the fun photographer

Dani Leigh 

Dani leigh

the fun photographer



Welcome to your fun place on the interwebs; a place to waste time at work looking at your friend's pretty wedding and family pictures and getting to know the gal behind the lens. Go ahead and grab that second cup of coffee! You'll be here awhile!

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Florence, Italy

Jul 12, 2012

Florence is truly a magical little place. Every time Mom and I would leave Florence for a day trip somewhere, we were always relieved when we were back in Florence. There was something so calming about it despite the fact that there are so. many. people. (aka tourists). We stayed at Hotel Plaza Lucchesi which I would highly recommend to anyone traveling to Florence (unless you are super worried about wireless internet and then I would just recommend you stay at home, so many whiney Americans complaining about the crappy wireless – good lord you are in flipping ITALY! Fools! Go outside and play!).  This was the view from our hotel room. The left on the other side of the river is Piazza del Michaelangelo.

AMERICA – WTH? What impression are we giving with this NY pizza? Hot dogs? French fries? We are fatties!

One of the most amazing things my mom read and then told me is that if Dante (Dante’s Inferno) was to come back to life and go to Florence. He would know exactly where he was. The stores may have changed but the street and routes remain unchanged and that was in the 1200s! Despite the fact that we are an older country than Italy (they became a country in 1866) they have so so so so much more history than us. We are the young ones.

There are some obvious things you have to see when you are in Florence. You have to go to Accademia and see David. And if I am telling you that, then you have to do it. To be honest, I thought I was going to see it and be all whatever, it’s a statue made of marble and not be that enthused. Umm, quite the difference, I could have cried. To think that this sculpture right in front of my took someone three years to finish and it was started when he was a year younger than me….gives me goosebumps. It was remarkable to see. Same with going into the Uffizi and seeing artwork that I had learned all about in my art history class in college – Birth of Venus and Primavera. I saw tears in my mom’s eyes. Totally worth it to go see these two things. (Traveller advice: get these tickets on before you go, the lines were massive otherwise, also, try to find a tour with a guide, there was not much else at Accademia and she talked for at least 45 minutes about David which I hardly minded, Accademia you will spend an hour in, Uffizi you need more time – at least 2.5 hours). You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside either of those museums so instead you can see fake David in front of the Palazzo dell Signoria. There is another at Piazza del Michaelangelo too that you will see farther down.

We really need to improve our outdoor dining situation in the US. Everywhere has outdoor dining in Italy. We can start with Frederick, MD.

The Duomo is pretty flipping amazing. It is in the center of town and it is enormous.

Santa Croce.

I would highly recommend eating at Boccadama in Piazza San Croce. Absolutely delicious and the first time I had ever had gnocchi. It was so amazing. I will say though that I didn’t eat anything there I did love. You should know however that pasta is considered a first course, then you get your meat course. I never did that. Mostly because I was so full after the pasta. 

I think the most fun activity we did was the cooking class at the Florence Wine and Food Academy. I would highly recommend it. We started with a tour of the local market and became experts on different ages of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was particularly awesome. I wore this shirt a lot. It was the only tank top I brought and it was over 100 degrees.

Cooking time!


I made 4 of those!

I made a bunch of this!


My fav pic!


This is where I get all my good looks!

More on where we went next – next week!!

comments +

  1. Anna

    July 12th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Ahhh I love it! Can’t wait to visit italy myself!

  2. Susan

    July 12th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Makes me want to go back!

  3. Sara

    July 12th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    you should sell these. amazeballs.

  4. Tina

    July 12th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Danielle I love all of your pics. Now you really are making me want to go to Italy!! Glad you & your Mom had a fabulous time!!

  5. Victoria

    July 13th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    So fun to see where you were! And so great to see mom on the blog! 🙂

  6. Ali

    July 13th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    So amazing!!! I love seeing your adventures! I’m so totally jelly of the cooking class and I can’t wait for you to make me dinner! 🙂

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|  Photos by Dani Leigh photography