Within thirty minutes of arriving in Florence, I had seen the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Ponte Vecchio. So I decided to just forget about the rest of my little vacation and hop on a train back to my current home.
I truly hope none of you actually believe that – plenty of you know about my penchant for sarcasm and hyperbole.
The only reason I saw those landmarks that quickly is that I got a bit lost while trying to locate the hostel in which I was to stay. In fact, I was glad that those sights were what welcomed me back to the beautiful city. It was almost as though I was getting a thirty minute review of my previous jaunt through Florence four years ago. Once I found myself at the Ponte Vecchio, it didn’t take long for me to find the hostel – just two bridges north and two streets west. Easy peasy. I was quite impressed with the hostel’s location, quiet and away from most tourists, but close enough to see all of the major sights with ease.
As soon as I was settled in, my first stop was the Palazzo Vecchio, literally “Old Palace”. I had read many great reviews about that particular museum and tower and really wanted to see it for myself. Unfortunately, the tower was closed by the time I got there, but I was still able to see the museum! I really enjoyed this museum because it was very simplistic, I generally find museums boring because all the sculptures look the same to me. Here, however, there was little to distract from the gorgeous wall frescoes and the room architecture. Some of the rooms featured time-period furniture which was simply exquisite. When I had gone through the entire museum, I decided to just walk around and acclimate myself with the historic city center a little bit before dinner-time. After dinner, I got gelato at the highest rated gelateria on Trip Advisor and walked along the River Arno. It was just the kind of peacefulness I needed.
The next day, I spend the morning walking in and out of a few stores and at a little outdoor market I found near Piazza della Repubblica. Then I made my way across the river for lunch at a place called “Guasta Pizza”. Let me tell you, it was one of the best pizzas I have ever had. The pizzeria is a tiny little place where strangers have to share a table to eat and I loved every second of it. It was basically right around the corner from my hostel, which made it all the more appealing to me.
That afternoon I stumbled upon a movie theater not too far from the hostel, and I was just in time for a showing of Despicable Me 2 in Italian (Cativissimo Me 2). As I hadn’t had a chance to see it over the summer, I decided to test my knowledge of Italian and watch it. I was quite proud of myself that I could follow along with most of the dialogue! Actually going into an Italian movie theater was part of the draw, as well. In the theater, there was a bathroom door directly under the screen – talk about convenient. Also, there was assigned seating with the movie ticket. I found that out the awkward way… But the movie was funny and the experience of an Italian movie theater was worth every penny.
Yes, I realize I’m odd for going to see a movie in a beautiful, historic city while I’m on vacation.
For dinner, I went to a place called the Red Garter. It is an American- style sports bar. I was seriously craving American football. And it was a Sunday night. I was hoping to see the Patriots play, but their game wasn’t going to be on until much later and I couldn’t stay. So I had to suffer through the Jets, but I was desperate. Clearly.
All in all, it was a fun little holiday weekend. I was glad that I could finally spend some quality time with a city that I only got a glimpse of four years ago.