Tuesday, October 25, 2011


View from Piazzale Michelangelo

City: Florence, Italy

Dates: 8-9 October, 2011

Transportation to City: Train from Rome to Florence (Italia Rail)

Transportation in City: Our feet

Places Seen/Visited: 
- The Duomo (aka Santa Maria del Fiore)
- Palazzo Pitti
- San Lorenzo
- Santa Maria Novella
- Piazza della Repubblica
- Piazza Santa Croce
- S. Spirito 
- Bargello Museum
- Palazzo Vecchio

Food Eaten:
- Gelato (Coffee and Panna Cotta flavored)
- Pizza Margarita
- Pineapple Pastry
- Candy from S. Spirito Market
- Split Tortelloni and Gnocchi with Brandon

Hostel Review: 

PROS: Nice location beneath the river, so we got to walk across Ponte Vecchio each night. Had our own room (which was three different levels and included our own bathroom) and for a very good price. Staff helpful when we had questions/concerns (I thought the cleaning lady had taken my washcloth but she'd just stuck it beneath my pillow) and gave us a map.
CONS: Smelled a bit like Mexican Villa (Springfield Mexican restaurant), but it wasn't too bad. You got used to it. The shower was freezing cold the first day. WIFI didn't work.

Things Learned:
- When you book a train ticket from Rome to Florence, the sign at the train station may say Milan because Florence is the first stop on the Rome-Milan route. Just be sure the train number on the screen matches the one on your ticket.
- Make note of free public restrooms. If you don't, you may end up paying 1 euro because you have nowhere else to go. Also note signs outside restrooms that indicate a price.
- Museums aren't always worth the price. We didn't pay very much for the Bargello, but I still don't think it was worth it. I'd rather walk around the city than pay to see paintings/sculptures I can see on the internet (not that it's not cool to see them in person, just not always worth it).

Favorite Parts:
- Eating gelato when we first arrived on a bridge that looked out over the river and Ponte Vecchio. 

- Seeing all the cute pups. There were so many dogs in Florence!
- Drinking wine on the ledge overlooking the river. Again, such a great view.
- Like in Rome, the food. Dinner was always such a treat because we got to scope out a great location (both nights in Florence we ate in Palazzo Vecchio), rest our legs, and enjoy amazing Italian food. Our pizza the first night wasn't too great, but the tortelloni and gnocchi (which came with a great cheese whose name I forgot) the second night was definitely one of my favorite parts of our visit.
- Walking up to Piazzale Michelangelo. The view was fantastic. Everyone who visits Florence should see it.

Ponte Vecchio

Palazzo Pitti

Gelato Cones

Gelato on the Bridge, Overlooking Ponte Vecchio

View from Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo

Santa Maria Novella

Palazzo Vecchio

Enjoying Wine on the River



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