A couple of years ago my husband and I took our almost one year old to Italy in October. I was pleasantly surprised by the slightly quieter streets and the perfect temperatures for long wandering walks. Here are a few favorite images along with some tips for planning your own fall visit in Florence, Tuscany, and Rome.
Florence is the overflowing with Art Museums as well as winding old streets and peaceful parks. Here are a few things we incorporated into our three days there.
Uffizi Gallery is a must. This architecturally beautiful museum is filled with Renaissance art.
Ponte Vecchio is a famous bridge over the Arno River - you can skip this if you find crowds of tourists overwhelming.
The famous David sculpture is in a unassuming building a few blocks from the main city center. Worth the walk.
We trekked up to Piazzale Michelangelo and soaked in the panoramic views of Florence. On our way back, we stopped at Come Dio Comanda, THE best sandwich place on an adorable and very photogenic street. When I realized I didn't have my european cash, they told me to sit and enjoy the sandwiches we ordered before running back to our airbnb for cash. The gesture warmed my heart and made their delicious food even better.
I took our daughter for a walk around the Boboli Gardens which was quiet and very beautiful. There was a little cafe at the top that overlooked Florence.
Next was Tuscany, probably my favorite place in the world.
We stayed in the most inspiring little airbnb in Montepulciano owned and designed by one of the artists in town. It had stunning views and was a great base for exploring.
My favorite winery that we visited was Avignonesi. Their wines are incredible and their property is a wedding photographer's dream. (See next photo below of their courtyard). I can imagine the most idyllic ceremony and al fresco reception there.
At the recommendation of our airbnb host, we went for a long lunch one day at a cute little property outside of town called Podere II Casale. The views there were so stunning, the landscape photograph I took there is hanging in our house. La Bandita Townhouse is close by and on my list but we didn't make it that time.
We wrapped up our trip with two days in Rome. To be honest I had low expectations for some reason, but I couldn't have loved it more. The ancient history was impossible not to appreciate and there was a certain energy, sort of like being in New York.
We did not tour the Vatican but we did happen to walk over the Tiber River and up to St. Peter's Basilica right at dusk, and it inspired awe in a way I can't put into words.
I was absolutely fascinated by the Pantheon. This is a neutral texture lovers paradise. But aside from that, it is literally thousands of years old. Absolutely worth bearing the crowds.
We walked all the way to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain but I can't say these crowded tourist spots were worth it for us.
We did enjoy walking by the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
And in general just loved walking around with any particular end-point planned. We happened along Via dei Coronari which is a typographer lover's paradise, full of beautifully branded shops & restaurants.
Not far from there, and sort of off the beaten path, we made a visit to Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a palace full of art and beautiful architecture, including a quiet courtyard.
I have so many happy memories from this trip. And while it is worth noting that jet lag with a baby is not for the faint of heart, I am so happy we brought our daughter while she was easy to tote around. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the photos or locations featured.