Four Days In Florence (Italy pt 1)


Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and currently is traveling through Europe. IG / @emmawxyx

AFTER 18 hours in the sky, two transfers, and surviving off of just sparkling water and nuts I was in Florence, Italy. If the city was an album, the soundtrack would be fast talking and rolling r’s with some accordion playing off in the distance. If the city was a painting, the palette would be nothing but golds, rusty reds, and olive greens.

Having never been in Italy before, I combated my jet lag with several  1€ espressos, and began my adventure.

Our pension was in the perfect little location, cute floral bedspread and yellow walls overlooking a church and cobblestone. Just two blocks away was the Duomo. I am sure you have seen photos of it, and I posted a few on here as well, but they do not compare. The dome is huge, but perfectly detailed. It is done in marble of salmon pinks, forest greens, and creams, frosted with stone carvings and elaborate archways. After marveling at the outside of the dome, we ventured inside and I pressed my ear to the audio tour guide who told me about the clock and origins of the paintings inside.

I lost track of how many churches we went into. Some well known, so well known we had to pay 12€ to enter, and some decrepit and tiny, with nobody else inside. They were all hundreds of years old. Each one had been slaved over for decades perfecting the details and making it a masterpiece. It made me appreciate the effort people put into the things that they loved, often never getting to see the final result in their lifetime. Sometimes a father would start building/carving/painting/sculpting but it would be finished by his son. What they wanted to achieve wasn’t rushed in the same way I see people living their lives today, always expecting immediate results.

That is what I liked most about Florence, this concept of time really stood out to me. I feel like in the US, we don’t have that long of a history, and we are always moving towards bigger and better things. Progress and the future seem the most important to us at all times. In Florence, churches from 1000 AD still exist on the streets, carefully kept for. People treasure their past, preserve it, and admire it. They bask in the present, sitting endlessly at coffee shops or wandering the streets with no particular destination. We should all integrate a little bit of that into our lifestyle.



DSC00135 copyDSC00029 copy

The DuomoDSC00033


Church right outside of our PensionDSC00071 copy

Fresh fruit standsDSC00080 DSC00121 copy DSC00124

I found a vegan cafe and ate there pretty much every day…This meal was a wrap with quinoa, hummus, red peppers, and mixed greens. Plus my mango, orange, and silken tofu smoothieDSC00125

Alter in a small church by us DSC00161

VEGAN GELATO!! Dark chocolate + fruit flavors are often made with water instead of milk- just ask. DSC00176 copy DSC00183 DSC00185 DSC00198 copy

Colors at the farmers marketDSC00206 DSC00218

Baroque interiorDSC00240


View from the top of PisaDSC00291

Where does Emma’s gelato go?DSC00297 DSC00301 DSC00327

Dark espressosDSC00342

Details at a painting in the UffiziDSC00364 DSC00402 DSC00411Random corners of Florence

stay messy


  1. Ariel says

    This was so beautifully written and it seems like you gained so much new knowledge from the trip! xo

  2. Me and my boyfriend are planning to visit Florence soon because we love how the city revolves around religion (we’re both Christians), a rich culture and history and it’s slow paced lifestyle ^_^ I love what you said about how the civilians in Florence focus a lot on the past and present and just taking their time to appreciate the smaller things in life :’)

    Im glad you had a lovely trip <3

  3. Peyton Fulford says

    Ciao! It looks like you had a lovely trip. I’m going to Florence in a month for a study abroad art program, and I am so excited to experience all of the beautiful art and culture 🙂

  4. Tiffany says

    Wonderful blog, Emma! It was so exciting to see many of the pieces I have studied in my art history class featured in your video. Definitely one my travel list:) Hope you are enjoying yourself!

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