For our final day in Florence we took to the streets for our usual stroll before breakfast.
Still slippery from the rain, the cobbled streets led us to an old favourite.
Where we indulged in frosty iced cappuccinos (the best in the city and well worth trying) and a couple of cheese omelettes (which didn’t warrant a photograph, but hey… an omelette’s an omelette!)
Fuelled up, we continued our exploration.
Making a beeline for Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.
The Laurentian Library in Piazza San Lorenzo; home to more than 11,000 manuscripts, 4,500 of the earliest printed books, and a courtyard bursting with orange trees.
The library was planned and built by Michelangelo and is sure to make any jaw drop with its sheer scale and attention to detail.
You’re not allowed to take photos in many of the library rooms, so you’ll have to add it to your list of places to visit.
While you’re adding to your already burgeoning list, you’ll want to consider the most beautiful shop in all of Tuscany.
The 600 year old pharmacy/perfumery of Santa Maria Novella to you ‘n’ me.
Founded by friars making lotions and potions in their monasteries, it opened to the public in 1612.
Now they sell everything from soap to perfume, toothpaste to candles, still made in the traditional fashion with local ingredients.
Their potpourri is a staple in my home and is sure to lift any room to heavenly status.
The store is cavernous and you’ll find something breathtaking around every corner.
“Oh, look at this!” you’ll hiss eagerly to your companion who’s taking far too long to catch up with you.
I collected a few gifts and one of these, for me.
A terracotta pomegranate. Pulled from the kiln before it’s half fired, and immersed in a barrel of pomegranate oil for a week, before being tumbled into the fire once more to be finished.
It gives off its heady scent for a year, and after that you can take it in to be refreshed, which is an excellent excuse to go back to Florence!
^ I’ll have you know, I did not break that book shelf. It was like that when I got there, mum.
(NB: Always get rubber coated soles like these. The fabric ones may be cheaper, but they will soak up water and go soggy at the first sight of rain!)