Highlights from Florence, Italy

Last month we took a week to visit Italy for the first time. We chose Florence as our introduction to Italy. Florence was a compromise since over-touristed places like Rome or Venice are not generally not my idea of a good time.

We flew from Valencia, Spain, where we now live permanently, to Bologna then took a train to Florence and stayed in an Airbnb in the quieter San Frediano area of the city south of the river.

Florence did not disappoint, but I’m not sure I will be clamoring to return to Italy anytime soon. Let’s just say we had a few minor challenges that did not paint a few of the Italians we met in the best light. Of course, the overwhelming majority of people we met, including Italians, were delightful.

We spent our days and nights wandering the city leisurely, dining, shopping at the markets and eating gelato late into the breathtaking nights.

What follows are a few of the highlights of our 2019 Trip to Florence… in the form of a photographic tour…

The Basilica of Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte

This stunning basilica sits on a hilltop above the Piazzale Michelangelo, which itself overlooks the city of Florence from the south bank of the Arno river.


I love medieval cities. And Florence, with its magnificent medieval architecture, rolling Tuscan hillsides, and glass-like Arno river running through it was quite easy on the camera eye! A very photogenic city!

Hint: Visit Italy in the Fall. I strongly suspect it would be next to impossible to get these shots without throngs of tourists in the summer months of June, July and August.


From views above the city to the picturesque Arno river and the medieval buildings that line in, Florence has stunning landscapes. September was a brilliant season to visit.

One of my favorite images is the statue of the angel in the cemetery. This was taken in the cemetery behind the Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte, a beautiful basilica above Piazzale Michelangelo south of the river overlooking the city.


We took a day trip to the hilltop village of Fiesole in the Tuscan hills above Florence. An affordable and easy city bus was all it took to get there… with a simple switch-over just across from the train station.

The classic villas, many with small gardens or olive groves surrounding, on the way up were stunning. We did a short walk around the hilltop for some amazing views of Florence below, had lunch and visited the old monastery on the hill just near the foot of the main town plaza.


From pizzas, pastries, gelato & coffee to Florentine steaks and seafood… all of the food we had in Florence was very good. I was even quite impressed with the quality and selection of products available in the supermarkets!

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed getting them.

  • Are you an expat living in Europe?
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