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Hello, I’m Samantha, the self-proclaimed happy go lucky girl!

This space encompasses my personal milestones made beautiful in his time. Combining my flair for easy-to-read writing with my love for photography, this is where I share my thoughts on God, travel, food, beauty, fashion and lots more. Daytime, I'm a branding consultant. Adhoc, wedding planner and happiness maker. 24/7, creative juicer behind the bakery I run – Temptations Cakes. Forever & always, a child of God. Through this cozy little virtual haven, I hope each post inspires at least someone out there with my life stories.

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SIN ✈ ITALY; Florence City & Pisa

Click here to read my previous post on spending a Day in Italy, Rome

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✈ FLORENCE
The 5hour coach journey to Florence started early in the morning after a nice breakfast at the hotel. AlternativelyRome's only about an hour and a half if you take the fast train to Florence. Florence is the esteemed capital of Tuscany with Saint John the Baptist being the patron saint of the city. Also known as the 'cradle of the Renaissance', it is well-known for its monuments, churches and buildings. The most famous sightseeings in the city include Piazza del Duomo and Piazzale Michelangelo (best panoramic view over the city). Oh, I've heard about The Mall in Florence for great outlet shopping, but I didn't have the luxury of time, thus, I had to give it a miss :( Maybe, next time when I'm back (if I'll ever come back)
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Back to reality, midway, we stopped by for a quick simple lunch and here's what we had!
Seems Legit, don't they?
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I was madly in love with the Sauteed Spinach and Broccoli Platter, one of the best I've ever eaten! Anyone knows where to get good sauteed spinaches in SG, please lemme know!
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Toyshops nearby and I found my favourite friend, Hello Kitty says Hello!
And so, after lunch, we continued on with the journey and made our way eventually to the multi-coloured Duomo, St John’s Baptistry and Piazza della Signoria with its amazing sculptures. We also saw the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
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Embarking on a Journey...
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Among Florence's landmarks is the Duomo of Florence, which is listed as one of the three Italy icons, together with the Colosseum and Leaning Tower of Pisa.
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St John’s Baptistry is a religious building in Florence (Tuscany), Italy. The Baptistry has eight equal sides with a rectangular addition on the west side. The octagonal Baptistry stands in both the Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from the Duomo cathedral and the Giotto bell tower.
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By the way, don't you think the sky looks very unreal? Feels like a really nice blue cloudy wallpaper ~
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My knowledgeable Romanian Guide!
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Palazzo Vecchio // Florence 2013

The Chanel Boutique in Florence is easy to spot, as it's located just diagonally across the iconic Palazzo Vecchio (as seen above)
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Chanel, for you?
Don't expect to find products at a way cheaper price in this store. I've been into the Chanel stores in Venice, Florence, Milan etc... and overall feedback is that most of the stores have almost similar prices, but the thing is, not all the stores carry the same season of items so you need to 'pray' that the items you want is available in the first place. Also, in terms of prices, the Venice stores for luxury products are higher because it's a more touristy place. Besides, your shopping experience there wouldn't be good since it's so crowded. So if you see anything you wanna purchase, I would suggest you buy from something like this shop in Florence as seen above, because it's less mobbed by tourists and they have great customer service. FYI, they limit the number of customers entering the shop, so obviously, they have considered the issue of overcrowding and unpleasant shopping experiences.

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Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval bridge with three segmental arches over the Arno River
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Ponte Vecchio // Reflections
The striking bright colours of the bridge certainly contributes to its unique characteristics. It was such a pretty sight - The reflection of Ponte Vecchio and the buildings on the placid water surface added another mesmeric effect that wow-ed me totally. After all, this famous bridge in Europe is one that's popular, a must-visit when you're visiting Florence!
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Honestly if you ask me, what's there to do here?
   Fact is, there were not many things to do besides sipping coffee, eating cakes and pastries and simply people watching and let the day pass by slowly. It's a way of life and a life that we sometimes long for especially when people like us Singaporeans are living in such a cosmopolitan city. All we want is a good getaway without any worries and just living life as it is, at its best
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I like the alfresco dining characteristics of Europe's Cafes in general. They have very dainty victorian cafes down the streets whereby we could just pop into one and enjoy beverages while soaking up the sun.
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While making our way to tonight's dinner place, we passed by Piazzale Michelangelo, a statue of David on the hill on the south bank of the Arno River. The bronze statue is set on a large pedestal, decorated with replicas of allegorical statues depicting day, night, twilight and dawn.
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The Piazzale Michelangelo is almost crowded year round. Everyone there's nearly a tourist. It's a common sight to see tour busses coming up and dropping of their big group of tourists who like me, would snap panorama photos of the city skyline from such a nice top view.
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A MUST-VISIT FOR TOURISTS!
The site was designed in 1869, with a great view overlooking the city skyline. In fact, it's situated at somewhat like a lookout, supposedly the best unobstructed views over the city. Here, you have You have a clear view of a number of the city's most important landmarks, including the Duomo (Florence), Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio.
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 There are a large number of market stalls selling souvenirs and snacks fill the square
because it's a touristy place, the smart little businessmen choose to set up stores selling typical quirky souvenirs even up here!
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Oh, hello David!
Tonight's dinner was a great dining experience. We went to a nice alfresco restaurant to enjoy lovely Tuscan cuisine with good live band performing while eating. It's my first time having Tuscan food but no way I'm a fan of it.
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Qi & I with the Singer!
He's dressed like a restaurant manager but it turns out that he's the singer too! And, WHOA, his low voice is super dope... like those Phantom of the Opera's music sort of voice. Seriously, the whole night at dinner, I felt like I was at a live musical instead. *claps*
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And with that, that marks my day trip in Florence...

