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.
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.)
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!!)
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. 🙂