Florence – The Red Lily

Battling through the stifling heat with our giant suitcase we made it to the Red Lily, where we were staying in Florence. To our dismay, I had taken us to the wrong Red Lily! The Red Lily is the national flower of Florence and so a number of businesses name themselves after this flower. Typing Red Lily into google maps you need to be careful to locate the correct one. 25 minutes of walking with our heavy bags to the wrong place had taken its toll, the Red Lily b&b was another 25 minutes from the Red Lily random building we had found ourselves at. Normally a 25 minute walk wouldn’t phase us but in the 36 degree heat we found a bus to take us there instead.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one who had made this mistake. A couple earlier had driven through Florence received a fine and also had arrived at the wrong Red Lily!

After a much needed cold shower and rest we ventured out to the opera at 8pm. The walk there was lovely, the temperature cooler and the architecture phenomenal. 

The opera was in Santa Monaca Church and lasted an hour, we heard two artists with outstanding voices.  We booked the ticket online with Viator – a trip advisory website with a range of local activities.

It was then time for a spot of food. We shared a delicious creamy spinach pasta and ragu sat outside. Due to the heat we were only hungry at 10pm.

With a burst of energy from our dinner, we ventured around the town. It was so alive. Despite it being midnight families were out playing in the street, friends laughing over a bottle of wine and street artists performing into the early hours of the morning.

Arriving back at 2am we were exhausted and ready for sleep!

Our next day in Florence we spent wondering the streets and gardens.

On the first Sunday of every month Italy allows free access to museums. We were lucky enough to be in Florence on this day. We therefore, gained free access to the Uffizi Gallery.

For our third day in Florence we decided to take a bus tour to the countryside. We stopped in Siena for some lunch.

Followed by Monteriggioni castle overlooking the hills and San Gimignano – for the best ice cream I have ever had.

And finally wine tasting and a vine yard tour.

It was a great way to get a flavour of Tuscany without a car. We loved our time in Florence and the surrounding countryside.

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