August 1, 2012 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine, Travel, Travels in Europe

When your family insists that you hop on a two-hour flight to meet them in Florence, Italy, you say “yes.”


Oops, at first I said “no,” but I quickly came to my senses. After all, the two-day trip to Tuscany would be filled with a bike ride through wine country, and enough good food to cancel out every last calorie burnt on said excursion. So – clearly – off I went to my favorite Italian city to meet up with my aunt, uncle and two cousins. Would you like to come along for the (virtual) ride?

Like any good trip to Italy, my latest began with pizza. That is, soft pillowy dough covered in melty disks of mozzarella, a smattering of pesto and slathered in chuggable tomato sauce. Served with a side of wine, my trip could have ended right there with that meal and have been well worth the journey.

Fortunately, though, that was just my first taste. After devouring every last bite, we digested our carb-tastic meal by taking a short trek down the street, where the sun had just dropped below the horizon, casting an ethereal glow on the Ponte Vecchio (photo above). Gelato may have also been involved in this picture of Florentine perfection, but the truth is that I scarfed it down so fast that there just wasn’t time for photos.

The next morning, we set off for Tuscany, piling into vans for a 45-minute drive into the countryside. But not before kick-starting our systems Italian-style with my beloved caffe shakerato — espresso, ice and sugar, all martini-shaken and served in a fancy glass. Honestly, any day that starts with this, is sure to be a good one, don’t you think?

A twisty and turny drive later and we were almost ready to go – almost. But first, we toured a 12th century castle, followed by a sip-and-nosh fest on wine and olive-oil-topped bread. OK, now we were ready to go.

So over the vineyard- and orchard-covered hills we went, zipping through the thick and sticky near 100-degree air. Single file, we shifted gears, grinding up inclines and coasting down into valleys, savoring the momentary and much-needed breeze. Tuscany was as picture-perfect as ever, but perhaps not at its finest for hitting the asphalt by bike.

And then we were done, returning to Florence to finish our weekend of biking, wine, caffe shakeratos and pasta just as perfectly as it had begun. From atop the Piazzale Michelangelo, we took in a panoramic view of the Arno River, twinkling with reflections as it crept under the Ponte Vecchio and across town, with the Duomo lit up in the background like a giant centuries-old Fabergé egg. Not too shabby for an impromptu weekend away with the family.

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9 Responses to “Weekend in Florence”

  1. jan Says:

    Those coffees looked great. It would have been lovely doing it in a happy family group. Did you stop at some vineyards? What a beautiful week-end. Living in Australia we can never just take a week-end in Europe. We have to wait and do it in one big splurge. Not that I am complaining!

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures Says:

    What fabulous pics! I LOVE Florence!!

  3. Sarah Says:

    Looks like a beautiful trip. Sometimes it’s nice to exercise (bike) hard, and then come back for a delicious meal; when I do that in the morning, my pancakes always seem to taste twice as good. :)

  4. Emily in Chile Says:

    I think that pizza would be enough to make the trip worth it for me too!

  5. florencetag Says:

    hi! thanks for sharing your trip in Florence. There are so many things to do there, and my blog is all about that. If someone needs suggestions, is welcome!

  6. Jessica Says:

    What a beautiful place! And the pizza looks so incredible. I loved looking at your photos of this trip!

  7. maria Says:

    mmm qui semble bonne pizza, je commence à avoir faim

  8. Joanna Hetzel Says:

    That pizza looks so tasty! (apart from the mushrooms!). Florence looks like a beautiful place to visit, I hope to go there soon with my boyfriend.

  9. Marta Says:

    Oh…I want to leave for Florence right now!!! I’ve never been and always wanted to visit! That pizza looks so delicious!

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