It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written anything on my blog, and I hope my absence is well justified! A couple of days before my birthday this month, my husband Ghassan and his cousin Hana (who also happens to be one of my closest friends) had the brilliant idea of sending me off on a girl’s trip to celebrate my birthday. Hana had already bought her ticket to Florence, and it was during a pre-birthday dinner that she innocently suggested I  come along. A day and a half later, I boarded the airplane with nothing but a small carry-on bag filled with a few summer dresses and some flip-flops.

Waking up in Florence was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday.

Firenze on my birthday

Florence Bridges

Lidija and Hana Florence Tuscany

Welcomed by blue skies and warm weather, Hana and I checked our bags into the Villa Agape and started exploring the city. Just look at all the amazing cypress trees!

There’s something about wandering through unknown streets with an anonymous face in the crowd that’s very liberating.

Walking in Florence on my birthday

walking in florence

Alleyways of Florence

Tuscan Doors and Hana

Streets of Florence

On the Streets of florence

A Tuscan Door 1

Florence past and present

Random bits of history in the streets of Florence

If the winding streets are the veins of Florence, its Il Duomo di Firenze, with its dazzling architecture, that is most definitely the heart. The cultural experiences in this city are abundantly rich and easily accessible. There is so much to see, do, and feel!

Il Duomo di Firenze the heart

We walked…

…we ate… and did we ever eat well…

Pizza and Wine

Il Loggia - Zuccini 2

Il Loggia - Pasta con zuccini e buffala

Il Loggia - Pasta con zuccini pomodoro e bufalla

We discovered beautiful trattoriasosterias, and ristorantes across Florence. Omero was one of many stunning eateries offering great food, fabulous wine, wonderful Tuscan cuisine – all with breathtaking views. I highly recommend it (there is very little in Italy that I wouldn’t recommend)!

Il Loggia - ZucciniCoffee and gelato gave us energy to walk for days! I have blisters to prove it…

Coffee in Florence

There is inspiration at every corner. Imagine a grey gelato made from black sesame. Wow!

Gelato in Florence

We drank wine, we sipped Prosecco in little piazzas and welcoming restaurants…

Wine in Florence

…Breathtaking views at Piazza Michelangelo….

Il Loggia - Piazza Michelangelo Florence

Foodie in Florence Piazza Michelango

Il Loggia - Raviolli in Sage Butter

Ristorante La loggia

We found the perfect little wine bar in the center of Florence – Il Santino – where the Prosecco was flowing along with fabulous bar bites of beef carpaccio, tomato bruschetta, and platters of pecorino cheese with salami and prosciutto.

Florence - Ham and Woman

Is Santino - Selfie

Halfway through our trip, we drove up to Chianti in the heart of Tuscany. It’s hard not to be happy when you’re surrounded by all of that raw beauty. We took roads off the beaten path, wonderfully lost within the lush, idyllic landscape. Vivid, jaw-dropping colours – can you say green?

On the Road to Chianti 3

Chianti and Tuscany 2

Villa Agape 5

Chianti Tuscany

There were farmhouses and wineries waiting to be discovered – tasting a bit of la dolce vita every step of the way.

Lidija in Chianti

Chianti Farm House

On the Road to Chianti 1

Trapped in Chianti

Views like these? They’re tough to beat….

Florence breathtaking view

Church in Florence


I’ll be back soon with some recipes inspired by this unforgettable getaway. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to stay in holiday mode for as long as humanly possible.

Ciao Italia! I’ll be coming back for more


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