I dream of one day traveling throughout Italy, and our Euro Trip gave me a little taste of how beautiful the country is. We arrived in Florence in the early evening, and since Heather had studied in the city for the summer, she knew her way around. We had a bit of a sketch experience getting to the hostel, and it was awfully annoying. But aside from that initial fear, we survived the stay there, and everything turned out okay.
The next morning, I met up with my wonderful friend Henry who was studying in Florence. He gave me a tour of the city, and we had a nice Italian lunch at a wonderful market. Walking around Florence, I learned a few different things:
1. I will never see more naked statues anywhere else in all of the world. They are literally at every turn.
2. The guys who try to pickpocket you are not as good as they think they are. They use these cool little flying light things to distract you, but if you walk fast and ignore them, they are easy to avoid.
3. Those guys really are relentless and annoying though.
4. The Tuscan countryside is beautiful, but it does a number on your allergies.
5. Armani Junior and Gucci Baby exist. This means that there are children wearing clothes I will never in my life afford. Yay to no money!
6. You can never eat too much pasta or gelato.
7. The random water spouts throughout the city are awesome and convenient.
After our morning together, we met up with my traveling friends, and we headed our separate ways. My friends and I spent the day wandering through the Italian streets. At one point, we climbed to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo for a beautiful panoramic view of Florence. The climb takes the breath right out of you, but the views are worth it. Plus, we met a guy who attempted to teach us a magic trick, but we all failed miserably. He was cool. Our last stop for the day was the secret bakery. I don’t know why more cities don’t have them, because they should. It is the definition of numz.
The next morning, we hopped on a train for a day trip to Pisa and Chinque Terre. The great thing about Pisa is that the tower actually leans. Now, I mean, I know it leans. But it leans SO MUCH. It’s amazing to me that the thing is still standing. At one point in my life, I’d like to walk to the top, because you are practically on your side the whole way up. Gravity. Awesome.
Now, my favorite part of Italy, and the place I’m already dying to go back to, was Chinque Terre. Words cannot accurately express how beautiful the place was, and these pictures can’t show it either.
When you first hop off the train at the Riomaggiore stop, you are welcomed by the most beautiful cliffs and the clearest water you will ever seen. The trail that begins there is known as the Love Walk; however, due to landslide damage, the trail was closed. We then hopped onto another train to Manarola, hoping to walk the trail from there. Unfortunately, some more landslide blockage did not allow us to enjoy that. Although unable to walk the trail, I still enjoyed Manarola. (And the broken trails just means that I need to go back there at some point in my life.) The water is clear, the buildings are beautiful, and there is just so much to see and enjoy. Everybody needs to experience this beauty in person. Trust me.
The next day was Heather’s 21st birthday, so we planned to sleep in and just enjoy the day. That’s exactly what we did. We also managed to meet the French artist Clet in his art studio when we stopped to buy some stickers. He was very shy, but he is incredibly talented, so it was an awesome experience being in his presence. I had promised Heather that I would go to a club on her birthday, so as nighttime approached, I became incredibly nervous. It was going to be my first club experience. For those who don’t know me, let me explain my problem with clubs. I hate groups of people, specifically loud, drunk groups of people who are dancing, acting obnoxious and sweating on you. This is exactly what you find in a club. I am also not a big fan of dancing. Have you ever seen Taylor Swift try to dance? That’s me. It’s very bad, and not nice on the eyes (sorry Taylor). Awkward arm flails and bouncing is the best I can do for you. But I went. And I guess it wasn’t so bad. At one point, some creep began to approach me, but Heather noticed and saved me from my biggest fear. She’s kind of the best. After picking up our last secret bakery pastry, we went to sleep. The next day we were off to Rome. First, our hostel was pretty awesome. We had a light show in the shower. And I’m not kidding when I say that. The lights changed color to match the temperature of the water. Blue was cold, green was perfect and red was hot. SO COOL. I didn’t want to get out. Anyway, we did a very fast, one day tour in Rome, so I would like to go back. But we covered all of the basics. I saw the Colosseum, Pantheon, Spanish steps, Roman Forum, and I made a wish in the Trevi Fountain. The only thing I wanted to get but didn’t was a ride on a vespa with Gregory Peck. A girl can dream right?
So that was Italy in a nutshell. The final stop on our trip was Greece, specifically Rhodes and Athens. I’ll write about that later. Have a good one!