Saturday, April 23, 2011

SB 2011: Florence!

So I'm finally back in the flat in Copenhagen after a crazy, adventurous trip! A while ago, the Saturday before last, I left for Milan to start my Spring Break adventure. We arrived at the airport and it was so freaking HOTTTT! It was 80 some degrees and I was hopping of the plane in black leggings and a flannel and so so so not ready for that shock. But of course, I was more than excited for the sun that comes along with 80 degree weather, I did get a bit burnt but after hazy, Danish skies, it was a nice relief. (Though it has been nice here in CPH lately, the winter was rough, so actual spring is super great.) Anyhow, Taylor, Katie, Emma, and I arrived in Milan around 2 pm and broke off for our fabulous vacations. Taylor and I were picked up and the airport by her dad's Italian assistant and Sergio, the coolest Italian guy around. He was adorable and loved saying Kristina over and over again. We hadn't realized the airport was a hike from the train station and it just worked out conveniently that Taylor's dad is a worldly man. We made it unto the train and boy were the views beautiful! From Milan to FLorence there was amazing scenery and an nice Italian lady to assure us that Starbucks venti coffees are not like they are in the states and we would still be out of luck. We arrived at the FLorence train station two hours or so later and we were so excited to get started. Our hostel was super close to the train station but still close to all the great sights. Plus it was clean and we got breakfast everyday, which is more than I can say about our Venice hostel. OH! and the view from our window was also really freaking awesome. Anyway, we arrived and immediately put our bags down and got out into the Italian world. Of course we immediately had to try out the gelato, and by the time I left Italy, I was having gelato withdrawals. It's probably better that I don't live in Italy or else I would be huge, the gelato and the pasta, I don't know how people can stay fit there. We walked around a ton, snapping pictures left and right. We walked around the Duomo and just wanted to get ourself acquainted with the city; we didn't want to waste a minute.

The view from our hostel!

David's twin 
Locks on the Ponte Vecchio

1st pizza of the trip!

Taylor and her carbonara

The second day: We had free tours through our hostel so we got some informational bits about the city which was nice; otherwise we wouldn't have really known the importance of all the things we saw. Of course we snuck cannolis in after breakfast, and then saw the Duomo and the important churches in the city. We say Dante's house and learned about tower houses; rich families would fight and the loser would get the top of their tower house blown off. I'm so glad we don't fight like that anymore. We also say our fair share of gypsies and homeless women, which was so sad, but I'm really glad CPH doesn't have a large homeless presence. It got distracting sometimes, one followed our tour group around asking for money the whole time; it was a struggle. Anyway, after a morning in Florence, Taylor and I ventured to Pisa. We took the train and took all the touristy photos and basked in the sun for a couple of hours. A little Italian boy tickled my feet while sun bathing and after a fake iced coffee, we decided to head back to Florence. Pisa is a nice day trip destination and we really wanted to get it in while we were so close; it really is like an hour away, too close to pass up. Then Italian dinner and mucho gelato.

Street goods

Dante's tower house

More boothy things

The square


Day 3: Tour number 2, we got to see the Pitti Palace and some big churches and family buildings and important things. Of course, our tour guide recommended a gelato place, so we HAD to go; I got grapefruit sorbet and Florentine cream gelato and it was the most amazing, fabulous, mouth experience ever. I highly recommend it, its the bridge right after the Ponte Vecchio and its cute and pink AND AMAZING! I would fly to Florence tomorrow to eat there, seriously that good. Anyway, we also hiked up the Duomo on day 3. 463 steps or something and a bajillion euros, but it was so beautiful and we met this awesomely nice/cute American couple in line. The view was amazing and it was better than any stair-master I've ever been on. Also, we had the BEST paninis on this day, I'm serious, SO GOOD. Near Santa Croce, go please. (however, I think we ran into all the American studying abroad in Florence here) For sunset we hiked up to the Piazza Michelangelo and saw the most beautiful sunset and had before dinner wine on the hillside. AMAZING again, it was the most beautiful sight ever. We then walked around some more to locate our next dinner destination and we found the best place to eat pasta. Holy poop, I had been crazing pesto pasta and boy did I get some.

So freaking delicious

The dome o the cathedral

View from the Piazza

Another one.

Sunset from the Piazza

Our sunset drinks


Day 4: Leaving for Venice today, but before we did we ate some more gelato (probably, I don't know how many times we'd gone at this point) and then we went to the Pitti Palace. We walked around and then went to it's gardens which we beautiful and we photobombed a couple more people. We made sure to pick up the last of our souvenirs at the booths that lined the streets and just hung out on the Ponte Vecchio until we had to catch our train. I can see why people study abroad there; it is so beautiful, there is so much to do and I wish I could have stayed longer.

The Ponte Vecchio

The Pitti Palace gardens

Our stay in Florence was so amazing, I wish I could go back tomorrow or bring it back and replace Richmond with it, so I can visit all the time. I've got a ton of work to do and also need to find a grocery store that's open on Easter Saturday so I can eat the next couple of days. I'll make sure to continue posting my Venice, Paris, and family in Copenhagen trips, I just don't have al afternoon to pick and chose what to say and which photos to post, so stayed tuned. Checking emails and writing 5 term papers won't be fun, so it'll be my break.

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