Donna's guide to Italy

Hey friends! Donna here, the Creative Director at Obviously. This post is particularly special to me because I love to share some of my favorite places and things with readers and as a lifestyle journalist by trade, I found some super cute places that I think you would really love. I went to Italy to celebrate my birthday and to get inspired. Who else watched Diana Vreeland's "The Eye Has to Travel"? It's one of my favorite movies and I was so inspired by her advice that we need to constantly travel to get inspiration for what we love to do. 

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I took this trip as an opportunity to celebrate all of the things I've accomplished over the years in my career and in love. It is so imperative to travel with intention and excitement and I was so grateful for the incredible opportunities I was given on this trip. I went to three places; Portofino, Florence, and Rome. When I travel, which isn't as often as I'd like, I try my best to "live like a local". Sure, seeing historical monuments is important and extremely enriching, but what's more important to me is to absorb the culture and immerse myself in their community, as if I lived there. It's so much more of a raw experience and leaves room and opportunity for spontaneity. 

Each area in Italy was unique and unforgettable. But, I have to say, Florence was my absolute favorite. I felt so connected to the city and felt I barely got to experience all that it has to offer. Hey, more of a reason to go back! I think I'm going to have to do another post about my top spots in Italy because these 5 are the ones that stick out of my mind first and I highly recommend checking them out. Ciao! 

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1) Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy: An absolute must. I could've spent two whole days there trying as much food as I can. It is a food lover's heaven and so many incredibly delicious things. 

2) Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy:  It's pricey, but worth every penny. The view is beyond spectacular and there's so much charm to this fabulous hotel. I ordered a pasta that was created by the one and only Elizabeth Taylor - who stayed at this hotel ALL the time. 

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3)  La Mรฉnagรฉre in Florence, Italy: A concept restaurant, cafe, and flower shop in Florence! It was perfect for a rainy day to catchup on reading, work, and delicious lattes. There was something so romantic about this cafe. Highly recommend! 

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4) Viajiyu in Florence, Italy: Want custom and gorgeous flats that are custom, handcrafted and sustainable? This is THE spot. I met the owner who was just so kind and gave me the best recommendations for hot spots in Florence. Book an appointment to get your custom shoes and thank me later. 

5)  Cibleo Restaurant in Florence, Italy: I celebrated my actual birthday here and it was just the best. It was a million courses, the food was inspired by Japanese, Korean, and Tuscan cuisines and so beyond tasty. My mouth is watering just thinking about that meal. Make a reservation and get ready for a true culinary experience. 

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