“Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.”

A couple of weekends ago myself and some friends from University days celebrated a significant birthday by reuniting in the beautiful and romantic city of Florence in Italy. Yes I know we don’t look a day over 29!! 😉

We left husbands and children behind for a few days rest, relaxation, good food and wine, and a little bit of culture. Florence did not disappoint! Even though it was February, Florence was bustling with energy and full of tourists. The weather, though slightly disappointing, did not stop us pounding the cobbled streets and alleyways to discover the markets, boutiques and restaurants that abound in Florence.

Florence is a small enough city that you can walk around the centre and not get lost too many times. You can always see a familiar landmark! I loved the way the buildings are all built crammed up against one another and the way they are all painted wonderful tones of yellow and orange. It adds such character to the place. All of this is really evident from wonderful views you can get from the top of the Duomo. Thought the climb is not for the faint hearted!

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View of the Duomo from Piazzale Michelangelo.

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Some of the lovely leather goods you will see in every second shop in Florence. Leather bags everywhere. How could I resist taking one home??

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What beautiful countryside awaits just outside of Florence. The Tuscan countryside will have to wait till another visit!Q74A0360 copyCollage 2 copy

I just loved the colours of the buildings. They made for a beautiful photography backdrop. Thanks to the wee man who kindly took this picture for us and looked very bemused at my ‘big’ camera but did pretty well anyway 🙂 Finally a picture of the 4 of us we can now update from the one of us in our 20’s!

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Some of you who are keen photographers yourself might be wondering what kit I took with me on holiday. For travelling I have to make the very hard choice and I limit myself to two lenses. Just before the holiday I bought myself a lovely Jo Totes camera bag which as well as being very functional looks pretty nice too. (See photo on bridge with turquoise bag.) It is not too large and I can still fit in my purse, travel documents and other small essentials.

Anyway back to lenses…my favourite lens for travelling is the 24-70 F/2.8  as great all round lens, allowing for a nice wide angle for landscape shots and also zooming in to a decent length for flattering portraits. And I allow myself one telephoto lens and my favourite for travelling is the 135mm prime lens. It is nice and light and gives the most wonderful bokeh.

Now where for our next adventure?