When I sit back and think about it, I have to say it's pretty crazy at this point that I've not really been to Italy before this short break. Like, extremely crazy. I've done my share of traveling all over the world, and I believe I'm over 31 countries now. That's not a brag. It's to illustrate how insane it is - there's not a single person in the world that would list Italy as lower than 30 other countries on their "want to go" list. I lived in London for 3.5 years and traveled all over the place.
I've been to Brno for god's sake. (it's lovely, by the way, no offense meant to Brno - go for a weekend trip).
So this was it. My FIRST proper trip to Italy. Sadly, it was a short one. Just an extended weekend from NYC (Thur to Sunday). But wow did it ever deliver. Florence is one of those cities that is full of many people in the main squares, but it doesn't bother you because it's such a mind blowing place. Like much of the old cities in Europe, there's just this sense of refined "oldness" that can catch you off guard. It's not just old, it's REALLY well made. They truly were crafting Masters back then.
I'm pretty sure that everyone remembers their first trip to Italy. I don't know what it is - there is just a certain vibe about the history, food culture, and laid-back, quiet beauty that seems to exist juuuuuuust beyond the city. And that's near EVERY city. It's amazing how it works like that.
I did lots of research, found tons of good information on both sights and where to eat, and was able to make sure that while I only had 2.5 real days in-city for fun and exploring, it was full of good stuff without being completely exhausting. What's more, is that we're already planning a longer trip back to that magnificent country for next year. We want more, and our stomachs and minds are ready.
I've done a full city-report and review of Florence, so check it out here. Hopefully, it helps you when you wander to Florence on your trip!