I believe I left off last departing the Roma Termini station, so that’s where we’ll pick up.
The train to Florence took just under 2 hours and I’m sure it would have been beautiful, but it was so hazy I couldn’t see out of the window for most of it.
But that gave me time for homework.
While I traveled to Italia alone, I actually had company for most of it. My friend Meghan, from ACG, was in Florence at the same time. So, once I arrived on Friday morning, we met up to explore the city together.
She’s from MN too!
Our first stop was the Central Market. It’s located near the city center with a bazaar and shops surrounding the building. Inside, were many little restaurants, fresh fish, meat, and fruit/vegetable stands, and a few gift shops.
We participated in a free walking tour around the city. It was so much fun to hear its history, see its iconic monuments and art, and learn more about local life. Despite having to carry my backpack for miles…
I’m getting pretty used to packing light though.
Our tour guide was a local art and history graduate who has a freelance architecture business. The other members of our tour were two elderly ladies from the UK.
Super fun accents.
A few of our stops included the Ponte Vecchio or “Old Bridge” crossing the Arno River…
Fun Fact: It was the only bridge in Italia to survive the World War II bombings.
… the Pitti Palace, Medici walkway, pizza for lunch, Michelangelo’s David (only the replica unfortunately), and ‘Perseus with the Head of Medusa statue’ by Cellini.
I’d say the theme of the tour was: Art, Medici family, and more art.
After the tour, and splitting ways to check-in to our rooms for the night, Meghan and I met up again at Michelangelo’s Plaza for the sunset. From there we could see the entire city and mountainous surroundings.
Well, we could have if it wasn’t so hazy again.
On our way to the Plaza, we did a bit more sightseeing and made a gelato stop.
Mango & Peach is the best.
Later that evening, Meghan and I met up with a friend of mine (an alum from UW-Stout) who just happened to be spending a month in Florence and the surround area. We had dinner and drinks back at the Central Market.
Come to find out, the upstairs was filled with tons of food stands and high-top seating.
We then spent the evening catching up and wandering around Florence, enjoying the Christmas lights, live music from street performers, and more wonderful Christmas lights.
There was a cute carousel too.
That wrapped up the second day of my Thanksgiving travels. Florence is a city where you feel at home instantly. The people are friendly and love to start-up conversations. Late November/early December is the perfect time to travel there.
Mostly because of the lights…
Anyway, there’s still much to show and tell, so I’ll save it for the third post.
Ciao, for now!