Italy | Florence, Pisa, Siena and Rome

I was lucky enough to visit Italy twice in the last year and both trips were magnificent, so I thought I would share a few photos. The first time was in November last year, when my boyfriend Tom and I visited Pisa, Florence and Siena, staying for a week in the middle of Tuscany, and the second trip was a few days in Rome for my 30th birthday.

Tuscany was still reasonably warm in November; we had at least 4 bright sunny days, and it was somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees. I did brave a bikini by the pool on the first day, but I had to admit defeat when I realised I was accessorising my bikini with sexy goosebumps. We were staying in the middle of nowhere about 20km outside of Florence, at an AirBnB on a farm, with nothing but olives and vineyards for as far as the eye could see. It was truly beautiful, and so perfectly quiet and relaxing. We spent our days either reading and drinking the €4 Chianti the farm owners made onsite, or out and about round Florence and Siena, doing all the big touristy things. Siena to me was a slightly smaller and more beautiful, rustic version of Florence, with its curved cobbled streets and warm terracotta coloured buildings. Florence had more going on though, and the architecture and artwork was incredible; seeing David in real life completely blew me away, despite having seen photos of him for years. Those magnificent sunset shots were in Pisa, where we had one day to see the tower, drink cocktails, and apparently take 8,000 photos of the sun setting across the river.

Rome was the absolute best way to celebrate turning 30. A wonderful surprise from Tom, it was a few days of luxury and more of all the things we loved about Tuscany. I can't tell you how much gelato, coffee and pizza I consumed across both trips, because you'd probably be shocked and wonder how I had time to see any of the sites. It was worth every calorie. We stayed at the Rose Palace Garden which wasn't too far from the Spanish Steps, and basically walked everywhere from there. Again, the weather was beautiful and warmer in April, so it made sense to make the most of the outdoors and explore Rome by foot. Again, we did the biggies like the Colosseum and the Vatican and were not disappointed, but don't miss the Cat Sanctuary at Largo di Torre Argentina if you're fond of cats like us! We also loved chilling out with a beer in Trastevere on our final evening in the setting sun.