Our Tracey On The Magic Of Florence


When I wrote last week about my family’s trip to Italy, I also said I would tell you about our quick visit to the magnificent city of Florence.

To say it’s absolutely breath-taking is an understatement. Who isn’t in awe of the buildings and the history with every step?

Even the train journey was beautiful.

For just over an hour I gazed at the rolling hills, olive groves and Tuscan villas as the train made its way to the city.

Thank you, Caesar

Florence was established in 59 BC by Julius Caesar, as a retreat for his veteran soldiers.

From such quiet beginnings grew one of the most influential cities in world history.


Photograph by Tracey Steel.

No trip to Florence is complete without a trip to the Uffizi Gallery.

It was originally the offices of the Medici family, and now it’s home to priceless artworks from Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo and more.

To see Sandro Botticelli’s Birth Of Venus was truly mind-blowing. There were audible gasps as people happened upon it tucked away in Room 10 of the gallery’

It was much quieter than usual, and that allowed more time to wander.

Although everyone was wearing masks, you could see the thrill in their eyes as we looked at one famous painting after another.


Photograph by Tracey Steel.

The history and architecture are fabulous, but what about the food?

Let’s just say it was nothing like the pasta dishes I conjure up at home! It was 34 degrees, and our lovely outdoor restaurant had cool water vapour spraying gently around us.

The chilled pinot grigio helped, too!

After a quick stop for some gelato and coffee , it was back on the very quiet train to Torre del Lago.

It’s safe to say we’ll be returning to Firenze!

For more from the team, read our blog here.

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Remember, travel restrictions may still be in place. Please check latest advice before planning your trip.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!