Falling for Florence: Second Time’s a Charm


For some people, Florence is love at first sight – classic Renaissance architecture, world-class art masterpeices, incredible Tuscan food, and fabulous Italian fashion.

But for us on our first visit several years ago … not so much. As my teenage nieces would say – Epic Fail!

There was a reason. We’d been living in London for 3 years, working long days to advance our careers … and we were burned out. Seriously fried. We just weren’t ready for the energy field that is Florence. What we needed was a cabin in the woods (or a padded cell) at that time in our lives – not Florence.

So when we were planning our recent RTW we knew we had to give Florence a second chance … and we’re so glad we did. We fell for her charms.

And when we fall … we fall hard.

This Friday we’ll launch this summer’s “Weekends in Florence Series – revisiting a delightful stop on our recent Round-the-World trip. Join us to find out why we fell for Florence the second time around.

See you then,

Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

32 thoughts

  1. What a pretty collage! Those apricots look divine! I liked Florence but for me it paled in comparison to Rome. I think people tend to greatly prefer one or the other. Maybe I’d be like you if I visited a second time. 🙂

    1. I cant attest that the apricots were truly delicious! After our recent return trips to both Florence and Rome (and originally not liking either of them), I’m now a convert to both – for entirely different reasons. Did you have favorite places in Rome? ~Terri

      1. Well, the borghese gallery bc the Bernini sculptures are mind blowing! Aside from all of the other art and architecture, I guess it was just the overall vibe I preferred. Looking forward to your series though!

      2. Ahh, the Berninis – you’re so right! Our last trip to Rome was a bit challenging because all the transit workers were on strike, so it added an interesting twist to the trip. But our wonderful walks introduced us to neighborhoods we would have missed, so that was great! ~Terri

  2. The one time I was in Florence was during a stopover on the journey overland between Rome and Venice… for a reason that I can’t fathom we were only there for a night. By the time we arrived from the Tuscan countryside it was late in the afternoon and the museums and churches had already shut. The one consolation however was a magical sunset from the Ponte Vecchio – from that moment on I knew I just had to return in the future. As for whistle-stop tours like the one that sped me through half of Italy, never again!

    1. James it sounds like you were in Florence at the perfect time – the golden hour – not only when the light is right, but the city is also calm. We learned to cherish that time of day – especially from the Ponte Vecchio. That’s when all the solitary rowers come out to enjoy the peace and quiet of the river. And you’re so right about the whistle-stop tours … never again! Are you heading off to some fascinating destination in the near future? ~Terri

      1. Absolutely, Terri! Had I been more of a serious photographer at the time I think those shots would easily be on the blog. As I write this I’m back in Indonesia with Bama of “What An Amazing World!” – tomorrow we fly from Jakarta to Lombok, where we’ll climb the country’s second-highest volcano. It may turn out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done!

      2. James, I truly love Jakarta, but I’ve never been to Lombok … or climbed a volcano! Wishing you and Bama a safe, challenging, and fun adventure. Glad to hear it’s not Mount Merapi. Can’t wait to read all about it. All the best, Terri

    1. Hi Rusha, So glad that the Florence series appeals to you. Like you, we hadn’t been back in years. I can definitely say it’s improved greatly, with so many more pedestrian areas so you don’t have to “play chicken” with the scooters! 🙂 ~Terri

  3. l’m very much looking forward to this series. I think it’s close to 37 years since I was in Florence and I was on a 9wk tour of Europe and we didn’t have nearly enough time in Florence.
    Will be lovely to revisit through your eyes and photos.

    1. Thanks Vicki! Like you, we definitely didn’t allocate much time to Florence the first time we were there. This time we rented a studio apartment in a typical neighborhood and fell into the rhythm of Florence. It made all the difference. ~Terri

  4. Yes, I am also looking forward to this series. My husband and I visited Florence, Sienna and Rome last year. It was our first time and we fell in love with Italy, period! We are returning this year to Sicily and Rome for 2 weeks and I am so excited.
    Love your photo’s.

  5. Rather discreet photo of David, Terri. (grin) Looking forward to your series. Our time there this fall was far too short. In fact Peggy and I are talking about revisiting the city next year for a longer period of time. –Curt

    1. Well Curt, since my cousin’s 5th grade class is following along we attempt (often unsuccessfully) to keep things PG. 🙂 I don’t know what you thought of Florence the first time, but we found it greatly improved and appealing. ~Terri

      1. LOL on the first grade class, Terri. I sort of run a PG 13 level blog, for the most part. Peggy had been to Florence before but this was my first time. I liked it… and will go back. –Curt

      1. No, and I was there 2 times. I am afraid of small distances, when I went up St. Peter’s Dome in Rome it wasn’t fun going up through small spaces, although the views on top were totally worth it. Next time on Florence I really hope to put fear aside and go up to the top!

      2. Virginia, I was the same way when we went inside the pyramids in Egypt – totally claustrophobic! But I’m so glad I sucked it up and persevered. Hopefully a climb up the Duomo is in your future. ~Terri

    1. Dallas, We enjoyed it so much more this trip than our first. They now have lots of pedestrian areas so we didn’t have to constantly dodge the scooters – whew! Maybe you can go after your house renovation – or during – because you’ll probably need a break! 🙂 ~Terri

  6. I’m excited just thinking about it. It’s one of my “must see” cities. I have a “special” birthday (another one!) in early November and am trying to decide where and what. The weather might ruin it for me though.

    1. Florence in November will be cool for sure, but that means tourist crowds won’t be a problem. James is having a “special birthday” in early Nov as well, and his gift is our trip to Eastern Europe. If you’re like us, we want experiences not things. ~Terri

  7. What a beautiful photo collage. Thanks for sharing Florence with us. I look forward to your Florence series.

    Florence was a matchmaker for my husband and me. I first went there with girlfriends in the days before the internet. All we had was “Europe on X Dollars a Day, ” a vauge itinerary and Eurailpasses. We cluelessly ended up in Florence during its biggest festival of the year, which concluded on June 24th, the feast day for St. John the Baptist. We barely saw anything because it was mobbed. I met my husband in my college town a few months later, and he had been in Florence for that festival, too, and he also had no idea it was happening until he and his friends arrived there. Talking about Florence got our romance ignited. http://www.visitflorence.com/florence-events/calcio-storico-fiorentino.html

    The next time, when my husband and I visited Florence, we arrived there on Palm Sunday, also not a good time to go without reservations. As one French girl said to us as we stood in line to find lodging, “Toute le monde est ici!” We had to get a room in Pisa. We saw a lot of Pisa, though.

    On the third visit, we took our teen-aged children there and were on a tour. It’s time to ago again with you on your blog.

    1. Catherine, that is just THE coolest story! Your near-miss encounter must be the definition of kismet … and what a wonderful way to ignite a romance. Florence can be an amazingly crowded place – even on non-holidays. That’s what drove us nuts on our first trip. Between the cars, people and scooters you could barely walk.

      But the city has done a lot to improve that situation, with lots of new pedestrian areas. This last trip we learned to avoid peak hours, rented an apartment across the river, and just learned to go with the “Florentine Flow.” So glad that you shared your awesome love story. All the best, Terri

What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s