What would you plan to do if you had just one day in Florence?
I don’t think I could ever tire of countless days wandering with my camera, walking along the cobbled streets.. taking in the new sights..colours…sounds and smells. Despite the rain, as I stood on Ponte Vecchio looking out to a sea of umbrellas, watching the people dash by, I couldn’t help but sense a wonderful and vibrant energy.
I have just returned from the most amazing long weekend in Tuscany, staying at Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne, just outside the beautiful walled town of Volterra. I had been invited to stay via Bookings for you with twelve fabulous travel bloggers. During our stay we had opted to explore Siena and Florence, and as we only had one day in Florence, a guided tour seemed the perfect option.
I will let you in on a secret here….I have never really been one for a guided tour, I am definitely one who prefers to meander the streets, in my own world, stumbling across the sights along the way. That being said we very often miss the highlights and top attractions because we haven’t done our research. So with just one day to be spend in Florence, and a lot to squeeze into a few hours I was looking forward to spending a day exploring Florence with LivItaly Tours.
LivItaly tours are a family-owned company offering private and small group tours designed to ensure you have the most unforgettable time in Italy, and to absorb the colours, beauty and culture of Italy. Despite visiting Florence without the family this time, I can imagine that this family friendly tour would go down a treat- particularly with my eldest.
Florence Food Tour and Gelato Making Class
We met a lovely guide Rafaela in front of Café Cibreo in Piazza della Signoria, where we were provided with headsets. This is not normally required as the group sizes for the tour are a maximum of six, but they made an exception for our rather large tribe of travel bloggers. As I mentioned earlier, I am often found floating around in my own world, taking in the colours and sights, and snapping away to capture my memories – so I found the headsets great, it meant I could still hear the guide, even if I didn’t quite keep up with the rest of the group.
Rafaela took us through the cobbled streets, passing by the famous Ponte Vecchio before hitting the foodies market. The market that we were expecting to visit was closed so we headed over to a local food market the other side of the river. Leaving the hustle and bustle of central Florence behind, It was much quieter here and the market was of a much smaller scale. I loved wandering through the stalls, taking in the smells of the food, the sounds, and the vibrant colours of each of the stalls, selling everything from straw baskets to wooden toys.
The tour usually starts with a traditional Italian coffee or espresso, however we stopped by after the farmers market to shelter from the rain and warm up with a coffee. I loved how friendly, and knowledgable Rafaela was, there was nothing she didn’t know, and I couldn’t help but notice how many people we passed who nodded their heads, smiled our way, or stopped to say hello to Rafaela. It almost had a village feel rather than a hustling and busy city vibe.
Next stop was Perché No – one of the oldest Gelaterias in Florence. Here we were introduced to the wonderful Ciro Cammilli who along with Lisa, Penny and Donna as his wonderful assistants, demonstrated how to make a banana creation in seconds. Now for those who know me, you will know I am not a lover of any banana creations (I blame those pregnancy hormones from years ago!) but let me tell you Ciro Cammilli can tempt you with an abundance of flavours….He tells us that chocolate remains his best seller, but I can honestly say the pistachio ice-cream was really something else….two pots later and I was hooked.
I know for one that my two girls would love this part of the tour…I mean, who wouldn’t?? It was interactive, informative – oh and the glass of prosecco complimented the ice cream perfectly! Just before we left, Ciro dared us to try his ice cream bruschetta – I have to say I was a little unsure…. A bruschetta topped with a tomato and basil sorbet, trickle of olive oil and a basil leaf. What a taste sensation, I can honestly say I have never tasted anything like it, it was yummy – and yes we had seconds!
The Florence Food and gelato making tour costs 299€ for up to 2 adults and 39€
for children (aged 5-12). Visit Livitaly online for more information
A LivItaly private food tour of Florence – Mini Travellers
Child-friendly tours in Florence – Travel Loving Family
A day in Florence
Rafting – It is hard to squeeze Florence into just one day, I felt like we barely scratched the surface. Five of us had planned to try our hand at rafting along the River Arno during the afternoon with T-rafting. Unfortunately the weather was pretty abysmal – it was chilly, and with heavy downpours throughout the day we unfortunately cancelled our tour. The guys at T-rafting were still keen to take us out for the afternoon and now I am back home, warm and toasty whilst typing away…I’m a little sad that the weather hindered our plans. I think it would have been an amazing alternative to see the sights from a different perspective, and older kiddies would love this unique and exhilarating experience for sure.
Uffizi Treasure hunt tour – Cathy, Ting and Daisy spent the afternoon with Livitaly Tours. Here you can tour the Uffizi with your family on a child friendly trip to discover hidden secrets whilst exploring the magnificent rooms and learning about the world famous art collection.
A family-friendly tour of Florence – Dais Like These
Private walking tour
The rest of the group chose to participate in the private walking tour, exploring the sights, including Duomo and Michelangelo’s David.
Essential Sights of Florence – Tin Box Traveller
LivItaly Tours: Florence with kids – Flying with a Baby
Things to do in Florence with teens – Extraordinary Chaos
This wonderful photo is courtesy of Karen at Mini Travellers
Maria from One Tiny Leap and I, decided to spend the afternoon wandering the streets with our cameras and our thoughts. We popped in to the shops for some souvenirs and gifts to take home, sat and drank coffee in Café Cibreo, returned to Ponte Vecchio, and made our way over to Boboli Gardens in Florence. Unfortunately we ran out of time just before we reached the gardens as we had to head back to our villa, but I would love to return with my littles in tow, to explore the beautiful gardens on a balmy summer afternoon with a picnic, a rug, my tribe and my thoughts…
Florence…until next time.
Have you visited Florence before?
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