Florence or Firenze in Italian always makes to the top of lists of the most romantic cities in the world and for excellent reasons.
During our Italian trip this summer, we stopped by Florence, on our way to Rome. Kind of unfortunately, I was there with my niece 😉 “unfortunately” because I had not been to Florence for years and had forgotten how utterly romantic it is. I know: How could you forget!!?! This little stay just made me miss my partner so much that all I really wanted, that evening, was to be there, with him.
The day was extremely hot, the streets of the city center were bustling with tourists, workers, shoppers, and selfie sticks’ sellers. The smell from the horse drawn carriages, the sweat of busy people, the odors coming from restaurants and markets weren’t the most pleasant.
The Duomo from the ground
View of the Duomo from the tower
Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia des Lanzi
Statues of the Loggia des Lanzi
But as the sun came down, we could feel a new vibe rising and taking over. Romance was in the air and could be felt at every corners. Couples were strolling hand in hand or kissing under porches and in small dark streets. Everybody was slowing down to breath the welcomed fresh air, admire the sunset and beauty of the city as the shops and museum were closing. The blinding summer sun was fading to let the moon shine and the soft street lights were giving a new glow to the buildings and the streets.
We were fortunate to find space in a one of the very few small trattorias, with a terrace overlooking Ponte Vecchio. After a few glasses of prosecco and some delicious pasta of course 😉 we headed to Ponte Vecchio and found a spot on the stairs to listen and enjoy an amazing guy who was playing guitar. A fair amount of people had already gathered to listen to him as he was singing, with a slight Italian accent, a broad repertoire ranging from Muse, to Plain White T’s, Rihanna, Linkin Park or Snow Patrol to name just a few. It was perfectly charming and a delicious way to end the evening.
I must admit: Despite missing Mr. A, we ended up having a wonderful girls’ night out!
It made me wonder what makes a city, romantic?
It’s very subjective, of course. Thinking about it, for me, it comes down to just a few criteria:
- A city not too big, not too small. Paris is supposed to be the most romantic city in the World but, to me, smaller places like Florence or Bruges are far more charming.
- Remarkable architecture. I want to be mesmerized at every corner, I want to be surrounded by beauty. Strolling hand in hand in an enchanting town, stopping by together to admire a building, a statue, a water fountain, little details and amazing views…
- A river! I just realized that all the cities I love have this in common. A river, you can walk by, bridges from which you can admire the city, benches where you can stop and enjoy the moment… and the upmost romantic thing to do: a boat ride!
- A walkable city center. Being able to walk around, hand in hand, carelessly…
- Quietness is a plus but at the very least cars must be somehow out of sight and out of my nose (who really likes the smell of exhaust fumes?!)
- Safety is a must. I can’t feel the love if I’m afraid someone is going to pickpocket me… I know, it’s unromantic to think of this!
And yes, Florence has it all!
Florence is simply a perfect gateway for a long week end. Its charms & beauty are undeniable. These would probably convert the most unromantic man into a loving & courtly Romeo.
Did I mention the historic center is amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Site?!
Tell me: what is the most romantic city to you? and why?
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