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March 13

Buongiorno from Florence, where we are kicking off the very first Adventures with Sarah Florence Staycation!

Today, we met up at our fabulous hotel, walked and talked about the city, saw Michelangelo’s David, and ate about 4 pounds of Florentine steak. Not a bad start! Florence has too much to see, we’ve made a selection but a week isn’t even enough.

I’ll be covering Florence all week, and if you’d like to join one of my tours—we are offering this again in September—you can find details here:

March 14

Day 2 of my Florence Staycation

Today is a Monday and most museums are closed, so we visited the museum of food. My friend Curious Appetite took us on her classic market food tour, and we sampled everything that Florence has to offer, from coffee to meats to fresh peas to gelato. Che buono!

After a break to let the food coma pass, we visited the Duomo Museum (actually my favorite museum in Florence) along with the baptistery, covered in Byzantine mosaics.

To round out the day (and work off the food tour) I booked us all a slot to climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome. There is no view like that, and is especially magical at night.

I am so happy with what we’ve planned, staying in one place for a week and really digging into the culture is not just educational, but also relaxing. It’s an elegant way to travel.

March 15

Can I share some personal thoughts? After a fairly tumultuous couple of years, I am working on finding myself again. Maybe you can relate. Today, after finishing with our group activities, I went for lunch at a place with a rather excellent view and brought along my watercolors. The pasta was ok and overpriced, but having a front row seat to meditate on paper was the deal of the century.

Sometimes travel can be healing, a way to process loss or change. Sitting with a pen and paper and do the thing that expresses your point of view, whether art or writing or music. It’s not only a way to process but also to take pleasure in observation. Slowing down a bit and having a moment to absorb is worth the time and cost. You might even find yourself.

March 16

Day 4 of my Florence Staycation – Art –

Today we took a big swing at Renaissance art, visiting the Uffizi, admiring the sculpture in Piazza Signoria, and checking out a chapel.

After tea and treats at a new fancy-pants pastry shop, we reconvened in the evening to make our own art. Flash artist Caterina Balletti helped my guests each make their own work of art. Another delightful day with one of my favorite cities.

March 17

Day 5 of my Florence Staycation

While you could easily spend a week in the museums of Florence, the Tuscan countryside is just too beautiful to miss.

My friend Coral joined us again today and organized a fun excursion to the Chianti, exploring tiny villages, sampling local nibbles, and enjoying lunch at a charming farm that produced just about everything on the plate.

In the evening, after a sip-n-sketch break, I dropped in on Coral’s dinner crawl, which was like a lively progressive dinner party. Another great day spent in good company.

March 18

Florence Staycation, Day 6

On our last full day, we took a day trip out to the town of Prato. Prato is famous for the textile industry, making the finest cloth for almost 1000 years. While this may not seem all that related to Florence, it couldn’t be more relevant. All of that art and culture had to be paid for somehow, no?

And how did the Florentines make their money? Banking, sure, but where did they get the money to open banks? Fabric! Prato has been a big part of the success of Florence, making elegant fabrics in glorious colors that were unmatched for centuries.

Today we visited the Textile Museum to learn about the past and future of fashion, and the cathedral for a look at a gorgeous fresco cycle by Filipo Lippi.

Afterwards, we celebrated our tour with a progressive dinner and evening stroll. What a lovely day and a great conclusion to our exploration of Florence.

Dreaming of Tuscany?

Tuscany and its capital Florence are a must-see for anyone. In this region in the center of Italy, history, art, culture and cuisine collide to create a feast for all of your senses. See some of mankind’s greatest works of art and architecture before immersing yourself in unrivalled natural beauty, all while enjoying iconic wines and traditional dishes. What’s not to love?

AWS Staff

This post was published by the Adventures with Sarah team. Click here to find out more about the people that make everything at AWS happen.

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