On my third day in Florence, I woke up about 10 times before I finally drug myself out if my bed. Word of advice? Never ever stay in a hostel if you can at all avoid it. They are the most despicable, miserable places ever. Now all my cousin and I wanted to do was sleep in a bit since we had been out late the night before, but no way could that happen there. Even the hostel staff was yelling and bustling around much too early. So I had no choice but to get up and go directly to the shower, since it was about 90 degrees in the room because there was no air conditioning. Like I said, fantastic.
Drew had had enough of that miserable place as well so we moved all of our stuff to the Best Western thanks to my uncle! It had AC and was clean… Whew! After basking in the AC for a bit we headed out to eat lunch at a place recommended by the guy in my bike tour. The first course of pasta was amazing, but the meat and veggie were kind of a let down. My spaghetti carbonara was delicious but the potatoes with pesto were served cold – icky! Once we had fortified ourselves with food, we went to the Duomo. I was careful to bring along my oh so stylish blue cover up cloth dress that I had acquired the day before in order to get in, but they turned Drew away since his shorts were too short… LOL. So I went in to get a glimpse at the impressive famous dome and then we tackled the tower. The tower is as so many others are in Europe, very steep and very narrow. The top afforded some gorgeous views and made it worth the effort. We could see our to every corner of the city and the Tuscan countryside reaching out beyond that.
Once we hiked down from the tower it was really hot, so we got some Italian flavored ice to cool down. Then we started the tedious task of shopping in Florence. Shopping in Florence is a task if I’ve ever seen one. Everything is ridiculously over priced, especially the leather. Also there are a million different varieties of fake leather. I usually enjoy shipping, but I did not enjoy this experience much at all. Drew was able to find what he wanted but I didn’t love anything enough to buy it. The whole thing was overwhelming. We went back to the hotel to shower again before heading to a nearby restaurant for dinner, which was amazing. As an appetizer, we shared these bites of baked dough covered with creamy cheese and thin ham… Soo good! Then I got a sampler of 3 different types of pasta, also yummy!
After dinner we decided to go to the Republica Square to people watch and sip Chianti. I was still exhausted from the day before so we called it an early night and went to sleep in the comforting AC. The next morning we enjoyed an amazing buffet breakfast at the hotel and then I had to head to the station for my 10 30 train back to Venice. Spending a few days in Florence biking, eating, and hanging out with my cousin was a great time! There’s so much to see, do, and try in Florence. I’d go back to the Italian fleur de lis city in a heartbeat.