The road to Firenze wasn’t necessarily an easy one. I was all set to take a train from Levanto to La Spezia, La Spezia to Pisa, and Pisa to Firenze, but the way my transfer times were set up made that all but impossible. My five minute allotted time to switch trains in La Spezia may have been doable had the train I boarded 15 minutes early in Levanto not arrived in La Spezia 15 minutes late. Did you catch all of that? By the time I made it to La Spezia I saw that a train was going direct to Firenze over an hour later. Naturally I just waited on that train versus going to Pisa first (I would later find out it stopped in Pisa anyway).
When it comes to trains in Italy, there’s usually a note on your ticket. Specifically in reference to TrenItalia, you have a few hours to use your ticket on another train traveling the same route with no additional charges. I now know I fell under that category because believe you me, my heart dropped when the notification came on that someone would come around to check tickets (I assumed they wouldn’t because of my previous experience) and that if your ticket is invalid you could be charged up to 200 euros. It all worked out and I eventually made it to Firenze just a couple hours later than originally planned. And boy did that suck.
Add Firenze to the list of cities that I instantly fell in love with. Don’t ask me how it happens. Maybe it’s like love at first sight and when you know, you just know. My ten minute walk from the train station to my hotel was nothing spectacular until I glanced down a street and caught a glimpse of the Duomo Di Firenze. I knew my hotel was literally two minutes from where I was so the fact that I could walk to see that beauty, ugh, perfecto. I was starving at this point but I knew that before food was on the itinerary I would be making my way to the Duomo after I set my bag down.
Upon checking into my hotel I was provided with a map. Normally I never touch maps but happened to acquire two during this trip, so I figured I’d use it. The woman at the desk marked off all the major landmarks and must sees of the area, all within five minutes walking distance to the hotel. It was perfect.
To be honest, because I’d be traveling more than relaxing during this short getaway, I purposely didn’t set up any tours or even research things to do. Albeit I never do too much of that, it was emphasized even more on this journey. The point was to relax (goodness did I need it) and stumble upon anything I ended up doing. A lot like when I decided to walk as far away as possible from the Duomo to hunt for lunch because the further you get from major landmarks, the cheaper food tends to be. I ended up crossing the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) and settling on a restaurant across from one of the largest museums I’ve ever seen. As I ate my spaghetti with oil, garlic, and hot peppers, I was serenaded by the opera coming from the roof of said museum. But back to the spaghetti…IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST DELICIOUS DISHES I’VE EVER HAD. I slowly washed it down with a glass of prosecco because champagne wasn’t an option and honestly, I’m just fancy like that.
The rest of my only day in Firenze consisted of roaming around and hanging out in my gorgeous room in an even more gorgeous hotel. Having only secured lodging about a week or two prior to this journey I’m just as shocked as you that I went the hotel route, but I’m so glad I did.
The next morning I opted to have breakfast in the hotel and for the first time in my journeys I think the bacon actually tasted like bacon. It was as close to an American breakfast as I’ve ever had when I wasn’t in North America. And that’s saying a lot. Later in the day after my strolls around the city I made that ten minute trek to the train station earlier than needed only to still miss my train. Yep, I was paying attention to the 12:28pm train arriving from Milan rather than the one leaving, so I ended up on the wrong track. I’m still trying to figure out how two trains from/to the same place ended up having that same weird ass time, but I digress. Another train would be leaving just two hours later and all it took was me paying 10+ euros in addition to what I paid for my original ticket. I was highly irritated, but such is life.