Florence is a city that I still don't think I'm done with. I said last year that I felt like it's a place that needs multiple visits and I'm still convinced of that. Last year, we 'did' the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo and whilst I'm sure they're worth second visits it did mean that we could keep to the side of some of the more intensely crowded areas. We headed straight to Forte de Belvedere, an old defensive fort built in the late 16th century and currently hosting Anthony Gormley's Human exhibition. It also offers some stunning views over the city itself.
Playsuit from Zara (fave summer purchase)
The fort was surprisingly quiet and felt like a real oasis. After taking advantage of the shady bar, we made our way back into the city through the Boboli Gardens. These are the huge gardens of the equally huge Palazzo Pitti, built originally for the Pitti family but ultimately falling into the hands of the Medici's. The gardens are beautiful, for 10 you can stroll them to your hearts content, in addition to getting access to a couple of the museums in the grounds and house.
After exploring the museums, we headed back across the Arno in search of food. We settled on I Ghibellini, a family-run restaurant in a relatively quiet (for Florence) square. Whilst I did slightly regret not getting a pizza with cheese on, my seafood pizza was really fresh and the tirmasu that followed was wonderful. Post lunch, we decided to spend as much time wondering cool streets and sipping cold drinks (I had the best vodka & proper lemonade) as the temperature was climbing to almost 40 degrees.