So last night Lilly and I met our hostel roommates -two Korean girls.We thought they seemed alright but they were packing to leave today and so they kept the light on and packed until one am even with Lilly and I sleeping. I was able to sleep but the light kept Lilly awake. Even after they went to bed they were noisy! At one point I was woken up by crazy loud snoring. I got out of bed to wake Lilly up if it was her but it wasn’t ! It was hard to fall asleep with the noisy snoring Asian. I found out this morning Lilly had thought it was me until she saw too. Then the other one started grinding her teeth and it was way loud too!ridiculous . Lilly and I woke up @ 0655 and went for a 35/40 minute run around Florence. It was very nice and cool to run past the Duomo and we didn’t get lost at all.
After our run, we went to eat the free breakfast at our hostel. They have a menu and a kitchen and you order one entree and one drink and they make it and call u when it is ready. If you want extra then you have to pay but we didn’t need anything else. They had cornflakes, French toast, omlettes, ham and eggs and muesli. Lilly and I both had yogurt and muesli and I had tea and she had watered down orange juice. Not bad for a free hostel breakfast. Then we went back to our room and our roommates had already left so we however and got ready for our day in Pisa.
The hostel wasn’t super helpful with how to get to Pisa so we went to the train station and asked someone in line there and she helped us. It was 11.60 euro for the two of us each way for the one hour train ride. Ok, not bad I guess. We grabbed an espresso and bought the ticket 4 minutes before the train took off and made it on the train. Unfortunately it was packed and we had to stand the entire ride. I thought this was ok but when I got off the train I thought my knee was going to break in half. I think maybe my knee hasn’t healed completely since I fell on it before I left and this was the first time I have run on it since before I left for Europe. It was crazy painful and I could barely walk up and down stairs. That meant no climbing the tower of Pisa which was kind of sad…. There was really no way though. So we walked through and made our way to the piazza where the tower, church, baptistry, cemetery and museum were. We took the obligatory tower picture holding it up like everyone else around us. We even walked over the chain that said stay off the grass in order to take a better picture on the grass. I got yelled at in Italian so I ignored him and followed everyone else who was on the grass already.
We had a to buy and ticket for everything we wanted to do so we decided on the church, baptistry, and cemetery for 8euro each. The Cathedral was very beautiful, gold and blue ceilings and huge paintings lined the walls. Its hard to describe ever church but just know they are all pretty impressive. The baptistry was just a two story round building. We walked up the stairs which absolutely destroyed my knee and looked from up top which was very pretty.
Then the cemetery. It had been rebuilt and renovated since world war one or two, not sure which but the floors were covered in marble graves. Most of the dates were in roman numerals so I didn’t try and figure it our. They had a special room that was preserving some original frescos from the cemetery that were very detailed. Lilly and I particularly enjoyed the one depicting people being sorted for heaven and hell (at least we think that’s what it was ) there were all sorts of demons painted everywhere eating and killing people. No wonder everyone paid the church to send them to heaven!
Then we went for our gelato of the day. I had caramel and banana and Lilly had yogurt with berries and limone. Excellent choices. We took them back to look at that leaning tower one more time. From there we decided to look at the botanical gardens that have been there since the 1500s. That was one of the most disappointing experiences of my life. It was the worst botanical garden we had ever been to. It was 3euro for both of us. We first saw lavender when we walked in which got us so excited because it smelled so good but everything was downhill from there. Nothing was kept up, there were weeds everywhere, it was hard to tell which was the weed and which was the plant in some places. The trees were not maintained, ivy was growing all over the trees, it was just depressing. Lilly went to the bathroom there and was swarmed by Mosquitos! We were pretty upset. Then we started heading back to the train station and stopped at a cafe for two cappuccinos and a pannacotta with raspberry fruit sauce to share. I thought it was pretty good but I’m not sure if it’s because I loved the sauce so much or because i loved the whole thing. Doesn’t really matter I guess lol. We made it back to the train station at 1523 and bought the ticket back for the 1532 train and we were off to Florence.
We headed back to our hotel to plan our next attack. We decided to walk towards the piazza Santa Croce where there was a festival going on in order to find dinner. We found a trattoria that looked good but it didn’t open for another thirty minutes so we tried to walk around to get in to the festival. We kept hearing cheering in the stadium and seeing men in tights and costumes so I think it was some sort of jousting or time period sport. It was completely full and we couldn’t get in so we headed back to the trattoria and entered at the exact moment the were “open” . We started with tris Italian cheese with truffles honey. We’re not sure what types of cheese they were, one was in the Swiss family, one was a harder cheese and one was a softer cheese. The truffles honey was amazing. We shared 1/4 l of the house red wine which turned out to be about a glass each and then 1 l of water. For my entree I had an Italian salad with fresh homemade mozzarella ( the kind that melts in your mouth… Real Italian mozzarella ) , sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, arugala, and pesto.
It was very good. I would have liked something else but the entrees I was sure were gluten free were a lot more expensive than I wanted to pay. Lilly had a spinach pasta in a cream sauce with walnuts and apples. It looked good. I was mostly jealous of her being able to put olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese on the bread. We were pretty full but decided that if something on the dessert menu jumped at us that we would get it. Well, creme brûlée jumped at us and I’m sure glad it did. Best creme brûlée of my life. Perfect combination of custard and crunchy sugar and everything.
We then headed towards the water and the Ponte Vecchio which is a bridge with lots of old stores so we could get one extra sight in for the day. After that, we stayed at the bridge because it was about 9pm and there were supposed to be fireworks over the river at 10. We sat on the wall by the river to wait. There were so many people which neither of us particularly liked the idea of but how many chances to you get to watch fireworks in Florence, Italy right? Well the show lasted an HOUR!! It was one of those “moments” you know? When it’s all very surreal and you think about life and all sorts of stuff. They were incredible fireworks and we had prime seats. Fourth of July has a lot to live up to now… As much as I’m loving this experience with Lilly, I may have wished she was Jon tonight, and I bet she wished I was Chris. There was a wedding down below on the water and I wouldn’t be surprised if like 100 people got engaged. It was beautiful. Walking back to the hostel we really wished we had boys. It was dark and the streets looked different and it’s so easy to get turned around…we were nervous cause were good American girls and paranoid so we stuck to people and only went where we saw lights. We made it back with no problems but we both agreed no night adventures in Rome . It’s just not us. Lol.
Tomorrow last day in Florence and then train to Rome!