Getting to visit Italy from February 13-22 was a dream come true ! I feel so lucky that I had the opportunity to visit, and I really enjoyed practicing italian with the locals, and the sights were beyond beautiful; it all felt incredibly surreal.

I took over a thousand photos during my trip, and I will be uploading my favourites to my flickr account, and featuring some of them here.

There is so much that I could say about the trip, that I really have no idea where to start!

I suppose I will begin by telling a bit about my departure, and splitting up the different cities that I had stayed in with different entries here.

Certain things are difficult to explain, and for those things, I will rely on photos.

Getting to Florence…
This was a bit of an adventure in itself! I left Lyon at 4:30pm on February 13th, and I arrived at the Chambery-Challes train station at 6pm, and I had to take a TGV (train de grand vitesse) afterward to Turin, Italy. I was actually supposed to leave Lyon at 3:30pm, but I arrived to the station late, so I had to take the 4:30pm train. I was in a bit of a hurry when I arrived at Chambery to exchange my tickets, because I didn’t want to miss the 6:30pm train (I was supposed to be on the one from the hour before).

I arrived in Turin at 10:00pm and I took the metro to a different train station, with the directions my italian friends had given me. I got them 10 minutes later, and tried to waste time there until my 11:30pm train. It was really cold in the train station- it was all open, so it was just like waiting outdoors. My train left at 11:30pm and I met 3 really nice italian students in my train car, and we chatted for awhile. It turns out that one of them is also an exchange student in France, and the other two are studying in southern Italy.

They were very sweet, and helped me take my huge suitcase off the train when I arrived in Pisa at 4:30am. When I got off the train I saw a group of girls, so I stayed with them to be safe, and they ended up being really nice Brazilian exchange students. It turns out that they are scholarship winners studying design in Turin for a few months. We took a train together from Pisa to Florence at 5:15am and arrived at 6:30am. When I arrived I was a bit lost, as the map I had drawn myself wasn’t detailed enough, but luckily I walked to the hostel of the Brazilians and I looked at their map, and then walked to the Florence hostel on my own, which was about 15 minutes away. They were huge sweethearts, and I’m not sure what I would have done without them!

It was really scary to travel on my own, and to be in a practically deserted train station at 4:30am. Meeting so many nice people who were so ready to help out a complete stranger was incredibly touching; it makes me want to reach out now more than ever to help others. I wasn’t so optimistic before about the amount of Good Samaritans in this world, but I feel really lucky now to have met so many; it is very inspiring.

I was so happy when I arrived at the hostel, Sogna Firenze, safe and sound, and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast there that consisted of a cappuccino, lots of nutella, and various other treats.

The hostel was very clean, and the receptionist was very kind and helpful. I definitely recommend this hostel to anyone that is looking for a place to stay in Florence for only 12 euros a night.

A summary of Florence… Ponte Vecchio was gorgeous, and probably my favourite sight. My friends and I didn’t see the original statue of David, but we did see the replica, or what wasn’t covered up, anyway! We also managed to make a day trip to Pisa, which I will write about in my next entry ^^

My friends and I

I drew a picture of this square years ago from an architectural book… I was amazed to see it in person- complete coincidence


On Ponte Vecchio…

Ponte Vecchio

A palace and a vintage car…


Museum II

Milk in Italy… unrefrigerated and in boxes (also unrefrigerated in France, but in plastic bottles…)

Doppio Cheeseburger, per favore!


and last but not least… dedicated to :3 !!!!! (In the corner it reads “gatto” which is italian for cat)