When I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, in 2015 and when I returned for a short trip in March 2016, there were couples everywhere. If you look past the tour groups and study abroad students, you'll find that the city is filled with honeymooners and couples on romantic getaways. And they're all there for a reason: Florence is one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Forget Paris. I would argue that Florence is the City of Love. In honor of today's holiday, here are some reasons why Florence is the perfect destination for Valentine's Day:
First of all, Florence is a very walkable city. The city center, on both sides of the Arno River, is the perfect place to get lost. The streets can get confusing, but there are piazzas (squares) and recognizable monuments, like the Duomo, all over the city to keep you on track. Plus, who cares if you get lost when you have your valentine to wander and explore with?
If you're content with simply meandering hand in hand, I highly recommend Boboli Gardens, where you can spends hours exploring the grounds of the Pitti Palace and enjoying nature.
Florence is also known for its incredible museums, like the Uffizi, where you can roam the halls with the one you love.
I think we can all agree that Italy is known for its pasta. Why not share a bowl with your Valentine? Maybe you'll have your own Lady and the Tramp moment.
After your pasta lunch, be sure to stop at any of Florence's delicious gelato shops. Sharing might not be an option here--you're going to want a cone of your own.
For dinner, stop at Gusta Pizza on the south side of the river, where they're known for making heart-shaped pizzas all year round (by request, of course). Pizza might just be the way to your valentine's heart, so why not get one in an appropriate shape?
If you want to go a step further, take a cooking class! It's the perfect way to bond with your significant other and learn some tricks that you can take back home to your own kitchen to recreate your romantic time in Italy.
Of all the cities I have traveled to, Florence stands out as one of the most magical. The sights and sounds combine to create an atmosphere like something out of a movie--a romantic one, of course.
As the sun sets on your Valentine's Day, head up to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can see the entire city as the setting sun paints colors across the sky. Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy it with your valentine as you take in the view and listen to the musicians who stake out spots throughout the area to serenade the crowd.
As it gets dark, walk back down into the city and explore the streets of Florence in a different light. At night, there is a soft yellow glow throughout the city, and wherever you go, there are musicians in the streets playing for anyone who will listen. My favorite spot is the Ponte Vecchio, the main bridge that links the north and south sides of the city. Choose a spot to sit with your loved one and just enjoy the music.
If you haven't caught on by now, my point is that Florence is a romantic city. Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or you're on a honeymoon or a standard vacation with your significant other, Florence is the perfect place to spark some romance.
Fear not! If you don't have someone to spend Valentine's Day with, maybe you'll discover that person in Florence! Channel your inner Lizzie McGuire and find your very own Paolo (except hopefully your situation will have a better outcome. Sorry, bad example...). The nightlife in Florence is fun and perfect for mingling, especially if you're a college student.
And if you don't find anyone to spend the day with, don't worry! All of the activities I have mentioned here are just as fun with a group of friends, or even on your own. A bonus to traveling solo? You won't have to share your pasta!
What are your favorite destinations for romantic getaways? Let me know in the comments! As always, comment below or contact me here if you have any ideas for future posts!