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A city break in Florence

Whilst you may get the impression that I always have the most marvellous time when on holiday, our arrival in Florence and a chunk of our first full day was far from fun. We arrived at our hotel to find that they had no record of our booking, despite us having an email confirming we had booked and paid. I'd booked through lastminute.com whose helpline wasn't open at that time of night, and the hotel staff were far from friendly. They let us stay the night but then moved us to a much cheaper hotel the next day, which took most of the day to sort out. Florence became a whistle-stop tour as this only left us with one full day - definitely not the relaxing start to the holiday we had envisioned.

After several emails, and a few tweets, lastminute.com sorted out a partial refund to make up for the fact that we had paid for a more expensive hotel than the one we ended up staying in. I did have to battle them to get this sorted out, though I will add that this is the first time they have let me down in a decade.

Whilst I can't recommend a hotel in Florence, I can recommend some awesome restaurants: I need to tell you all about Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo and Taverna del Bronzino.

We went to Taverna del Bronzino on our final night in Florence and it's a more traditional restaurant - you'll find veal brain(!) and other Florentine specialities on the menu. Olly enjoyed this restaurant more than I did, I have to admit, but the staff and service were lovely, and I did enjoy my monkfish main. (They don't have an English translation of their menu, but staff will happily explain each dish to you.)

Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo, on the other hand, is tied first for the best dinner we had over the two weeks in Italy; the food and service were amazing, and we had two very happy tummies when we left. Olly had their famous eggplant parmigiana with smoked buffalo mozzarella to start, then we both had the tortelli pasta which had a wonderful creamy potato filling inside. I had mine with wild boar, which was divine, whilst Olly had the equally delicious duck meat sauce with his.

I picked their lamb stew as my main, and Olly had a steak; we shared potatoes with onions and sautéed spinach, which we didn't really need. All this was washed down with a litre of house wine. House wine in Italy tends to be immensely nice and very cheap - a very drinkable litre set us back a mere €10 at Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo, whilst in Sicily our cheapest litre of house wine cost us €7. Cheers! x

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