Firenze (Florence) – February 14-17

March 18, 2009

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

Gelato

On Ponte Vecchio…

Ponte Vecchio

A palace and a vintage car…

Museum

Museum II

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

Doppio Cheeseburger, per favore!

Scenery

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

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5 Responses to “Firenze (Florence) – February 14-17”

  1. ReD said

    Wow that must have been a sight to see, I want to go to Italy also. I have cousins there believe it or not!

    Hope life is going smoothly for you (sounds like it is 😀 ) and keep us updated! Stay safe!

    -Sean (ReD)

    • prettypinkninja said

      You should definitely visit them! 🙂 I’m sure they would love to see you, and it is always better when you know the locals!

      Thanks for your really nice words- I’ll try to give more updates hehe

  2. kai said

    Wow! That sounds like a dream come true for anybody, such great pictures. How is your Italian now? 😉

    – wheaties

  3. prettypinkninja said

    Sorry for being so slow to respond! Thanks so much, Wheaties 🙂 I definitely feel extremely lucky to be having this experience.

    My italian actually improved in Italy, but I realized that I still have much to learn hehe Smiling, nodding, and even giggling now and then at leasts gives the illusion that you understand haha 🙂

    Hope all is well with you, it has been much too long!!!

    -Jess aka pinkNINJA

  4. Pad See Ew said

    You and I have been letting our blogs languish, Pinkster! Of course, you have a more gloriously reasonable excuse than I do. Love the photos.

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