The Hills are Alive... in Tuscany?

Today our host family showed us around Florence, showing us sky top views of Florence from the hills I would never think to seek on my own. They had originally planned a trip for us outside of Florence but Marco has been sick the last few days and did not feel well enough. So Florence it was!

The four of us were up an out early, ready for an entire day of sites. We all squished into our host parents small Italian car and headed up through the hills arriving at first stop the Piazalle Michelangelo. The piazza was nothing special but the view was incredible. Now I know where all those post card pictures of the city come from, for as we walked towards the edge of the piazza, the city of Florence emerged beneath us. We stood there looking down on tiny red roofed buildings and picking out iconic monuments like the duomo, which towers over the rest of the city, and the church of Santa Croce. Marco then turned to me and said “This is how we see Florence”. It was amazing.

Our next stop was a church atop a hill nearby. There we met up with my host mother’s sister and the two students she hosts. We toured the church together and then headed out to complete opposite side of the city.

We drove through the city to the hills on the other side of Florence. Cristina explained to me that Florence lies on a plain, surrounded by hills. The drive along the windy roads on the hill provided us with some beautiful scenery. Tuscany at it’s finest!

We stopped at a small piazza and then made are way up a steep hill by foot. We came to yet another look out point, showing Florence from a different angle. Although it was foggy, we were still able to see the beautiful hills of Tuscany surrounding Florence. Across from this view was a small church. We ducked our heads in but didn’t stay long because they were having mass.

By the time we made it down the hill we were all hungry for lunch. Marco took us to a beautiful restaurant atop the hills that a friend of his owned. We stepped inside the dining room which was surrounded by windows, revealing the beautiful view of Tuscany. It was awesome!

Knowing how much Ali and I like fish and seafood, Marco proceeded to order fish dishes for us all. We enjoyed a several course meal, as I am finding most Italian meals are. First a plate of crostini (picked out a bruchetta for myself), then a huge plate of mussels, followed by a plate of shrimp risotto and a plate of pasta covered in seafood. It was delicious but I was stuffed!

The other students and I rolled out of the restaurant. We all headed back for a nap before we headed back out to see a showing of Pinocchio! It was an original Italian version shown in a beautiful old theater, and of course all in Italian. I must say I don’t think I caught on to the story as it was fairly different from the well known Disney version.

After a long, eventful day we headed home for a lighter than normal dinner (Thank god after that huge lunch!) I will go to bed picturing those beautiful views of Florence I experienced today.


  1. On our first trip to Florence, Mom and I WALKED up to Piazza Michelangelo. Yes, fantastic views - but not an easy hike. Glad you enjoyed such a wonderful day of sightseeing.

  2. Breathtaking! I think I have those same photos from the Piazza Michaelangelo!
    Love, love, LOVE your stories!
    Be sure to collect Christina's recipes... to share with your aunt! :-D

  3. Yes the piazza was amazing! I'm so glad my host family took us there or else I would've had to hike it as well. And Cristina said she would be happy to have us cook with her...she mentioned teaching us how to make tiramisu! I will make sure to take notes for you:)

    1. Cook with Christina... yes! Tiramisu... yes, yes!! Notes for auntie... : )
      Picture requests? 1. Ellen 2. Marco & Christina 3. Your home...various rooms-view from, view of.
      I'm a visual learner.
      Have you ventured inside the Duomo? I took the city tour and learned about the floods there. There are still markings on different city walls where the water rose to something like 11 feet. (visual learner) Crazy!
      Do they call you Elena?
      Hugging you. xoxo