Florence is a breath of fresh air. I feel so fortunate to be here, and to be here under my circumstances. It is summertime, the people are out and enjoying each other, and there are other tourists – just like me- which means I’m never alone on these crowded foreign streets:)
June 12, 2009
It’s funny how quickly people can come in and out of your life. It feels like in a split second your friends, acquaintances and connections can fade away and then just as quickly new people can flood in who you feel like you’ve known forever. I’ve never felt that this is more true here traveling. Everyone has something in common no matter how small, and it only depends on that small thing to solidify a temporary friendship. Soon, you’re discovering and experiencing things together that you’d normally reserve for a best friend. I can’t describe the number of times this semester that traveling with a total stranger is like traveling with someone you’ve know for years. Here you are, strangers sharing something so special, in that moment you are the only people you’ve ever known.
Italy is truly a different country within Europe, the stereotype of the Italian speaking style is startlingly accurate. They use their hands, the accent is distinct from Spanish despite pronunciation and certain words being strikingly similar, and the people are relaxed and easy going. It makes for a comfortable atmosphere.
Florence is a very inspirational city. It’s understandable how artists and scientists alike have been able to call the city home to study or work. The train ticket here from La Spezia costs less than 10 euro and I checked into the Plus Florence Hostel, which is really an incredible place (for more than one night, to really try everything it has to offer). After checking in, I met 3 of my roommates and they invited me to watch a sunset in Pelazzo Michelangelo which has a great view of the city. The sunset was great, the gelatto on the way home was even better:)
I never got to take advantage of really any of the the hostel’s amenities (pool, rooftop bar, tours, pub crawls, etc.), because I was low on money and interested in checking out Plus Florence’s other place, which was actually a campsite. It costs half of what the hostel costs (11 euro vs. 22 euro) and it still locks and stays cool at night. I was able to see the city for a day and half or so before meeting with Claire who arrived the day after I did. We caught another sunset and visited different parts of the city at night. It was good to have company because usually I’m not that into going out at night by myself, especially in a foreign country.
The one thing I would do differently in Florence is bring a guide, or study up on the history of the city beforehand. At this point, I’ve been traveling for almost a month in all kinds of different places and doing research has become a chore, so I just don’t do it. Unfortunately, I know that this place is FULL of history, and a few fun facts would be good to know.
Props to my old roommate Travis, who is working in Washington D.C. on an internship for the summer. He follows that up by leaving for China for a semester abroad. Have fun Trav!!
Tomorrow I’m leaving for Rome (16 euro train ticket), and I’ll spend a few days there before getting ready to go back to Spain! Thanks for reading 🙂