Travel Diary in FLORENCE, ITALY
Florence, Italy, is one of the best cities in the world. From magical overgrown gardens, to the best food, shopping, and museums, every trip to this magical city is such a delight. Check out Tara’s most recent travel diary to Firenze.
On this trip to Florence, Tara had a chance to explore both a garden vibe and city vibe, which is a lovely way to experience the city, recommended by our trusty travel experts Two Nights In. Spending the first few nights at Villa Cora was a dream, as it’s nestled up right near the Bobobli Gardens. One step on the grounds and you will see just how special of a place this is to stay, with a more removed yet highly elegant vibe. We forsee ourselves visiting this hotel for years to come. From there, a few days in the city at JK Place Firenze was a wonderful way to round up the trip. Staying at the JK is like staying at a curated apartment, they welcome you “home” and really take the utmost time and care with each of their guests. And their JK Lounge is the perfect spot for drinks and eats, preparing you for a day of city exploring.
VILLA CORA // Villa Cora is an aristocratic residence built at the end of the XIX century upon commission by Baron Oppenheim, reflecting the architectural styles of that period, dominated by a strong eclectic decor that provides the villa with unique artistic styles. The grounds are set amongst a beautiful park right near the Boboli Gardens, just a walk away from the historical center of the city. Some thoughtful details within the hotel make it quite GLOWY — from lavender bundles on your pillow every evening, to the rose products in the bathroom, to tea in the grand entrance at all times, this luxury hotel really delivers. We truly loved that the hotel itself wasn’t very big, yet you get all of the luxe factors of a big hotel but in a smaller and more intimate setting. Their spa is amazing, as is their heated pool, magical garden escapes, garden dining, and 360 degree view rooftop. And we can’t forget to mention their epic breakfast spread, it’s really divine. If you’re looking for a luxe and special experience in Florence, this is it!
JK PLACE FIRENZE // JK Place Firenze is the epitome of intimate comfort within the city center. It really feels like staying at your personal apartment while you’re here — with only 20 rooms, you get truly personalized service where everyone knows you by name, and everyone remembers your favorite coffee order every morning. Their lounge is fantastic; filled with the most comfortable white JK chairs, their meals are delivered on the most beautiful Richard Ginori plates. Their food is fantastic; breakfast, lunch + dinner is made by the House ‘Mama’ where you can get everything from a detox salad to the best olive with focaccia, pastas, and the best tiramisu. They offer glowy snacks in their “dining room” daily, a cozy movie room, and a rooftop penthouse with the most beautiful views of Firenze rooftops and the Duomo. We had the chance to stay at their penthouse suite, which has an epic bath overlooking this incredible view. When you stay at JK you live like an insider within Firenze, as their manager has curated a guide to the city that only ‘residents’ get to keep. Close to all of the major shops, museums, and gelaterias, and a quick walk to the Arno River, JK Place is a place we will want to visit again and again.
EXPLORING AROUND FIRENZE //
Boboli Gardens // One of our ALL time favorite places on the planet. Give yourself a good amount of time to just explore, run around, and make sure to go all the way to the top, it’s worth it!
Pitti Palace // A mainly Renaissance palace in Florence, Italy, Palazzo Pitti houses many important museums within it. Make sure to look out the windows every so often.
Buca Mario // One of our all time favorite meals. Everything is delicious and the vibe is awesome.
13 Gobbi // The RIGATONI is where it’s at. Truly the best most simple bowl of red sauce, cheesy pasta goodness. It is a bit touristy, but it seriously doesn’t matter because the food is that good.
Gargani // Reccomended by the JK Place, this spot has some seriosuly delicious and unique dishes. First off their cacio e pepe that comes in a pan is perfect. Then, their veal with avocado is pretty dreamy as is their tiramisu.
Carduccio // This natural foods shop has delicious vegan, organic, healthy eats and juices.
Cecilia Natural foods // A very cute and healthy cafe nestled on a fun a lively street. Come here if you need something healthy, but not too healthy.
Menagere // Vibey and glowy spot for clean-er eats, great drinks, and a wonderful spot to relax within the city.
Buca Lapi // This old-school spot is famous for a reason. Some of the best Florentine Steak around.
#Raw // Raw, vegan, organic food in Florence, yep it exists. Come here for raw vegan treats, cracks, juices, toasts, and shots. A good spot for lunch when you know you’re going to grub hard for dinner.
Ditta Artiginale Coffee // This is the best coffee shop in Firenze. They have two spots, one on each side of the river, so you’re covered.
Gelato Dei Neri // This is our personal favorite gelateria in Florence. They have the best flavors and the experience is our favorite. Think rose, fig, pistachio and more.
Gilli // No trip to Florence is complete without a visit to the historic Gili cafe. Get some sweet treats, a capuccino con pana, or go for happy hour at the bar. It’s set amongst the Piazza de Rupublican, right next to the marry-go-round.
Floret // Set inside the top floor of the Luisa Via Roma shop, this is a glowy spot where you get can quina bowls, acai bowls, and chia-greek yogurt parfaits.
Richard Ginori Plates // After discovering these plates at the JK Place, we had to explore this magical store for ourselves. Pricey yet goregous, these plates are definitely on our wishlist.
Santa Maria Novella // This is the OG pharmacia of the Santa Maria Novella brand. Dating back to 1612, you get a real sense of history preserved. From their bottles, equipment, and various medicines, take a step back in time and take something home with you.
For more on FLORENCE, check out this guide.