after our days in rome, we hopped on a train up to florence… and what happened next was that florence stole my heart, wrapped it in the finest italian leather, and put a little bow on it. and kept it. florence was magical! just magical. it felt to me like a big fairy tale castle land and i was in love. even the thunderstorm we woke up to around 4am one morning felt like some kind of fairy tale storm. well, i thought so, at least. so, we stayed three nights in florence, in the absolute loveliest and coziest room at hotel balestri right on the arno river… with the most beautiful window views and a balcony to walk out on. we’d really worn ourselves out in all of rome’s excitement, so we were happy to spend our time in florence just relaxing, strolling down whichever streets we came across, and eating, of course. and really, you can’t visit florence without doing a little shopping, so that was pretty wonderful, too.