Florence was quite the adventure, oh my! While all of our friends were off exploring Poland, I met up with Lauren and Carson and we did some exploring of our own. However, our weekend started off a little bumpy.
I took the train from Bologna to Firenze alone, joining Lauren and Carson at the station as they were arriving from Verona. None of us had wifi so we knew it would be difficult to connect, but once I had arrived at the station in Firenze I realized just how tough it would be! I waited about an hour in the station before deciding to venture off in search of our hotel.
When I reached the hotel and still hadn’t found my friends, I figured my best bet was to return to the bookstore in the station where I could connect to wifi and wait for them. Luckily enough, I made it back to the station and wifi about 15 minutes before their train arrived! Although it was about two hours after we had planned to meet, everything worked out just fine.
Now that we were all together, we headed to the hotel and hit our next bump in the road. Our hotel had been over booked and our room given to someone else! WHAT?! Thankfully, the hotel owner had contacted his friend – who owned his own hotel as well – and booked us a room for the same price. We were a bit disgruntled, but headed off to our new hotel ready to drop off our bags and begin discovering beautiful Florence.
While we were very happy to have a room, all three of us were a little put off by this new hotel owner. He was VERY Italian. And by that I mean he was a middle-aged man, who was ECSTATIC to have three young, female students renting out a room in his hotel. He told us that “voi belle ragazze” (you beautiful girls) need to be careful in the city at night, careful of the discotecas and the drunk Italians. It was nice of him to warn us, but it was a little uncomfortable with all the compliments and pats on our arms.
FINALLY! We settled into our room, tucked our backpacks into the corners, and headed out into the gorgeous city. Florence was incredible! Definitely worth the rough start. We managed to see the duomo and cathedral in the center of the city, and do a little bit of shopping on our first night there. After dinner, we even found the best margarita bar just a couple minutes away from our hotel.
Since we were a little hesitant about our hotel, we decided to stay out pretty late at night exploring, and found our way to a fun club! Lauren, Carson, and I danced the night away. We had a fantastic time, so much that we wore ourselves out and all fell asleep as soon as we returned to our hotel.
The next morning we had an early start which began with a climb to the top of the duomo. What an incredible view! Then took us to the Galleria dell’Accademia, which housed the statue of David and many other beautiful pieces of artwork. We didn’t explore many other museums in the city, but just walking around the shops and big streets was enough for us to have a great time in Firenze.
We made sure to stop by the margarita bar one last time before heading to the station to catch our train. A great idea, because we ended up buying a later train ticket which cost less than the one we originally planned to take and got to enjoy more time at the bar!
My adventure in Firenze was one I will remember without fail. It was the first time I experienced a hotel overbooking my room, but we made the best of our situation without complaining. One really important I learned about this first overnight trip was the importance of packing light.
I thought bringing one full change of clothes and some pajamas would be perfect for two days in Florence, but by the end of our trip I had decided that that was too much! I had to carry around a big backpack with me all day, with my clothes and camera, since we were leaving in the evening. I could have mixed and matched a little better, and definitely packed a lighter bag to travel with.
In the end, Firenze was a fantastic weekend trip. And I can’t wait to show Nicole and Stephen around the city when they come to visit in November!!
Until next time, grazie per leggendo! XX