Florence’s Historic Oltrarno Neighborhood, Away from the Crowds


bicycle at Piazza Santo Spirito

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 are just a short walk across the river. Further, I feel very lucky to have found and stayed 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.

family at saturday market Ponte Vecchio Florence Arno river Florence Oltrarno from Boboli Gardens Florence Oltrarno buildings fruit baskets Florence market 13102016-50italian food specialtiesflorence vacation rental_palazzo belfiorecross santo spirito shurch cafe at antique market florenceflower bed Boboli Gardens FlorenceFlorentine hillside

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Meet Suzette
suzetteWelcome! I'm Suzette, an Emmy Award winning visual effects artist and travel photographer passionate about doing some living! I have been traveling for the better part of the last ten years in an effort to get out of my bubble and gain some understanding of the world. No matter where I go, I seek out gems off the beaten path and this site is my attempt to show you how to do the same.

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