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ITALY | Thursday, 29 August 2013 | Views [471] | Comments [1]

I decided to go to Florence on a recommendation from my French Swiss roommate in Rome,  Noe, thanks mate, this place is awesome.

The hostel, Archi Rossi,  is great, not quite a party hostel(no real bar) but big and open enough that its easy to find or make a group of new friends and have a party anyway. They serve a free, while odd, breakfast. It's not often you get offered pasta and cake for breakfast but its better than cereal, that's for sure. Their dinner menu , while pretty average is decent enough for the price. The walls are covered in paintings and the pathways lined with statues. To top it off there's a place across the road that sells three bottles of wine for 10 euro, winning!

Florence itself is a wonderful little city, small enough that you walk to anywhere you want without to much hassle. After a night of drinking several of us join a free walking tour run from the hostel in the mornings. Walking tours in general are a great way to not only find out what there is to see and do but to learn a lot about the city. On top of that you learn about the location of various landmarks, this is useful for finding your way home. You don't want to be referring to your map every three minutes, knowing where your hostel is compared to the closest major landmark (the Duomo in this case), and where other landmarks are in relation to that landmark make navigating a smaller city easy. A group of us climb the bell tower at the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. The tower has smething like 420 odd steps to the top and it's definatly a mission to climb, concidering that the stair case, in some places, is not much wider that a normal person it makes it difficult to move up and down. Especialy when you take into account that not only are you going up this timy stair case but other people are coming down. This gives you a lot of time to get to know the wall of the staircase you're climbing really well.

That night a group of us go to the football, Firenze vs Catania. This is another occasion where photos don't do it any justice, while it wasn't a huge stadium the roar of crowd offers a true European experience that needs to be experienced yourself. Luckily I have video of the moments after the two goals Firenze scored. The ability for the entire crowd to break into a chant without any cues at all astounds me, obviosly they've been practicing for a while, i wanted to join in, but not only did I not know the words, i don't speak Itailian either. Although we did pick up a couple of intresting words from an older dude nearby yelling "Bastardo!" at the players. One more thing i found quite funny was the Catania supporters, of which there was about 15, compared to the several thousand Firenze supporters. I put a photo on Facebook of them, they are blocked off by large panels so there is no trouble with the locals. After the game is finished i'm told they have to wait until everybody else leaves before the can leave to avoid altercations outside.   

The next day we did another tour, similar to the first but to a different part of town. Afterwards I head to the statue to David. You're unable to take photos inside the museum, but people will try, there were a couple of camera nazis watching for people taking photos, they'd run up and make sure the image was deleted. I snapped a bunch of good photos using an app on my iPhone that blacks the screen out, so it looks like its not being used. I used the rest of the day to chill out and end up getting more drunk than I though I would, drinking games will do that.

I was trying to decide what my next move was going to be the other day. I had been taking the train everywhere up until now and was considering taking one to Nice, staying there a couple of days, then another train to Barcelona. After some investigation I found that both train journeys were going to be 10 hours each, having done a few 10 train trips I was not a big fan of two more. So I decided to fly from Florence to Madrid, yet another city that I wasn't planing to visit originally and make my was to Barcelona from there, I leave tomorrow morning.

Tags: florence



... But you see so much more by train! :) sounds awesome old chap!

  Numbnuts Aug 29, 2013 7:45 AM

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