Florence, Italy Travel Diary

Hello from Florence! Or well... Marseilles, it's been a sec and we are officially in FRANCE! BUT! More on that later, for now, Florence.

After far too many train troubles (get excited it gets worse) we were on our way to our second destination, and for such a short amount of time. We didn't even get a full day in Florence! We arrived in the afternoon on Monday, spent the night, and left the next afternoon to Venice. I really do wish we had more time to fully see all the of Florence, and Rome and Venice too for that matter.

We walked about 55 miles this week, most of which was done in Rome, thus setting us up for a tired, sore week ahead unfortunately.
We checked into our hostel where we got a big ol' map (thank god for maps saving our butts this trip) and a bunch of recommendations from the guy who checked us in. We set out to explore our neighborhood. Obviously, first things first, we got gelato (pictured above). 

I did my best to try a new flavor of gelato every time but I really couldn't stray away from the fragola (strawberry) It's just so yum, SO yum! I also really loved the dark chocolate with orange, it had the flavor of orange and also little orange pieces in addition to the chocolate, so so good.

Does anyone remember Terry's Chocolate Oranges? They will forever be my favorite things, but I haven't had one in YEARS! If you know where I can snag one hook me up. 
We tried to go to a bunch of museums and gardens and do the whole touristy art thing, but everything was closed on Mondays or had closed right as we had arrived. This promoted a chill evening, which I most definitely was okay with seeing how exhausted I already was.

We realized almost immediately how small Florence is. Pro tip: when you are traveling if you don't get a SIM card or an international data plan, for sure download Google Maps offline of the places you are going. Things looked further away then they were on maps and we were always shocked when we covered so much ground in such a short time.
As the sun began to set, we had the idea to get a view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo, apparently so did everyone else in the entire city of Florence. These photos don't nearly do the view justice, but it was packed and I'm sure you can imagine why. This for sure if a must see if you go to Florence, go at sunset.
So beyond hungry, we spent about an hour trying to track down this restaurant that the guy at the hostel told us about. He even gave us a card with his friend who works there's name on it and said to request him as a waiter and show him the card, that way we would get unlimited limoncello... Even as unsure as I already am about limoncello, it sounded like a pretty unmissable experience.

Alas, our stomachs were grumbling ravenously, we needed food. We went to an outdoor place (they had heat lamps!!!) right on Piazza del Signoria where they were doing a light show on the front of Palazzo Vecchio, it turned out to be the perfect place for us. Not to mention the gnocchi.

The gnocchi was perfect. Let me tell you, sitting here now on the floor of the Marseilles airport for the next five hours, I want nothing more than a bowl the size of a well of that gnocchi.
Remember in my last post when I was being all deep and said, "it was just us, red roofs, and Rome."

Roman red roofs ain't got nothin on Florence's red roofs, wow.
We knew we had to get at least one art museum under our belt, so we decided on the Uffizi. For us it made the most sense, I know everyone says to see David, but we thought since the Uffizi offers so much, and isn't crazy expensive, it was our best bet.

We loved it all, except the moment when someone threw up right in the middle of the gallery and the stench lingered for a goooood while. Definitely didn't put that into consideration when deciding where to go.
We saw lots of creepy baby paintings, loved that.

But most importantly we saw so many famous works of art, so many things we learned about in Art History which was so cool to see in person and not on a powerpoint slide in a dark room at 8am.
We also went to Gucci Garden, which is the Gucci Museum. I'm not a big brand name girl, you will literally never see me in a Gucci belt, dear god. BUT! I was weak in the knees for all the patterns! Setting my career goals based on the fact that I want to wear rainbow Gucci dresses for the rest of my life. Obtainable? Yes.

Also it was free for students, so even MORE worth it.
The rest of the day we spent strolling down the streets, popping into stores and cafés, we had some time to spend before our train to Venice. 

Also, Florence is WINDY! Not sure if it's always like this, or just while we were there, but wow. WIND. We were walking along the river when we passed a couple and 5 euros flew out of the girls pocket!

Boy did that thing FLY! We chased it down the street, literally sprinting until we caught it, Kate was on the ground, and I was trying to film the whole thing laughing so hard. 

Instead of being good people and giving it back to them, we treated ourselves to the gelato above. This time I got a yogurt mousse that had cookies, chocolate chunks and fudge mixed in, and then of course a scoop of fragola because why not...
Before our nightmare of a journey to Venice, we enjoyed one last cappuccino at a rooftop café. It was windy and a little cold, but somehow so pleasant, and the perfect way to cap off Florence. 

Kate tried amaretto, hated it, it was funny.

That pretty much wraps up Florence. 

I realize my post about Rome was probably more eloquent, informative, and wordy, but to be completely honest we didn't do as much in Florence as in Rome, and I think I actually liked Rome the best, but more on that later. 

Up next: Venice!! See you there :)
xo, O


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