What I like sharing most on this travel blog is authentic travel experiences and it’s something I really work hard to bring to you. The thing is, when you or I visit someplace far from home we want to feel what it’s like to live there, smell the smells, drink the wines, hear the music and really try to appreciate what is so unique about each place… I know that’s how I prefer to travel.
Florence, Italy often gets a bad rap for it’s intensely saturated tourism and I totally get it, the city is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. I was able to have a Florentine experience entirely separate from all that by making my base in the Oltrarno area which means “beyond the Arno”. It’s a neighborhood on the opposite side of the river from most of the popular tourism draws. It’s great because of the quiet, authentically Florentine atmosphere and the famous sights such are just a short walk across the river. Further, I felt very lucky to stay in a 14th century apartment rental called Palazzo Belfiore and stroll the neighborhood’s great monthly antique market.
Sometimes my Mom gets excited when I travel to historic cities because she has imagined them in their historic state. When I show her the current-day photos she says, “Oh, it’s nothing like I thought.” Well, the Oltrarno neighborhood feels as historic and authentic as you can imagine. I don’t claim to be an expert, but professional travel writer and Florence local, Georgette Jupe said that while nothing in the city is still a hidden find, the Oltrarno is certainly special and people really enjoy knowing about it. Georgette has written about of the old-fashioned artisan workshops of the area as well as best places to shop there.
Here are a few little moments in the Oltrarno.
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