When my parents told me then wanted to go to Italy when they came to visit, I started making a mental list of all the places I thought they should see to get a good feel for the country. It’s a very regional country with distinct differences from north to south, region to region, city to city. So as I got down to actually planning out the trip, Florence easily made the cut.
I found this apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a tiny rooftop balcony with a gorgeous view of the city.
We spent a few days just wandering around. The streets in Florence are attractions themselves, and it’s a great way to soak up the atmosphere. We were just a few feet away from Piazza Santo Spirito and a 10 minute walk from Ponte Vecchio.
On our first full day in Florence, my parents tried to get money from an ATM but with no success. When I tried, the same machine worked just fine. We found several more ATMs to try, but they were all out of order. (How are there so many non-functioning ATMS?) Frustration was setting in, but we tried to remain calm, and the next day my dad called their bank.
Apparently they had a $350 limit for foreign ATM withdrawals. Not a per day limit or even a per month limit, but a hard limit. How crazy is that? I have no idea when that limit would reset, but luckily he got them to bump it up to $1000.
We continued our exploration of Florence with a visit to the famous Duomo. I vaguely remember seeing this cathedral on two previous trips, but the most recent visit was in 1999 with my best friend Rachel, so I was happy for another look.
Andy and I also took my parents to see one of Italy’s iconic sights, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Already knowing we would be spending an entire month in this city, I made sure to take a look around while we rode a bus from one end to the other, and I thought it looked like it could be an interesting city. Little did I know how our stay in Pisa would actually turn out.
Overall it was a good introduction to Italy for my parents. Florence really is a gorgeous city, and I think it’s a good one to include on an Italy itinerary if you have never been. It’s also a great city to base yourself in if you want to explore Tuscany further.