Italy: Part I

I won’t sugarcoat our entire trip and say it was all glamour & rainbows, because that would be a lie (and I typically prefer the truth). So to give it to you straight– Italy was a series of highs and lows in many ways mentally, physically and emotionally. We both got sick, had a series of transportation issues, experienced some less-than pleasant customer service, but all-in-all, it’s still hard to complain when you’re in ITALY! We were there for nearly a week visiting different cities, so I’m breaking it into a few posts.

Trying to stay awake in the sketchiest train station Italy has to offer. 

After our nightmare night train experience and zero sleep coming from Nice, we made it to Florence in time for lunch! We devoured our pizzas in our no-sleep delirium, and then lugged our backpacks across the city to find our hotel. (Yes, I said HOTEL not hostel! *cheers* It was much-needed and probably the best decision we’ve ever made.)

Sunset our first night in Florence.

We grabbed some appetizers & gelato for dinner, went back to the hotel, and caught up on sleep until the next morning. #noregrets

Sticking to our routine of arriving in a city & then climbing a tower to get a good vantage point, we headed to the Duomo first thing after breakfast! We went up the tower next to the Duomo instead of heading up the dome which I would highly recommend. It was cool to see the immensity of the church compared to its surroundings. Not to mention the tower was 50-something fewer steps than the dome climb. 😉

Contrary to what you might expect, Florence is a relatively small city! But also PACKED with tourists aged 60+. You need reservations in advance for the most famous museums, but we were happy with the few we went to.

The next day we hopped on a bus to head to the Chianti region of Italy. (YAY, wine!!)

Walking from our hostel to the next town to hunt down some wine at 10:30 a.m. Hey, this is a no-judgement zone!

It was a beautiful area. The kind of beautiful that makes you suddenly understand every painting of Italian countryside. And after getting a little lost from directions on our hand-drawn map (thanks, hostel…), we sat down for a wonderful wine tasting- for free!- complete with cheeses & bruschetta.

The next day we took a bus to Siena for a day trip of exploring and more gelato & pizza! More on that, and how we missed the bus home, in the next post. 🙂


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