Hi, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend! We had a USAC hosted Thanksgiving dinner, which was good, but I missed sweet potatoes!
Anyways, this past weekend I went to Florence with my two friends for four days. We arrived at 11 on Thursday and we visited four main places: Museo dell’Opera, the Baptistery, Archaeological Crypt, and the bell tower. Each one was beautiful to visit. My favorite, though, was the bell tower. We got to see views of the city and it was a mostly clear day for it.
We decided to get lunch and went to a panini place that is supposed to be really good. It did not disappoint! We walked around for a bit and went to the outdoor leather market. We walked around for a few hours and went to gelato as well. We headed back to our hostel and went out to eat at this place nearby. The restaurant was really good; I had a pear and cheese stuffed pasta with a glass of wine, a perfect combination! We, then headed back to our hostel as we were all tired and hung out and taked for a few hours.
Friday, my friends headed to an outlet mall about an hour away to buy some Prada bags on sale. I explored Firenze ,myself. I went to Fiesole which is a hill above Florence. I was only there for about 30 minutes, but it was fun nonetheless. I headed back down into Florence and attempted to find a gelato place called Vivoli, which a friend told me was really good. I had a map, but I got a little turned around and ended up near the Uffizi gallery, which was where I started. However, I saw another panini place I read about online, and decided to eat lunch there. It was better than the other place and it was jam-packed full. I ended up walking around, saw Santa Croce Church, Mercato centrale (a large indoor food market), Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens, Ponte Vecchio (a famous bridge). All day I was pretty much walking to different piazzas. I had a map of all the places I wanted to see and walked from place to place. I again, tried to find the gelato place and while I was looking at the map I heard someone say, oh gelato, and looked up and there was the place I was trying to find! It was very good gelato, I got café and a flavor called fantasia. I also wanted to find the pizza place near café italiano that my friend told me about, it was just down the street from Vivoli Gelato.
Later, I decided to head from Boboli gardens to Michelangelo Piazza, as my friends were just leaving the leather market and it was nearing sunset, so I wanted to see the city at that time. It was beautiful and sunset, but just a little bit hazy. I walked back to my hostel and hung out for awhile till my friend arrived with their Prada bags. We were all tired from walking around all day, so we got dinner at the hostel (they provide free pizza and salad). After dinner, we went back to our gelato place that we went to the first day, it had so many flavors!
On Saturday, we went to pisa in the morning. I really enjoyed walking through the main street of pisa. It is a narrow street with nice stores along each side and about 20 minutes later we got to the leaning tower of Pisa. We stayed there for awhile taking pictures and we went inside the church by Pisa. We returned to Florence and my friends wanted to go to a famous place called ZaZa. It is supposed to have really good t-bone steak and there were a few pictures of celebrities who went there. I got a soup sampling and really enjoyed it. I had to leave earlier to go to the Academia; I had a reservation so I didn’t have to wait in line. I got to see the real david, which was larger than I thought. I met back up with my friends near the Uffizi Palace, we walked around the city center for a bit. They hadn’t seen Piazza Michelangelo yet, so we walked across the river. I got pictures for nighttime and sunset at piazza Michelangelo now.
We decided to hang out in the main city center as we didn’t want to walk back to our hostel, but we had to wait an hour till the special pizza place I was told about would open at 7:30. At around 7:15 we got to the pizza place and there were already 3 groups ahead of us and more people were coming. We got seated when it opened. This pizza place was full of only locals and then us. The Italians seemed confused as to how we knew about the place, as it wasn’t near the tourist restaurants. A friend back home who studied abroad told me about it. I am glad we went, because it was the best pizza so far. They only had 3 types. We got two of them, margherita and marinara. I took them to the Vivoli Gelato place and we walked back to our hostel.
Sunday, we woke up to head to the Uffizi Gallery. It was definitely the largest art museum I’ve been to. We spent about 3 hours there, walking around. After, I wanted to try a waffle with gelato, so we headed back to the same place near the duomo. The Florence Marathon was going on, so we got to see that as well. We later walked around a bit more, went to a chinese place and to the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. It is not really a pharmacy but a fancy place with soaps, face wash, ect. it was founded in 1200. The picture of the christmas tree was inside that pharmacy. I headed to the train station at 4:30.
It was a very fun weekend, but I’m also happy to back in Torino. This week, I have a lot of school work to do and a presentation on Wednesday for my culture class. This weekend we are taking a day trip to Lake Como and are celebrating my friend, Ye Seul’s birthday on Sunday.
I hope you are all rested up from these last few days and have a good week back!