By: Shari Hochberg
We are kicking off our new series on the blog "5 Tips (for Traveling)" with our private yoga teacher here in Florence, Shari Hochberg. Shari is all about the 80/20 rule--she teaches us that balance is the key to staying healthy everywhere in the world. This is even more true in Italy, a country known for the delicious carbs and sweets!
Read on to learn how to embrace your La Bella Figura during your next trip to Italy!
"Yes, Florence is known for heavenly pizza, pasta and gelato. And yes, you should still try and enjoy what you want. But, there is no need to leave your healthy habits at home when visiting this exquisite Renaissance city. And then you can try more of the local goodies, guilt-free!"
1. Get lost!
One of the best ways to discover a foreign city is to toss the map in your bag and just start exploring. You will notice how hours have passed on foot as you meander the stunning streets and alleyways. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes so you can enjoy the journey, pain-free!
2. Eat like a local!
Italians do not load up on a heavy, 'coma-inducing' style breakfast. They usually have a coffee, freshly-squeezed juice and a brioche. This is enough to start the day with the right amount of energy until lunchtime, when they eat more substance such as pasta or a large salad with a mix of veggies and protein. Dinners tend to be on the lighter side as well. Or, experience an Italian-style aperitivo. This is a nice option to taste small dishes and not load up on too much. A modern classic at most apertivo spots, it to have freshly cut-up vegetables and vegetarian dishes.
3. Rent a bike
One of the most exciting things for me is exploring the city on bike. Coming from San Francisco where the hills were impossible for me to bike, I love being able to hop on my old crickety bike and go just about anywhere. If you are nervous about the scooters and cars, take a wonderful bike tour in the hills of Chianti. Some of these tours have a wine tasting option as well!
"If you are nervous about the scooters and cars, take a wonderful bike tour in the hills of Chianti. "
4. Look out for the new vegan and vegetarian hot spots
Enjoy some of the new vegan and bio eateries popping up in every nook and cranny of Florence! One of my favorites for a refreshing and healthy juice is Carduccio in the Oltrarno. What I love about this place is that produce arrives daily from only the top farmers in Italy and the owners will only create what they feel is the best and freshest. So, the menu is constantly changing, which means new and exciting dishes and juices to try.
5. Don't stop your regular fitness routine
This is the most simple suggestion I can give. If you are a runner, go for an early run along the Arno. You will love the peaceful, quiet Florence morning as well as the gorgeous morning light.
If you are a yogi, schedule a private session or experience the original Florence yoga retreat weekends with me at Sole Yoga Holidays. Yoga can be customized and all equipment is provided. We can even take it outdoors for an incredible and inspiring session! All levels welcome.
"Don't stop your regular fitness routine. If you are a runner, go for an early run along the Arno. You will love the peaceful, quiet Florence morning as well as the gorgeous morning light."
A vacation should be a relaxing break for your body , especially a place such as Italy, that is full of preservative-free produce and wonderful food traditions. Don't forget, the best part about visiting a city such as Florence is the easy walkability of the city . So what are you waiting for, come experience a little bit of la dolce vita with us in Firenze!
Interested in a private yoga lesson during your next trip to Florence or better yet, would you like to customize a weekend retreat with girlfriends in this historic city? Then learn more about Shari Hochberg, The Founder, and Owner of the studio at Sole Yoga Holidays & Sole Yoga Florence.
Meet the Author
Shari discovered the unlimited and positive effects of a consistent yoga practice over 15 years ago in San Francisco, California. Her journey included numerous disciplines, but it wasn't until Ashtanga that she found her true yoga passion and was certified in 2010 in Florence, Italy (her other passion!). She now enjoys teaching a vigorous, playful and challenging Ashtanga Flow Class accompanied by an equally dynamic playlist. She hopes through her teaching she can inspire others with the grace and love that she has found.
Shari has been leading yoga retreats and holidays for over 3 years in amazing locations from Greece to Israel to Morocco and all over her adopted and gorgeous country, Italy.