Summer Storms in Florence

For our final day in Florence we took to the streets for our usual stroll before breakfast.

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Still slippery from the rain, the cobbled streets led us to an old favourite.

Cafe Gilli.

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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!)

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Fuelled up, we continued our exploration.

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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.

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The library was planned and built by Michelangelo and is sure to make any jaw drop with its sheer scale and attention to detail.

 

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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.

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella.

The 600 year old pharmacy/perfumery of Santa Maria Novella to you ‘n’ me.

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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.

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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.

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I collected a few gifts and one of these, for me.

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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!

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^ I’ll have you know, I did not break that book shelf. It was like that when I got there, mum.

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Happily weighed down with smelly gifts, we went to meet Julia and Thomas for lunch.

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Lace dress // Pink bag

Striped espadrilles

(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!)

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For lunch we went to another old favourite, Trattoria Sostanza.

Check out my post from last time, for a full run down of this place!

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One very satisfied Julia, in her Zimmerman romper and Silver May Blossom Ring!

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Trattoria may serve up some of the best food in Florence, but they don’t do coffee.

For that amore, you have to walk on.

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We found a little corner stop off and downed a few espressos.

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Just enough fuel to get us to the very top of Villa Bardini.

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Which is certainly worth the trip if you’re into a good view.

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And luscious green gardens.

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The storm began to roll in from the hills and we took shelter under the vines.

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But this was no ordinary summer shower!

Soon the sky turned dark and Florence all but vanished behind the mists.

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The rain pelted down and gave birth to a hundred rivers.

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What do Brits do when it rains?

We have tea, of course!

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After two pots and a tin of biscuits, the storm passed.

Florence reappeared and rainbow after rainbow popped up between us and the city.

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Leaf-ing us to enjoy the gardens!

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We zigzagged along the garden path and down into the city below.

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We hopped the river and celebrated the rapidly returning sunshine with gelato all round!

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Who says a little rain has to spoil a holiday?

If you’re planning your own adventure anytime soon, check out my sponsored post of packing essentials list over on Shopstyle.

What-Pack-Stylish-Summer-Holiday

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