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Discovering Tuscany: Florence Edition

The guidebooks were correct on one thing: Florence is overflowing with tourists. I heard more English or German being spoken than I did Italian in this city of over 360,000 locals.

If tourists are swarming, it must be for good reason. I almost didn’t go because of low expectations and a lingering tiredness from the week prior, hopping quickly from Athens to Santorini to Rome to Pisa. Well, those low expectations led to a dropped jaw and wide-eyed stares at the beauty surrounding me.

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Stroll along Arno River for Condé Nast worthy photos.
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Basilica of Saint Mary. It’s much more astounding in real life when you can see all the intricate detail.
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A must-see panoramic view of Florence from Piazza Michelangelo.
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Ponte Vecchio was once used as a pathway for royalty to get to Palazzo Vecchio without walking the commoners’ roads. To reach this unique bridge, just follow the crowds.
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Hear that accordion playing an Italian melody? A scooter horn beeps to announce its presence to slow strollers, businessmen discuss their work loudly in Italian with no fear of surrounding tourists understanding, and children exclaim their excitement for finally mounting the carousel horse.

There are the main stops you have to see and can find an any TripAdvisor page of Florence or in any tourist office as soon as you’re off the train. I followed my host dad’s recommendations of what to do in the city, but I also tried to get off the beaten track a bit. It’s always more fun to stop and smell the roses than to be in a rush and not enjoy yourself because you’re simply trying to fit everything in.

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Flowers covered the city: in planters hanging over terraces, along walkways, nestled in any corner a Florencian could find.
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Be prepared for a lot of stairs up to Piazza Michelangelo, but it’s oh so beautiful and worth it!

I’m sure your journey to Florence will be just as awe-inspiring as mine was. Go with no expectations, because you never know what will surprise you!

stay lovely.
the tall girl.

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