My entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge shows some photos taken inside the Gucci Garden Galleria in Florence, Italy. Fans of the Gucci brand will surely enjoy this immersive experience inside a museum dedicated to the iconic Italian fashion house. Inside the museum, you will find an amazing collection of classic clothing, designer shoes, and vintage handbags. The Gucci Garden also has a boutique where you can shop for unique Gucci pieces as well as a restaurant that serves Tuscan cuisine. I really enjoyed it, and I would recommend going there if you are a fashionista visiting Firenze!
Gucci Garden Galleria is located at Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Florence, Italy. The museum is open from 10 AM to 8 PM. A single ticket costs 8 euros. Students with valid IDs have a special rate. I visited alone without my kids (“Mama’s Me Time”) and I would not recommend going there with very small children. Anyway, I had a fabulous day and it was worth the visit!
Have you ever been to the Gucci Garden Galleria? Tell me about your experience in the comments section!
Want to view more photos and video stories of the Gucci Garden Galleria? Please check out my tiny squares on Instagram @thebellissimamma!
How do you define the ‘sweet life’? For me, la dolce vita is best spent with family. My husband and two kids are based in Siena, Italy. Part of living the expat life is being away from our family and closest friends. Sometimes I feel lonely to be so far away from “home”. Imagine my excitement when my dad, mom, sister, and brother visited us from the Philippines a couple of weeks ago! I am writing this post just a day after we said our goodbyes. Together, we traveled to different places in Italy and France. I would love to share the highlights of our sweet trip. (A special thanks to Hershey of heyhersheyblog for the beautiful photos!)
All’Orto de’ Pecci is a restaurant and pizzeria located in Siena, Italy. This Italian ristorante serves typical Tuscan meals in an outdoor setting. We had lunch and wine in an area surrounded by farmland and hills. It is a kid-friendly environment because the children can enjoy running around the field. Here you can find a mini zoo with goats, peacocks, ducks, and geese.
It was a perfect day in Firenze: there were few tourists and plenty of fun. The weather was amazing and so was the view.
Experiencing Venice and Its Wonders
Venice will always be magical! My sons Leon and Lucas enjoyed exploring this ancient city with their grandparents, aunt, and uncle.
Watching the Palio Horse Race in Siena, Italy
I am so happy to share my first Palio horse race with my sister. We left the kids with the grandparents because we know that thousands of people all around the world will be coming over to Siena Centro to witness this sports event. This world-famous medieval horse race (no saddles!) is celebrated twice a year in July and August. Congratulations to the Dragon Contrada for winning the first race in 2018. Please watch this short video to see the details of our Palio experience.
Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your parents and siblings together with your children in the “happiest place on Earth”! During my son’s post-birthday lunch in a sandwich shop on Main Street, my mother said that for her, this was a dream come true. My favorite memories as a kid were in Disneyland with my daddy and mommy. Imagine my parents’ joy as they spend a day in Disneyland with their grandchildren!
My cousin Tim got married to the love of his life in a chateau in Dangeau, France! Tim lives in Los Angeles, California. I am happy for him and his wife Stephanie because their friends and family from all over the world were able to witness their beautiful wedding. Felice matrimonio!
(c) Hershey Neri
Riding an Electric Boat in Bonneval, France
Do you know that Bonneval has a mini-Venice? Instead of a gondola, we rode an electric boat (which I also got to steered). It was a fantastic experience. The best part was ducking our heads under the low bridges! It was so funny.
Eating a Macaron in front of the Louvre in Paris, France
It was my first time to taste a real French macaron. I was pleasantly surprised because I did not expect it to taste “that good”! Délicieux!
Taking A Family Photo at the Eiffel Tower
We were lucky enough to run into Tim, his wife Steph, and their friends on our way to the Eiffel Tower! I love that we were all together in this photo. (Missing my other sister Yas who did not get to go on this trip. I hope that she will get to visit us in Europe soon.)
Loving the Good and the Imperfect
We so blessed that we got to spend time with the people we love the most. Aside from the “big moments” touring key places in Italy and France, I will never forget our not-so-sweet experiences. Those imperfect moments (getting a speeding ticket, family drama ‘mini-explosions’, toddler and baby tantrums, etc.) are still part of “the sweet life”. I wish for my parents to live long enough to see their grandchildren get married. We already miss them so much now that we have said our goodbyes. I am so looking forward to being reunited again next year for my brother-in-law’s wedding in Manila!
What About You?
How do you define the sweet life? Let me know in the comments section!
If you have time to spend exploring the small towns of Italy, visit Buonconvento to experience la dolce vita. Take a break from the crowded tourist places and enjoy a quiet passeggiata around the historic town.
A Happy and Lucky Place
Buonconvento (“happy and lucky place”) is a medieval village in the Val d’Orcia area. It is listed as one of the Borghi Piu Belli (most beautiful villages) in Italy. Also, Buonconvento is just 25 kilometers south of Siena, and is easily reached by train.
Additionally, if you are planning to drive around Tuscany, make sure to stop by this charming borgo for an aperitivo. It is an ideal spot for hanging out and enjoying a lazy afternoon with your family or close friends.
Also, Buonconvento has a chill and calm atmosphere. For me, it is almost surreal. Maybe it is time to forget the worries of daily life. Why don’t you take “a walk back in time” in this carefully-preserved historic town? Italy has a way of refreshing the soul just by giving you a glimpse of what life was like hundreds of years ago.
Furthermore, it is relatively child-friendly! I think that it is an ideal place for small children because there are plenty of green spaces for them to run around. There is a garden just outside the town gate where you can appreciate the view of a typical Tuscan landscape.
How To Get There From Siena
There is a direct train from Siena to Buonconvento. The trip takes about 25 minutes, and trains leave approximately every hour. Make sure to buy return tickets at the ticket office. Also, have your tickets machine-validated before boarding the train. From the Buonconvento train station, you can easily take a five-minute walk to the historic center.
Buonconvento’s Historic Center
You can find churches, specialty shops, museums and cafes inside the historic center. My husband and I enjoyed a quiet stroll with my toddler and baby. Definitely a Saturday well-spent!
Museum of Sacred Art (Museo d’Arte Sacra della Val d’Arbia)
When in Buonconvento, don’t forget to visit the Val d’Arbia Museum. Here you can see sacred art and notable works by artists such as Pietro Lorenzetti and Matteo di Giovanni. My two-year-old son called it “The Jesus Castle”. Tickets cost 3 euros per person.
Have you discovered other hidden gems in Italy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!