Florence, Italy, is one of my favorite places to visit. Every time I go there, I say that I will be giving it a rest, and then I end up going back. On my recent sister’s trip, my sister really wanted to go to Florence, and who am I to say no when I love it so much? Florence is filled with stunning landmarks such as the Florence Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio (one of my favorite landmarks). Florence also offers delicious Italian cuisine, charming streets to explore, and a lively atmosphere. And gelato, of course! I love Florence, so I was happy to do a girl’s trip to Florence, Italy on credit card points/miles.
We traveled on KLM from Dublin to Florence. This flight had a short connection in Amsterdam (another gorgeous city) and cost us $500 each. I could have used Venture Miles from my Capital One cards to “erase this purchase,” but I decided to put the cost on a card I was trying to meet the minimum spend on.
Unfortunately, my luggage didn’t make it to Florence. You can read more about this fiasco here.
We used Hyatt points to stay at the incredible Palazzo Vecchietti (an SLH hotel), which would have cost over $1,400/night! Instead, we paid peak prices of 45K points for one night and 40K points for the other night. However, when you consider that a Marriott or Hilton hotel of the same caliber would cost that much for just one night, you can see why Hyatt offers such outsized value.
From the minute we stepped into this hotel, it felt like pure luxury. And we were given impeccable service from the beginning to the end—it was a lifestyle of the rich and famous stay for sure.
Breakfast was served buffet style with some made-to-order options in a little room set up with nice china and silverware. Our room also had a little butler’s pantry where we could have prepared some light meals if we wanted to.
Because of the trouble with our luggage, we got into Florence (via taxi) late. That left us with just one full day to see the city. Fortunately, Florence is small, and that wasn’t a problem. We visited all the sites on foot and included some shopping for clothes and essentials.
I used Visit a City to map out the most important sites so I could follow a plan. I like this site when I am trying to cram it all in. We saw the following sites:
Honestly, my favorite thing to do in Florence is soak up the architecture, cute streets, and eat gelato. I love wandering the streets and squares at night where someone is always playing a musical instrument or singing beautiful music. It is really a magical place, and despite our luggage woes, we were able to enjoy the essence of Florence.
Even we make mistakes on trips. This one was no exception. I booked us a tour of the Duomo and then realized it was for the week after we left there. Luckily that was refundable, but we didn’t get to go into the gorgeous cathedral.
I had heard about this restaurant called Osteria Pastella that has this huge cheese wheel they heat up and then put pasta and truffles in it. It’s impossible to get in without a reservation, so I made one. We showed up for it, only to find out I had made it for the day before! What? Lesson learned—go over plans again before you head out on your trip and double-check that it all checks out. To be fair, this was a five-city, two-week trip with multiple tours, flights, trains, etc. It’s just too bad that these mistakes were coupled with our luggage problems.
One of my favorite activities on a trip is to take a cooking class. We did one on my last trip to Italy at a Tuscan farmhouse. This one was done by the same company but in the town. I enjoyed both of them, and this one made more sense since we had less time. Towns of Italy provide cooking classes across Italy.
Despite lost luggage, missed reservations, and the stress of re-bookings, our girl’s trip to Florence was a success. We soaked up the vibes of Florence, enjoyed gelato, and had an amazing time together. Once again credit card points/miles have allowed me to create magical memories!
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