We love you italy.
Italy was one of the last places we ventured to together before the world shut down, and holds a near and dear place in our hearts. Our love affair with Italy started early. Erika first traveled to Rome and Florence when she studied abroad in London, and she recalls devouring gelato in Florence as she watched paper lanterns fill the sky during the Rificolona Paper Lantern Festival. She’ll also never forget seeing that wine was in fact cheaper than water in Italy, and pretending she was Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday as she ran about the city and crammed in all the major sights. Emilie first went to Milan with her family when she was 7 years old, and with close proximity to France (her homeland), she has visited again and again, marveling at how their simple ingredients become such beautiful and comforting dishes (a stark difference from the 32 ingredients that go into a single French dish 😊). Now with her own children (6-year old Oliver and 4-month old Sophie), she has been moved by the people and how they always go above and beyond to cater to children.
Last summer, we were finally able to visit Italy together for Erika’s wedding in Tuscany. Italy was at the top of Erika’s list, because of the incredible people, food, breathtaking backdrops of the Tuscan hills, and of course, THE WINE!! We did a lot of research on Rome, Florence, and Tuscany to make the most out of our days leading up to THE big day, and to arm all the friends and family coming in with the best sights, activities, and not-to-miss eats. And one of the amazing gems we uncovered was a unique opportunity to dine with a local, and that’s how we found Chef Patrizia!! Pat is one of those rare people who makes you instantly feel like you’ve known her for a lifetime, and we loved learning about the tastes, culture, and traditions of Florence as we devoured her homemade ravioli and toasted with limoncello. When we started outlining a Florence "vacation in a box," it was a no-brainer that we had to find a way to share her magic with you all!
We loved how walkable Florence is, the incredible architecture and art at every turn, and how the Arno River weaves through the main city. Erika says that Florence is hands-down the city in Italy she would live in, because it meets all her foodie, artsy, and shopping needs, has breathtaking pinky-purple sunsets, and one of the world’s best wine regions as its backyard. The people are also incredibly friendly, passionate, welcoming, and authentic.
We could go on and on and on, but wanted to share why Florence was our first stop on the TROVE journey with you all. Rest assured, we’ve also rounded up some of our must-do’s in the virtual tour, and these will be included as a digital link for anyone coming with us to Florence!!
Emilie & Erika