tuck into a dinner delightfully put together with the delicacies of the area, accompanied by a Chianti that will take you by surprise…Florence, Italy. It snuck right in to our blood!  

Florence experience wet via Amsterdam Schipol

We started our Florentine adventure at Peretola Airport. The Italians call it Amerigo Vespucci. By the way Firenze is the Italian name for Florence, we love how they pronounce it!  We will truly try to give you a flavor of a day in Florence starting with getting in and about….

 

Transfers from/to Airport & transportation: We had already planned to grab the Airport Shuttle straight to some sight seeing. We learnt soon enough that Peretola is literally 4 miles, 15 mins from the city center by Taxi. Its approx. 20 mins using the “Busitalia,” the very budget friendly Airport Shuttle. Getting to the city center was pretty manageable at Eur 6/person or 10 euros round trip. Check the bus station website before you travel. If you chose to hire a car, the airport access to the city center is the up the Viale Guidoni leading to the “Firenze Nord/Firenze Mare” superhighway aka the A1 and A11. We chose the round-trip shuttle at 20 Euros total for two, you gotta buy this at the Airport Kiosk. You can also buy direct from the bus driver at no extra cost, only one way though!

Note: In Italy taxis cannot be flagged down as they pass you along the street! Taxis are instead “stationed” at special parking stands in most of the major squares in any city & airports. You can order one by phone. In Florence, the best numbers for a taxi are: 055.4242 / 055.4390 / 055.4798 / 055.4499. Double check to ensure they are still valid at time of travel! Learn more here about moving around in Florence.

A breathtaking view of Florence, Simply divine! #visittuscany

A breathtaking view of Florence, Simply divine! #visittuscany

Our accommodation in Florence:  was Hotel Rovoli. We’d been advised it was a 5 min walk from the Santa Maria Novella Station, and Busitalia station where the shuttle drops you and it took us even less to get to…sweet!

The Rivoli is a Best Western, 4 Star Superior Hotel with 80 rooms. It was apparently a Franciscan convent dating back to the 15th Century which has been restored to a unique splendour. (Info courtesy of Hotel Planner). Our room was a Junior suite, other available rooms are basic rooms or suites, classic, and superior suites. We noted 4 meeting/events rooms. And we thoroughly enjoyed our fully cooked breakfasts in the amazingly inviting and warm breakfast room, formerly the Franciscan refectory.

The simply divine old world lounge at The Rivoli! #travelgram

We’d been googling before our trip to see where we could visit, eat, chill out, transport etc. Our accommodation and flights were all covered courtesy of our Travel Club.

We discovered that Florence is a beautiful city for a family holiday, romantic getaway, or even an artistic visit, being the birthplace of the Renaissance architecture. Its also apparently a gateway to Tuscany, with mouth-watering cuisine. So it would be an understatement to say we couldn’t wait to go!

Places to See on A Flying visit to Florence:

So we’d planned to visit the Graves of Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli in the Pantheon or the Santa Croce as it’s called. (A friend, Lutje highly recommended this!) 

If you love art then you can’t miss the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in Florence. Having been to the one in Rome last year, we were curious as to the difference. So it was on our “to see list” too in Florence!

Paul and I determined that we’d either stop by for a peek or have a cuppa at the Four Seasons…an experience every traveler with a taste for the finer things in life should do in Florence…Unfortunately our program was super tight we didnt manage it this time 🙂 

The Santa De Croce Basilica Florence. Resting place for 3 Greats. #DaVinci #Machiavelli #Michelangelo The Santa De Croce Basilica Florence. Resting place for 3 Greats. #DaVinci #Machiavelli #Michelangelo

Take a Private Walking Tour of Florence, done on our last day. It takes approx 4 hrs, perfect for a short visit as ours was. be warned it is first thing in the morning yet you wont regret it. This tour includes breakfast on a terrace with views of Florence to die for. Absolutely breathtaking. You get a personal guide who during breakfast gives you a lil history lesson of Florence. Hilarious with it as he shares some weird and odd tales that you wont ever find in any shop bought travel guide. Only if you are fit for its 4 hrs of walking via the city center to: the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Basilica of Santa Croce (the graves mentioned above) etc. We used Context Tour for this pleasure and highly recommend them. Alexander is amazing! 

