Western Europe

Florence- So I should really work on this planning ahead thing.

So this is definitely the second time I have written this post, so I apologize because the first post was a very well drafted thought-out blog post. and this one, well we’ll see how lazy I am and how much I remember. Next time I will remember to save my posts.

Vlog #6: Contiki European Panorama: Florence, Italy

Just like on tour, sometimes I get really lazy since so much planning is done for me that I forget that I am traveling in peak tourist season and visiting peak tourist hotspots. So, it should be no surprise that we would need to book tickets before hand to visit popular tourist museums holding famous pieces of art like David. Of course I did not do this and therefore instead of seeing the real David, I only got to see the fake David.

Fake David - Florence, Italy

Fake David, almost as good as the real thing.

Florence, Italy

For lunch in Florence our tour manager took us to this restaurant that supposedly has the best steak in Europe. First off, how do people even measure what restaurants or what food is the “best”. Of course you can say it’s by personal taste, but how would you remember and be able to compare each to the other? Not to mention taking into account other influences like being extreme hungry, hungover or having cravings.

Best steak EVER - Florence, Italy

While the steak was indeed very tasty, I wouldn’t call it the best I’ve ever had. Maybe that is because you are suppose to have it cooked rare/medium rare, and I only eat steak well done.

Best steak EVER - Florence, Italy

This wine on the other hand was absolutely delightful. Do yourself a favor and if you ever see this on a shelf, purchase it, you will not regret it.

Best Wine EVER - Florence, Italy

Best gelato EVER - Florence, Italy


After filling up with steak and then gelato I had the brilliant idea to climb up to the top of the Duomo in Florence, the highest point in the city. Climbing in 38 degree heat, up a stair master on steroids, and with only 30 minutes to get up and back down before I miss my bus. Again, that whole planning ahead thing would have come in handy here.

Duomo - Florence, Italy

Duomo - Florence, Italy

However, once I got to the top and saw the beautiful paintings, the spectacular views over the city, I knew all those steps were worth it.

View from the Duomo- Florence, Italy

View from the Duomo- Florence, Italy

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  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I like steak medium well myself. At least you burned it off climbing all those stairs! :)

  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Hey Nadine, I think you need a break from traveling. The pressure is getting to you. You have worked so hard to promote Kontiki, post videos when the internet is crap, maintain this blog as well as your twitter and flickr etc. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not laziness, but exhaustion. You have made so many people happy with what you have done, so promise yourself some time off just for you when you get back home to Squamish and your family.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Just so you know – next time you are in Florence, not only can you book tickets in advance, you can also reserve time slots so you dont have stand in line like a renaissance disney land. The concierge can do it for you at your hotel.

    Never order beef. They consider well, what we consider medium rare. So many restaurants cook seasonally, and if you hit it at the right time, you can get wild boar……tasty.

    Last but not least, the biggest tip of all……….the museums stay open until 10:00 pm on monday nights. I studied in florence, and used monday nights to go into the academia to draw the david and the slaves. i was always alone. Pretty spectacular experience to be alone with a masterpiece.

    by the way, the fake doesnt cut it. not even close.
    safe travels, dont forget to stop and breathe.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I’ve been to Florence 11 times.. and several times i spent there around a month.. it is so amazing to have a second home somewhere else in the world..
    And when you come back you run..just run to your beloved places:)

  • What are you thoughts?