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Life in Florence Italy

Ponte Vecchia, Florence, Italy

Susan Papazian is a world-famous photographer. Join her on this stunning visual journey through Tuscany and Italy...

Life in Florence, Italy, is experienced beautifully in a Florentine institution, Caffé Gilli. They opened their doors in 1733. Started by the Gilli family and located in Florence's famous Piazza della Republica, the elaborate cakes and sweets have been serving Florentines for nearly 300 years.

The exquisite decor is only matched by the divine array of cakes and pastries; you can drop in for a stand-up espresso at the bar or be seated in the piazza for an afternoon aperitivo and Pistachio Mousse cake.

Can there be a better place to begin our journey through Tuscany and Italy than the Caffé Gilli? Let's start our travels there and then we'll share some stunning photos of Florence itself before moving out into the countryside.

First though; if your Tuscan dreams are to become a reality you'll need a place to stay. You can do that by clicking here.

The Cafe Gilli

Life in Florence Italy

Some of the delicious treats available at the Caffé Gilli. Isn't life in Florence Italy simply Dolce.

Caffé Gilli in Florence

All made by hand and all very special indeed.

Florentine Cafes

So many  of the most important moments of so many Florentine lifes have happened right here in this caffé.

Italian Desserts

Everything about this says perfection.

Lady in Florence Italy

Passing the day. Caffé living in Florence.

Caffé menu Florence

Would you like a table?

Italian cakes and pastries

I could put on a lot of weight here and feel so good doing it.

Pavement Caffé Italy

Outside the Caffé Gilli. Isn't the window design so unusual?

Where to Get the Best Views of Florence

Florence Italy

First on our list is the iconic Piazzale Michelangelo.

This elevated square offers a panoramic feast for the eyes. Picture this: the warm hues of the setting sun casting a golden glow over the city's historic rooftops and the Arno River. It's like a postcard come to life.

As you ascend to Piazzale Michelangelo, you'll feel the anticipation building. Once you reach the top, you're greeted with a breathtaking sight—Florence sprawled out before you like a Renaissance masterpiece. The Duomo, with its distinctive dome, takes center stage, surrounded by the historic buildings and red-tiled roofs that define Florence's architectural charm.

Grab a gelato, find a comfy spot, and let the breathtaking views of Florence work their magic. As the sun begins its descent, watch the city transform through the warm hues of sunset. The Arno River reflects the fading sunlight, casting a gentle glow on the bridges and buildings. It's a spectacle that captures the essence of Florence's timeless beauty.

Piazzale Michelangelo provides an unparalleled 360-degree view, allowing you to see the entire city.

For a more secluded experience, head to the Bardini Gardens.

Tucked away from the bustling crowds, these gardens provide a peaceful haven to enjoy the changing colors of the sky. As the day bids adieu, Florence's skyline becomes a canvas of pinks, purples, and oranges. The tranquility of the gardens, paired with the vibrant sunset, creates an enchanting atmosphere.

The Ponte Vecchio offers another classic view of Florence.

Lit up against the night sky, the Ponte Vecchio exudes a romantic charm. Stroll along the bridge, taking in the twinkling lights reflecting on the Arno. The city's historic architecture, bathed in the soft glow of streetlights, adds a touch of magic to your evening.

For a more dynamic vibe, head to the lively Santo Spirito Square.

This area comes alive at night, with locals and visitors mingling in the open-air bars. Grab a seat, savor a glass of Tuscan wine, and enjoy the lively atmosphere as the city transitions from sunset to night.

Ponte Vechio, Florence

Italian Countryside

The Vitaleta Chapel outside San Quirico d'Orcia. 

Vitaleto Chapel in San Quirico d'Orcia

The Vitaleta Chapel, also known as the Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta, perches upon a gentle hill, surrounded by rolling hills, cypress trees, and the golden hues of the Tuscan countryside. Its distinctive silhouette against the serene backdrop has made it one of the most photographed and iconic structures in Tuscany.

Constructed in the 16th century, the chapel is a masterpiece attributed to the renowned architect Giuseppe Partini. Its compact size belies the intricacy of its design, featuring classical elements such as a small portico with slender columns and a triangular pediment adorned with a delicate rose window. The exterior is crafted from local stone, seamlessly blending with the natural surroundings.

What truly sets the Vitaleta Chapel apart is its serene and timeless ambiance. You will find yourself charmed by the simplicity and grace of the interior, where a single altarpiece of the Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia takes center stage. The Vitaleta Chapel is a testament to the artistic and cultural richness of Tuscany. Its solitary presence on the Tuscan landscape, bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, offers a glimpse into the region's profound connection between art, spirituality, and the enchanting beauty of the land. Unless you are on a tour, I recommend a car rental to explore the Tuscan countryside properly.

Car Rentals
Hills of Tuscany

Hay bales dot the Tuscan landscape in late summer.

Baby mushrooms in the Tuscan woods.

Lake Bolsena, a volcanic lake right in the middle of Italy and only an hour and a bit from Rome. This is a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of Roman life.

Cypress Pines

Cypress Pines


Bagnoregio is an awesome hill town. Access is via the pedestrian bridge shown in the lower part of the photo. It is an incredible, though quite tiring, walk, and the sight of the town up ahead is unforgettable.

Tuscan Hills

A lonely Tuscan pine tree.

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