If you have a longer stay in Florence we highly recommend you check out this Definitive guide to what to do aptly named “Before you go, Florence.”

Trivia we learnt from our Tour Guide about Florence:

Like other Italian cities the people use gestures a lot and thus are very expressive. To build rapport very quickly how about you mirror their actions, usually this may elicit a smile or laughter and break the ice…at least it did for us! 🙂 

On the day of our Red Carpet day in Florence, we were happy to find that while it was a cold & breezy, the weather was okay for this time of year although quite wet. We quickly got dressed and headed down to the Mandela Forum for this unforgettable event. You can agree it was amazing!

Our Red Carpet day in Florence & Launch of #pkjuleworld #travelblog

After such an event the next day we were truly hungry for more…

Where to Eat in Florence: Since we were on a weekender so to speak and had an event to attend, we made sure we knew where to find great food. We both love Paninis, Pizzas, pastas…so go figure! But we didn’t want to be lost for where to eat.

We searched and found this amazingly cool website by Georgette Jupe aka GirlInFlorence on where to eat drink and be merry in Florence…It really is comprehensive definitive monster guide on the gastro pleasures from a local, you cant go wrong. 

Our breakfast at The Rivoli Hotel, simply delicious! #therivoli

Quick Tip: The main cooked and continental breakfast at our hotel was quite filling. There was an omelette station and all sorts of eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, yogurts, the usual suspects. They also had plenty of fresh fruit, pastries, breads (with all the fixings) and a nice granola station. 

But if you are looking to eat outside of your hotel, then definitely check out the suggested resource on where to eat above. Lots of places where you can enjoy the beautiful outside views while you eat, wrap up warm this time of year (Winter) it got real nippy brrrrrr!

 

And for lunch or dinner, while we’re not huge buffet people, nor do we eat lots of cheese or Pizzas, while In Italy..surely go for it! So after our Red carpet experience, we headed to a little known place that a friend recommended, easy to miss too. Its called Don FeFe off Via La Farina close to the Campo Di Marte Train Station aka Firenze C.M. Its a lil quaint family establishment, with a massive open oven and a great wine selection. Aha cant miss your glass of chianti while in Italy! Accompany it with a delicious hot freshly made Pizza while you watch or Whatever you want or a toasted sandwich–ish more like toasted flat bread with lashings of your fav pizza topping! Our favorite was one with cheese, anchovies, buffalo meat and perfectly ripe tomatoes.

Quick tip: Bring some sandwich bags. Helpful for packing a sandwich and fruit for your snack from the breakfast buffet.  We used sandwich bags to pack snacks to bring into town with us each day from the buffet. Apples, Croissants, Bananas and couple of pastries kept us going so we didn’t have to go looking for snacks time was tight!!!

 

We’d read mixed reviews about our Hotel in Florence (as well as Florence itself) But most of them were awesome. Thank goodness. And we’re firm believers that if you’re looking for the best you will receive that, and if you look for negatives you’ll find them. We don’t go on vacation or a business trip to look for issues, we go to have fun or learn to grow our business. And as such we often end up having a ton of fun no matter where we go. We’ve had an awesome time in Florence, including walking the Red Carpet as VIPs…everyone should do this at least once in their lives! 

Random fact: Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of the city, and of course you do know its the esteemed capital of Tuscany! 

Quick Tips: Make sure you have cash on you when out and about, saves you having to use your card abroad…the charges oucchh they could hurt. We usually have “Forex insurance” to have peace of mind. Euros are almost same value as the pound sterling. And we had enough for our short jaunt in Florence.

Learn more about how you too could travel and create more memories around the world Below!

And shall we say a massive huge vote of thanks to the KLM Happy to Help Team. They truly shone when they offered all passengers to Manchester Flight KL1093 a snack, sandwich, and drink of choice. All for FREE, ZILCH while we waited for our flight. There was a teeny weeny delay of 5 minutes…This is totally not done these days by airlines that simply look at you as a nuisance…! Then we were upgraded, for being frequent Flying Blur travelers…Wow. Now that’s what we call service. Well done KLM…we will Fly Blue more often for sure! So much to be grateful for….!

