My husband and I are still basking the memories of our first wonderful holiday to Italy -hopefully the first of many as we're already planning to go back next year!
We had 4 nights in Florence at the Hotel Donatello in Piazza Independenza which was small,quiet and excellent for the budget and very well placed for all the major sights.
We were pleasantly over-whelmed by the Uffizi (could have done with a few visits there - almost too much to take in for one visit)and The Accademia was great too. David is truly magnificent and so much bigger than we were expecting. We enjoyed the musical instruments museum there too being both musicians. The Duomo is breathtaking and the views from the Giotto tower over Florence wonderful! The shops were lovely too!
We ate like kings at very consistent prices . Trattoria Marios is fantastic and uniquely italian but only for lunch and get there before 12 unless you want to queue! Quatro Leoni, Acqua al Due (booking reccommended) and Dinos were all excellent too.
We then went to Lucca for 2 nights which i'd highly recommend as a very charming walled town with lots of character. San Frediano Guesthouse with just 6 rooms was just lovely and right in the centre and yet quiet. Trattoria Giulio in Pelleria which I'd booked in advance through the guesthouse was simple but fantastic.
We spent our last night in Pisa and although we enjoyed the duomo and climbed the Leaning Tower we were glad we were only there for a short time as Pisa seemed very run-down after Florence which seemed so clean everywhere in spite of all the tourism. Having said that about Pisa we had an excellent meal at Osteria dei Cavalieri which we'd booked ahead which we were glad of as people were being turned away and it was only a Monday night! I'd also recommend viewing the Campo dei Miracoli by night as it's all lit up and very few people around which was nice.
We were sad to leave Italy but we'll be back!!