Kissing Statue Angels
Oof!  It's been a little while since I travelled through Northern Italy this summer and yet only now am I starting to write about the trip.  Why?  Well, to my delight I returned home with plenty of images that perfectly captured my experiences.  The problem with this?  There were too many.  I stored them away and swiftly moved on with the pace of London life.  Finally, I've got around to all that was captured on the Olympus Pen 9 I took away with me.  Bliss.  Writing this, it feels as though I'm back there underneath the scorching sun!  This is the first in a series, of which will continue every now and again over the next few weeks.  But for now it's aaaaall about Florence, the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and home to more masterpieces than imaginable.  In fact, there's so much to discover that I've put together another Chic Girl's Guide in preparation for the next glorious time you find yourself in Florence.  Let's go!
Leopard Print Co-Ord Fashion Set

F L O R E N C E   C A T H E D R A L   &   B R U N E L L E S C H I  '  S   D O M E

Needless to say, visiting Florence Cathedral should be right at the top of your list.  Although the first thing to note is just how insanely long the queues are; even arriving at the crack of dawn is unlikely to help you.  My best advice here would be to book a tour guide online (such as Airbnb experiences or, as the set price will often include 'skip the queue' perks.  As interesting and magnificent as the inside of the cathedral and Duomo are, the most spectacular sight is delivered via the panoramic rooftop view.  Be warned: the climb involves 463 steps, often steep and very narrow.  So no great grandmothers' allowed... unless they bench press.  It's an adventure all in itself, just be sure to bring a bottle of water with you ready for when you reach the top!

Psst!  The lighting is super flattering at the viewing platform thanks to the bright and airy height; now is the time to wear your fave outfit for travel photos! 
Florence Italy Duomo Ceiling
Italy Florence Cathedral Luxury Travel Blog Guide
Rooftop View Florence Cathedral
Florence Luxury Travel Blog City Guide
T H E   U F F I Z I   G A L L E R Y
One of the best discoveries while exploring Florence was stumbling across GetYourGuide, an internet booking engine allowing you to book tours and other experiences with a few simple clicks via their app.  With just a few hours to spare, tickets were secured for a private tour of the famous Uffizi Gallery in a small and intimate group of multinational, English-speaking tourists.  As much as I adore art, you can only connect with pieces so much before you need a thorough background - and a tour to bring the work to life!  This experience was undoubtedly a highlight of the trip for me; particularly thanks to seeing 'The Birth of Venus', one of my favourite paintings of all time.
Psst!  Remember that photo of me holding the coke can at the top of this post?  That location is Ponte Vecchio and is located just around the corner from The Uffizi Gallery.  It's a medieval stone arch bridge constructed over the Arno River and is incredibly popular with visitors.  Worth seeing with your own eyes, for sure!
Florence Uffizi Gallery Ceiling
Get Your Guide Uffizi Gallery Tour
The Birth of Venus Painting The Uffizi Gallery Florence
B O O K   A N   E X P E R I E N C E

... and make it something a little more unusual.  In fitting with being a total travelling cliché, I booked a pizza making class via Airbnb on the outskirts of the city.  A brief taxi ride took us to the doorstep of the host's home; complete with farm animals and a gorgeously rustic kitchen.  The intimate group of six allowed for an easy evening of good conversation and even better pizza!  The benefit of going a little off the beaten track in this way is undoubtedly the ability to connect on a more authentic level with the country you're visiting.  Our host even drove us back to the heart of the city, stopping off on the way at a magnificent viewing point to enable me to capture Florence through my camera by night!

Psst!  Other activities to consider booking in Florence include cooking with art, hunting for truffles in the Tuscan woods, mentalist experiences and portrait sessions! 
Zara off the shoulder rose print mini dress
Overhead view of Florence from a distance
B E F O R E   Y O U   G O  .  .  .

Don't forget to take a peek at the Boboli Gardens.  Connected to the Palazzo Pitti, their traditional Italian appearance is beautiful and with 45,000 square metres on offer, they're a delight to walk through.  Once you've worked up an appetite, head to Mercato Central Florence.  The market offers an incredible range of foods with plenty of traditional Italian meals and snacks on offer.  If truffles are your thing (bleurghhh), head upstairs for a restaurant that specialises in truffle-covered salads.

Pssst!  Please be sure to keep a close eye on your belongings while at Mercato Central Florence!  I had my purse stolen there, however thankfully the thief only took my small-change travelling purse that had just one euro inside at the end of the day.  Phew!  I almost felt sorry for them...

Leopard print co-ord skirt set
Florence Italy Red Carousel in Summer
This Chic Girl's Guide is probably my favourite so far thanks to feeling as though I'm taking a trip down (a very warm and sunny) memory lane.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this latest addition to my travel series; bookmark it in anticipation of your next trip to the fabulous city!  Have you visited Florence before?  As always, let me know in the comments below!

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With love,

Gabrielle x