After my visit to Verona, I travelled to Florence for an entire week, completely by myself. My friends had plans with their families already, and so I decided to explore la bella Toscana alone. I booked a hostel in outer Florence, thirty minutes from the city center, and made my travel plans for the week. At the station, I bought two more train tickets, each for a day visit to Pisa and Siena, since an entire week sight-seeing in Florence alone would have been a bit much. After a fairly short train ride, followed by a very expensive cab ride, I arrived at the hostel... also known as the most unbelievably dysfunctional household ever run by a typically insane Italian family. I truly cannot even begin to describe this place, but I am at least thankful that the general discomfort I felt there, inspired me to go out and explore as much as possible.
The first day in Florence, I walked around the entire center, crossing the famous Ponte Vecchio, and admiring the many beautiful cathedrals and the incredible antique architecture of every monument. I ate fresh pizza slices while wondering through little side-streets, and found myself in the much-talked-about Eataly, where I ate a deliciously creamy Illy coffee gelato. I then visited the very impressive Duomo, where crowds of tourists just like me bent themselves in the most awkward ways to try and get a good picture. Finally, I visited the Palazzo Strozzi, where I saw a contemporary exposition called "Family", which consisted of large photographs, holograms and short clips of different types of families and their diverse lifestyles, around the world.
I ended my day with an extremely sketchy yet very tasty dinner of pasta and Prosecco, cooked by the mother of the house, (or hostel) whom forced me to sit with her and her two odd forty-year-old sons to eat and chat about how much they hate America. Interesting experiences all around. #WelcomeToItaly