♡ ♡ 

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Rise & Shine to my Pretty Floral Backyard!
*`•.¸(¯`•.•´¯)¸.•´ ♥
☆ ♥ `•.¸.•´ ♥ º ☆.¸¸.•´¯`♥
 ✈ PISA

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"The King's name is a tower of strength"
Welcome to Pisa!
There's more to this city than just a photo-opportunity for memory keepsakes. 
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Travelled to Pisa to admire the Cathedral, Baptistery and the world-renowned Leaning Tower at Campo dei Miracoli, also known as Field of Miracles
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Field of Miracles
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It was yet another amazing sight to remember. It felt like a dream to be at the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Last year, I saw the imitation one at Windows of the World, Shen Zhen. This year, I can't believe I'm here!
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Going Upclose!
Indeed, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a MUST-SEE as it's one of the world's best-known landmarks and of course, a symbol of Italy. I'm so glad to say I've stepped foot into this city and happy with my pictures! Oh, bad news I last heard is that this Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning more and more as days pass... Let's hope that it'll still be there when I ever come back to visit! ^^

At Pisa, you'll find yourself in the land of tourists, what's new right? As such, there'll be lots of small pushcart sorta booths selling all sorts of souvenirs, right from the entrance to the Field of Miracles area. Highly competitive, all selling more or less the same items for almost the same price. I really don't know how and what they survive on!
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It's good for me because I have a hobby of collecting magnets from countries I go to around the world! *`•.¸(¯`•.•´¯)¸.•´
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I had friend recommendations to get this brand of Spaghetti. Haven't tried it, but it's worth buying to try! Quite affordable for such a huge package, 1kg to be exact but it's super long!
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Our next stop was shopping at Barbarino Factory Outlet!
Not the best place to be shopping yet but I was glad it's better than none on the itinerary at all initially!
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The place looks pretty, like a cottage, but in terms of shopping, I wasn’t into it... If you see a shopaholic like me actually 'strolling' in a mall and walking in circles, you know there’s something wrong. Perhaps I’m not big on European brands that’s why, but hey y'all know... even the sale items are still expensive! The Prada outlet there’s quite small and they didn’t have the bag model I wanted so I saved moolahs (positive thinking) instead of spending for the sake of spending *pats myself*

Had lunch at a random cafe in the factory outlet. They served simple and quick Italian fix and yay, I had a gelato on impulse! It's the nth gelato I've eaten (¯`•.•´¯)  -inserts guilty face-
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Yummy Gelato on a Sunny afternoon!

After 2.5hours, we're out of the shopping "paradise". Next Stop?
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| MED |
Somewhat like a Touristy Pitstop...
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This place allows us to do mini food tasting for the different 101 types of chocolates and olive oils.
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 Spent a good hour at Meds before heading off for a good French dinner downtown.
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And so, we visited Ristorante Isola Caprera which was a really cozy yet classy place. It's really an excellent restaurant offering an unforgettable experience in terms of food quality and ambience. Their staff was extremely friendly and helpful. By the way, they serve good red and white wine which went nicely with our dishes.
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Here comes the food...
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The chicken itself was nothing extraordinary. But the sauteed herbs potatoes were super tasty! It was so good that I had 2 portions of it at a go, on top of finishing the chicken thigh.
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Best part of the meal! FRUITS, they totally made my night! Even though they are soaked in sugar syrup which made it less fresh and more unhealthy, I secretly wished there was unlimited supply of fruits served. Cause in Europe, it kinda hard to find cut fruits around!

Address: Via Isola Caprera, 14, 26900 Lodi Province of Lodi, Italy
Phone:+39 0371 421316
Hours: Friday hours 12:30 pm–1:30 pm, 5:30 pm–8:00 pm

Settled in a really small yet cozy hotel for the night.
Goodnights Sweeties!
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Wifi at the Hotel Lobby!

Heading to Venice/Milan tomorrow morning!

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