July 12th the whole program left for Florence by train. Traveling by train is soo convenient. Our hotel was situated in central Florence, next to the Uffizi so it was a great location. The hotel was so cool, each room was different and it reminded me of a castle. Oh and did I mention it had air conditioning?? Yeah, awesome.
As a group we took a quick tour around the city, needless to say Florence is beautiful. After our tour we heard a rumor about the hotel having a rooftop you could go on. So before dinner we decided to check it out. Can you say most amazing view EVER?? It was like climbing the duomo to get the view of the city except you didn’t have to pay and the duomo was in the actual view.
We had a group dinner which of course consisted of delicious food, including the best bruschetta ever and yummy dessert (seriously I’m terrible about remembering the names of things.) Friday we had tours of the Uffizi and the Accademia. Unfortunately, they don’t allow you to take pictures in pretty much any of these places. For lunch was the most delicious, fresh panini place ever. For dinner 9 of us went to a place called Anita’s Tratoria. I shared a mushroom pasta dish for a first course (which was absolutely amazing) but what I was most looking forward to was the Bistecca Fiorentina. UH-MAZING. Just look at the picture if you don’t believe me. 1 kilo of delicious steak split between 3 of us girls. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals, so you can’t go wrong with anything you get there I’m convinced.
For Saturday we went to Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce and ended the tours with some gelato of course. Some of the group spent the rest of the day to go to Pisa (to get the famous picture of course) while the rest of us did some SHOPPING! A must is to go to the leather market, so many cute purses. Relatively inexpensive and great for gift buying (I wear my new purse allll the time now.) But beware of the creepy people and the most un-haggler sellers (so weird.) For lunch we went back to the panini place and this time I built my own, which was so good I’m convinced they should have it on their menu (and name it after me of course.) For dinner we went to Gusta Pizza, sooo different from Roman style pizza but so delicious! With happy bellies me and 3 friends hiked up Piazzale Michelangelo for the sunset and view. Naturally, I complained pretty much the whole hike (so not in shape) but quickly stopped once we reached the top. the hike was totally worth it, it was nice to relax and watch the sunset on a breathtaking view of Florence.
Florence was a great weekend trip. It’s small enough to see in a couple of days and really get a feel for the city. Unfortunately it did not beat Rome as my favorite. I have a theory that people are biased to the one they study in. Florence is so beautiful but because it’s so much smaller than Rome it’s so overrun by tourists. It seriously drove me crazy how many tourists there were, EVERYWHERE. Also, everyone in Florence speaks English, which wasn’t the greatest when trying to use Italian. A highlight was seeing the David, so cool. Oh and Florence definitely wins for food, best food I’ve had so far.