Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Vacation from the Sicilian Life

When you want to get away from it all (it all being Sicily), where do you go?  Other cities in Italy, of course!  This time, I went to Florence (for those of you who don’t know where/what Florence is, it is a Tuscan city about an hour away from Pisa).  I went to Florence to explore a different culture than the Sicilian one and to visit my friends from SMC: Lizzie Murray, Liz Salois, and Courtney Dunne.

My adventure started Wednesday night when I realized my plane left at 13:00 instead of 3:00 pm (the 24-hour clock is confusing sometimes, especially if you aren’t braced for it).  I had to plan around a class and get to the Catania airport in time (1.5 hours by public transportation).  Thankfully, my photography professor was understanding and let me skip class.  I printed off my boarding passes and was on the next bus to Catania!  Through security without a hitch, my flight takes off, it lands, and I’m at the airport in Pisa!  From Pisa, there is a connecting bus that runs every hour or so.  I was lucky enough to catch the bus JUST as it was about to leave!  My vacation was going without a hitch!  I let Lizzie know I was en route.  Florence, here I come!

I finally get to Florence an hour earlier than I anticipated only to sit on the steps of the bus station for about an hour.  It turns out I had entered Lizzie’s number incorrectly on my phone, so she had no idea I was waiting for that long.  It was from here where I turned off my “I have been living in Italy for the past two months” mode and switched into tourist mode.  The next three days were filled with wandering the streets of Florence soaking in the architecture of the city.  The Duomo was one of the most magnificent church’s I have ever seen!  Unfortunately, we got there later in the afternoon and the line to climb it was too long.  Maybe next time!  My favorite scene was the sunset from Piazza Michelangelo.  From the piazza, you can see all of Florence and you get to appreciate the true architectural brilliance of the Duomo.  You also get a view of Ponte Vecchio.

The Front of the Duomo

                                                 ANOTHER ASTON MARTIN

                                             Sunset from Piazza Michelangelo
                                         Ponte Vecchio from Piazza Michelangelo

Lizzie and I also went on a nighttime tour of Florence.  It turns out once all of the tourists go away the city becomes more beautiful!  There city is also much more impressive lit up.  Our tour included the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, a stroll along the river, and a secret bakery.  I don’t fully understand the secret bakery, but their pastries were cheap and delicious! 

The day that I left Florence, Lizzie and I went to the Boboli Gardens.  We just strolled around and enjoyed the scenery offered.

                                               The Duomo from Boboli Garden

Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the food as well!  Pear ravioli, gelati, pizza…  EVERYTHING was delicious!  The one thing I learned from my time in Florence, going once for a few days is definitely not enough.
                                                           Pear Ravioli!

My weekend was so action packed yet short that I think I have covered everything that I did (I’m sure I accidentally left something out).  That being said, I definitely consider Florence as a city I must return to before I die!  I miss it already…

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