Enjoy more random views of Our Florence below: 

Our Quaint Hotel Rivoli, Florence. Loved it #therivoli

However you wish to end your day, it could be surrounded by sheer old world perfection of Florentine enchanting streets in the footsteps of Machiavelli or Leonardo Da Vinci overwhelmed by the sheer presence of Europe’s old world, intermingled with sharp modern day architecture. The capital of Tuscany, a place with seductive beauty, the city of Florence. 

Did you enjoy our lil sojourn in Florence? If YES….We’d so dig it if you Share your  insights, experiences, or views of Florence below. Guess what all our images are shareable Or use the Social Share buttons to spread the Joy!

By the way, Studies have shown that as you share this blog post, the universe will shift to your Favor and your Bucket List will get smaller and smaller as you tick it off at will 😀

See. Do & Be More

Syl & Pauli

Pkjuleswprd - A Travel Blog by Julie Syl and Paul Kalungi

 

Skype: Julie.Kalungi1
Email: julieatJuleskalpauli[dot]com

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60 Comments

  1. Christina Aliperti

    This is really a dream trip for me. It’s number one on my bucket list for sure. I can’t wait, it looks and sounds amazing.

  2. tauyanm

    that event looks amazing! you look gorgeous! i haven’t been to italy and those are some photos there! can’t wait to have my turn to visit

  3. My goodness, Florence, Italy sounds like a wonderful place to visit with a pleasant experience to cherish anytime. The Hotel Rovoli looks amazing as well and I am in love with that beautiful old world Lounge too. Thanks for sharing your experience with some wonderful pictures.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Awwwww Florence touched our souls too. Ans The Rivoli is pretty col, they do a mean breakfast, you would love it!
      Put it on your travel list 🙂
      ~PKJW

  4. Nicole Etolen

    Oh, Florence is a nice place. My friend lives there and she is inviting us to come over.

    • Hi Nicole,

      Well you better pack your passport and hand luggage..Florence awaits you. Plus you have so many cool tips on Flights, and travel in general!
      ~PKJW

  5. Nikki Wayne

    I always wanted to travel but I have limited time and have not enough savings for it. When the time is perfect, I will go there.

    • Hi Nikki,

      There are so many local places where you Live that you can visit. You enjoyment and love of those places will open doors for you to visiting overseas. Try it!
      We did that a heck of a lot before we ventured outside. And we loved it and still do!
      ~PKJW

  6. I am not surprised to see such magnificent sights in Italy. I’ve been to Florence before and I could never stop sulking about missing out on a lot of places there I wasn’t bale to visit, there are some here that you’ve taken shots at which I appreciate.

  7. I’m glad that you had fun experienced! Such a beautiful place, I also wanted to go there someday.

  8. Florence looks like a really romantic place to visit. It has a lot of scenic and heritage sites and I like the view of their skiline.

  9. Kathy

    That looks like a ton of fun! I have never been to Florence before. I have always wanted to go too. Looks like you had a great time!

  10. Italy is on my bucket list for travel destinations. I would love to see Florence. It looks so incredibly beautiful and rich in history and experiences.

  11. Oh how nice! I’m loving the red carpet pictures! Thanks for all of the travel tips for visiting Florence!

  12. Elizabeth O.

    Florence will always be one of my favorite places, the architecture is breathtaking and don’t get me started on the food! With the rich history and the beautiful art, you can’t really go wrong when you go to Florence.

  13. What a charmed life you lead Julie – and you deserve every second of it! The red carpet look suits you too! 🙂

    • Hey Claudette,

      We love your way with words. we are grateful to God for this life. It takes some work! Thank You Where is the next Red Carpet day again 😉
      ~PKJW

  14. Your pictures are stunning. I’ve always wanted to visit Florence but now more than ever do I want to go! Great article!

  15. OMG…those view! I’m so jealous right now, Florence looks like an amazing place to visit.

  16. This is one place that is certainly on my bucket list to visit soon. Thanks for the share

  17. Oh man. I want to go to Florence! Looks and sounds like lots of fun. All the food and sites look wonderful. The only thing that got me….the early morning tour. Ohhhhh……Boy, but I would probably be so excited it wouldn’t phase me.

  18. Such a beautiful place – sounds like you guys had a blast!!!!
    Its been on my list to get to – but you’ve moved it way way up that list!

