This is the last part of my trip, I promise.
Saturday morning, November 25th, I woke up bright and early. There’s nothing better than rising with the sun while traveling, there’s so much to do and see.
Not that I could sleep in if I tried.
The Airbnb I stayed at was located in a quiet neighborhood, maybe a 20 minute walk from downtown. There were two other girls staying in the apartment, one from Ukraine and another from Brazil. The hosts were there too.
A lovely and welcoming Italian couple.
My plan for Saturday started with breakfast at a small cafe suggested by my friend the night before. I enjoyed a flaky apple filled croissant and cappuccino.
The barista was so nice, considering I had no idea what he was saying…
I then headed towards the train station once again, this time to visit Pisa, the home of the famous titled tower.
Which is the only reason I went there.
To my pleasant surprise, however, the city of Pisa is quite adorable and I enjoyed every minute exploring the shops and sites. I even stumbled upon a farmer’s market in small park.
Back to the tower, some says it’s not as tilted in person as pictures show, but that’s not entirely true. It actually looks like its going to fall.
So maybe not in that picture… But this one.
What people may not know, the tower is located in a park with many other architectural masterpieces. The whole park was filled with people from all over the world, it was quite touristy for being so off-season. I spent a good hour sitting by a fountain and people watching.
After the tower, I wandered back to the city center to explore the Italian streets and shops. The buildings are so pretty, I couldn’t help but stop every few minutes for a picture.
It began to rain in the afternoon, so I stopped for a cup of coffee and to rest for a while. I ended up chatting with the cafe owner for a good hour. She spoke broken English, but we talked about school, traveling, and the States. I love meeting locals wherever I go, you instantly feel at home.
I sat by the Arno River for a while too, which runs through Florence and passes through Pisa before entering the sea. It was a relaxing spot to sit and enjoy my time. One of the best things about traveling solo is you’re on your own schedule. If you want to stop for coffee, walk miles to visit a site, or sit by the river for hours, you can.
I spent a majority of the day in Pisa and arrived back in Florence early evening, perfect timing to meet up with Sam, my friend from the States. We walked around the city, mostly admiring the lights and trying not to get lost.
I may or may not be directionally challenged.
We ended the night back at the Central Market for dinner. The place was bustling with people and constant conversation. It was a fun atmosphere and the night flew by. We almost closed the place around mid-night.
Sunday morning, November 26th, came around and I did not want to leave. But I had a flight to catch, so I made my way to the train station for a shuttle to the airport. Unfortunately, I forgot the Florence Marathon was that morning and many roads were closed.
And it was pouring outside.
I eventually found my way to the station and made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, but my was I soaking wet. Thankfully, the flight back was uneventful. I had a quick layover in Rome and arrived home in Athens a little after 6pm, completely exhausted though.
Lost an hour in the time change.
I learned quite a few new things over my weekend of solo-traveling. Traveling alone you have a lot of time to think.
A lot of time.
I realized that the best part of traveling to a new place, where you know no one, is being able to experience the culture first-hand and without any preconceived biases towards the people there. You’re able to take everything in without the assumptions given to you by others and focus on the society as a whole, not just on one person representing an entire culture.
Just a thought.
Also, the Italian language is lovely, and similar to Spanish, so I could understand a bit here and there. I learned the Italian alphabet does not have the letters: J, K, W, X, & Y.
Yes, Y. As in Italy…
Anyway, I had such a wonderful weekend in Italia and am counting down the days until I can go back. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
Ciao, my freinds!