Last October I had a 3 month old baby and I was spending a lot of time cooped up in the house. I tend to get wanderlust when I have an infant because I have way too much time on my hands, so I decided to plan a trip to London. I figured it would be the perfect place to introduce my kids to a new culture because they speak English, they have tons for the kids to do, and I had been there before so it wouldn’t be completely foreign to me. And then I realized it was also where the Summer Olympics would be held. So London was scratched off the list.
After some research I decided Florence would be a wonderful second choice. I have always wanted to visit Tuscany and the kids love to eat pizza and ice-cream. So began the plan to spend 10 days with the Italians.
My first order of business was to find a place to stay. I wanted to rent a villa and live like an Italian, but after trying to rent a few places, they all fell through. So I moved on to hotels. I judge a hotel by the pool, and when I saw the photographs of the pool at Villa La Vedetta I knew I had found my temporary home.
It was hands down the most beautiful pool I have ever seen in my life. When you have two boys you need to have a place for them to let off steam, be physical, and have it be socially acceptable to be a bit louder then usual. A pool achieves all three goals, which is why it was so important to me that there was one at our hotel.
What I didn’t realize when I booked the hotel was the view was spectacular! It turns out ‘villa la vedetta’ means ‘house with the view’. And what a view! We were above the entire city of Florence and we could see everything, from the Duomo to the Great Synagogue- all of Florence was ours to behold.
Even though the hotel has outstanding views, they also made sure the interior was just as delightful. It was an eclectic mixture of old Italian antiques and modern art.
Gorgeous, right? And everyone who worked at Villa La Vedetta was friendly, accommodating, and went out of their way to make sure we were well taken care of.
When it comes to the decisions I made on Florence, Villa La Vedetta was actually second best. Would you like to know the best decision I made?
Because I have exactly zero experience with creating an overseas vacation, I turned to Julie Gilly, a professional European vacation consultant. Best decision ever. Julie has traveled extensively throughout the continent, especially Italy and France. She has been there and done that, and therefore can give first hand experience on everything to see, do, and eat. I chose her custom itinerary option, which means she fully planned the entire experience (with input from me, of course). What is great about Julie is she also has options for those who like to plan their own vacation but need a review from an expert to make sure they aren’t making any huge mistakes. Such a great idea!
Julie spent months preparing the perfect itinerary. I wouldn’t of changed a single thing! Seriously. She sent me this booklet with each day outlined including restaurants, taxi stands, things to look for, and she even researched vintage shopping per my request! (As an aside, the vintage was terrible. Much better in the United States). I didn’t have to worry about a single thing. If any of you dear readers are planning a trip to Europe you should seriously consider hiring Julie to help plan your trip. You should also check out her blog which goes into depth on information for traveling in Europe.
I leave you with two outfits I wore on our first day in Italy. The first is a vintage dress from Dorothea’s Closet Vintage and the second is from Modcloth. The shoes in the first picture are Miss L. Fire and the belt and hat are from Anthropologie. Oh, by the way, the gorgeous girl next me is my beloved sister, Caitlin, who came on the trip with us. Now that I think about it, that may have been the ultimate reason I had such a wonderful time in Italy.