  19. Wow! Looks like an amazing trip. Great place to bond and build memories.

  20. Thank you for my trip to Italy!!!

  21. Great post! My mom was in Florence this past spring and she said the best pizza she ever ate was in Florence!

    Dr. Lisa

    • We totally agree with Your Mom Dr Lisa, 🙂
      The best Pizzas are made in Italy…But ours was in Rome…Florence came a close 2nd and Assisi 3rd…
      We had the most Orgasmic, delicious hot chocolate in Assisi. We want to go back just for that…:)

      PKJW~

  22. What a fantastic tour you took us on in Florence, Julie. I was there many, many moons ago and of course, remember Il Duomo. And isn’t it the Baptistery that has those fabulous doors? Florence was one of my favorite cities in Europe. Had such a good time there.

    • Hi Carol,

      We are sure glad to have taken you down memory lane and Florence is a Visual Feast.
      Its amazing how thick those doors are. I am still hanging between Rome and Florence now…Still waiting on Venice and the dice shall be cast!

      Paul

  23. So glad you had a fabulous time! Everything looks amazing!

  24. Wow! Wow! Wow! Hard to describe how excited we are to come across your blog post today! Ok, me (Flea) more so than (B), haha but anyways, it’s just fabulous! All the information on where to stay, where to eat, tours to go on, etc. was extremely helpful as well.. right down to the advice of mimicking others hand gestures. LOL! Love it! It has always been a dream of mine to go to Italy, specifically Florence and Venice. The pics you share here are gorgeous and makes me feel like I’m there right now. Love visualizing and getting excited about what is happening. Can’t wait to visit! Thank you for sharing your exciting adventure with us. You’re awesome and it’s well deserved my Dear! 🙂

    • Wow Flea & B,

      Coming form you this is such a pleasure for us to share our adventure getaway to Florence.
      Our Vision is to create a “Go To Hub” for our audience’s travel needs.
      That includes painting for you a picture so you can visualize…so excited for you too! Go visit Florence & Venice…
      Thats next on our bucket list too.

      We have been to the various parts of Italy Perugia, Assisi, Rome, Milan and now Tuscany Florence.
      We are gonna see it all as long as we have breath. And share with our wonderful audience as long as you want us to 🙂

      Jules & Paul

  25. Your post was so very well written and comprehensive I almost feel like I was there with you. I have never been to Italy but now would really love to go and relax and enjoy.

    • hello Michele,

      Aww that means so much.
      Glad you had a great experience with us and we hope you truly go out there and experience Florence in real life.
      Shout out if you need any help 🙂

      Jules & Paul

  26. Florence is so beautiful! I’d love to take my wife and three boys their, thanks for sharing this Julie!

  27. Julie, I have A few points I want to comment on.
    1- I LOVE this new blog, I feel more comfortable reading it. its beautiful, What theme did you choose?

    2- Im In love with Italy and this just Made me love it more. I have never been, However I will and I will travel it extensively.

    3- Thank you for giving me such a detailed mini vacation. I felt like I was there with you Enjoying the sights!

    • Hey Tara,

      Thank yo for your feedback absolutely Agree its more comfortable to share niche related stuff on a platform just for that! 🙂
      By the way we still have the Business Blog, Just separating things! Makes us feel better too.
      To answer your Qns:
      1. We chose the Simple Theme! I works a treat! As yo notice we like clean lines and keep it clutter free.
      Was just about to ask you too lol!

      2. Go for it Gal, Let us know if there is anyway we can help point you in the right direction!
      3. Our Absolute Pleasure. Thank you for taking the mini vacay with us 🙂

      Syl & Pauli

  28. Alright, looks like Florence is now on the bucket list 🙂

  29. Florence is awesome! I bet you all had a great time over there! Lots to see in Italy! And love your new blog Julie! 🙂

    • Hello Jelena,

      Much Appreciated that you love our new Niche Luxury Travel Blog.
      Florence is absolutely awesome,w e are going back. It needs way more than the days we had.
      Italy…Man I love Italy I think I was born italian lolol

  30. Florence is beautiful! I must visit there, thanks for sharing this Julie!

    • Hey Vitaliy,

      We sure hope you do, Its really gorgeous and we were stuck for which images to share or how long the blog should be. THANK YOU For Being our Very First ever commentor on Our First Luxury Travel Blog!

      You rock 🙂

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