City Break Florence; All that I love

 One of the best time to be anywhere near the Duomo is very early in the morning.

Now that I'm based in a small town on the coast of France, I quite like to take city breaks! Actually like most people I like most kinds of breaks!

A few weeks ago I was back on the streets of one of my favorite cities in the world, Florence, a city I so happily called home for just over a year.

Arriving in Florence is like landing smack bang into all that I love about Italian life; the noise, the aromas, the fun, style, history, art, and all the vibrant and colorful street life that my camera and I just can't get enough of!

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 He may not be the original but they all still love him in Piazza Signoria!

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Palazzo Strozzi | piazza degli strozzi

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Copyright Millie Brown

Everybody needs at least one scoop of gelato in Florence (preferably on the hour)!

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Gilli Caffé

via roma 1R

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

Mangiafoco

 borgo s.s. apostoli 26r

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Mangiafoco's motto...'Life is too short to drink bad wine'.

This wine bar is one of my very favourite and it also happens to be in one of my favourite little streets, Borgo SS Apostoli. This place is a jewel, Francesco and Lisa truly love what they do and it shows. Their attention to detail and the divine wine and food they serve and prepare is testament to their passion. I could spend way too much time here each day!!

For my recent lunchtime visit I had the pecorino and pear tortellini and I still dream of it!  It made me want to drag my bags back up those 97 stairs to my former rooftop apartment and start my Florentine life all over again (Mangiafoco was my 'local' as my apartment was conveniently right next door)!

Copyright Millie Brown

Copyright Millie Brown

Copyright Millie Brown

Copyright Millie Brown

 I dream about their coffee.

Their wine list is excellent and any of the staff are more than happy to help you make your choice for a tasting and put together a delicious and typical Tuscan tasting plate of various local meats and cheeses to compliment the wine.

Mangiafoco also make their own condiments (using all local products), and I am going to have to return quickly because it didn't take me long to get through my little jar of 'Gelatina di aceto balsamico'. The consistancy of this product is thicker than a sticky balsamic and is not used for cooking as is the crema di balsamico but is served as a condiment with cheese, and its an absolutely perfect taste combination.

Cibreo Caffè

Via Verrocchio 5r

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Early in the morning I love to make my way to the Santa Croce area of Florence, wander the Sant'Ambrogio market and then  go directly to Italian coffee and pastry heaven at Cibreo Caffé.

The Cibreo culinary group (trattoria, restaurant, theatre & cafe) are within meters of each other and it's one of the corners of the Santa Croce area that I adore the most, as it's set somewhat away from the maddening crowds, and is where you can get more of a feel for the local Florentine life.

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Pastries at Cibreo Florence Italy

SHOPPING

Sant'Ambrogio market

Piazza Ghiberti

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Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

Via della Scala 16

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While I cant wrap Florence up, put her in my suitcase and take her with me, I do keep her tucked well into my heart at all times.

...and thank you to my gorgeous friend Lucia for having me to stay xx

Millie xx

Some other Florence addresses here