I recently returned from a lovely holiday. While it was a relatively short trip, the kids stayed home with grandparents, and we drove a little Fiat 500 on a mini European road tour through Italy and France. We were able to return to some places that we love, and also visit some new ones (that we now love). I’m already ready to go back.
Florence is one of my absolute favorite cities. It is alive, beautiful, magical, and abundant with art and a rich history. Most of all, it feels like home to me as I spent a great amount of time there when I lived in Italy. That, and the shopping is out of this world (better than Milan in my book).
If you are in Florence on a Thursday morning, there is a lovely mercato di fiori (flower market) at one corner of the Piazza della Repubblica. Since I barely slept a wink during my stay, I was there bright and early waiting for the flowers to be displayed. While waiting I got a chance to sit in the piazza and watch it wake up without any crowds surrounding me (quite a treat in the summertime). It truly was a memorable day and I can’t imagine having spent it any other way.
An appropriate place for me to pose for a picture!
The geraniums were so bright and beautiful and perfectly unblemished! If only I could bring it all back with me.
And of course there were the ever-amazing dahlias!
Can you smell the lavender?!
A few days later, we drove to the South of France and stayed in the most beautiful village of Valbonne. On a Sunday morning, we took a day trip to Cannes and discovered the lovely (and large) Marché Forville where they had wonderful produce, fish, and flowers. Walking through this market made me want to shop for food and go back and cook, and if I lived there that is exactly what I would have done. Instead, I took a whole bunch of pictures of the flowers.
I really enjoyed the way that the flowers were displayed – especially the signs.
It is very hard to find peonies right now in California. No problem in Cannes.
Here you can get a sense of the size of the market.
All photography by N. Underwood