One lovely day in May, my mom and I along with my friend Cams and her mom travelled all the way from Manila to Rome to celebrate Mother’s Day. As part of our Mother’s Day celebration, we made an overnight side trip to see Florence and Pisa. It was just a very quick trip that we squeezed in our schedule but we were able to make the most of it. 🙂
We took a train from Rome to Florence and as always, train rides in Europe are very convenient and efficient. It was my mom’s first train ride and she really enjoyed it. It was just a short ride though so we arrived in Florence early in the morning before we can check-in our hotel.
Our hotel is named Hotel Club and the lobby is nice and cozy and the location is convenient. It’s walking distance to everything — the train station, the plaza, the markets and restaurants BUT the room is very very tiny and we had a problem with the bathroom and they couldn’t fix it right away. Their service is quite bad and they have limited housekeeping service since it’s just a small boutique hotel. Nonetheless, we still had a great time in Florence. The moment we arrived, we just left our bags in the hotel and started exploring! 🙂
The first thing we did is walk from our hotel and explore the sights. We first came across with this beautiful church, “Santa Maria Novella”. I immediately loved its intricate design! It’s so dainty and pretty and the colors are in my favorite shade of gray and beige. Plus it has arches all over! I’m such a sucker for arches and these kinds of old world architecture. Inside the church there is a museum and the grounds also has a small garden you can tour. Everything is quite pretty inside as well!
One thing I like about Florence are the strips of shops and stalls on the streets selling different kinds of leather goods! This is Mercato San Lorenzo where you’ll pass along these stalls going to the food market. We enjoyed looking around and discovering different leather finds until we got to the large building called Mercato Centrale. This is a 2-floor building where you can buy different ingredients that are hard to find or expensive in Manila — cheeses, meats, truffle oil, huge and fresh fruits and vegetables that already seem unreal. It’s just one of the best food markets I’ve been to! The stalls are colorful and attractive. If only we can bring everything home!
Mercato Centrale is also a good place to have lunch when you’re shopping. This place called, Nerbone, is where we had lunch. It’s the busiest food stall inside with the longest lines and their servings are huge. Our chosen mushroom risotto and penne pasta was really good too! 🙂 During lunch, we chatted with other tourists that shared our table. Nerbone only has long tables that you get to share with everyone else and it’s quite hard to get seats as it’s always filled.
These are just some of the most colorful and attractive market stalls and displays we’ve seen. Only Florence could make selling meats, vegetables and fruits be so pretty haha!
Afterwards, we walked along Piazza del Duomo. We enjoyed the sights and shops along the way and the Duomo is really massive! It’s so tall it’s hard to get a pic with it haha. Cams and her mom climbed going to the top of the Duomo to get a nice view of Florence while my mom and I stayed behind and looked around instead.
From the Duomo we went to the Uffizi (which was closed on that day so we weren’t able to get in) and walked all the way to Ponte Vechio.
The next morning, we rode the bus going to Pisa from Florence. From the bus stop, it was quite a long walk until you get to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was beautiful even from a far. I really loved its design, like how you see it in books but so much more amazing! It’s so cool how it really tilting like it’s about to fall. Thankfully they’re working on how maintain it and keep it from actually falling.
We took countless photos of the Tower until we got tired from the heat and went around the air-conditioned shops around instead.
After lunch, we headed back to Florence to catch our train back to Rome that afternoon. It was cool how easily you can travel from Pisa to Florence to Rome in just one day. We spent the morning in Pisa, then back in Florence in the afternoon then back in Rome at night.
This whole trip was such an amazing experience overall. This was really the best Mother’s Day celebration I’ve had with my mom. Looking back, it was great how we were able to see sights that you only get to see in books and movies and we got to tour 3 cities in Italy in 10 days considering that ours moms are already senior citizens and we had to go in a leisure pace.
Someday soon I’d love to go back to Florence and Pisa with Ken. I’m sure it would be a different experience touring these places with your husband. Until then, ciao Florence and Pisa! We’ll surely be back for more! ❤