On my last blog post I talked about my final days in Spain and how I was taking a boat from Barcelona to a port city outside of Rome. On this blog post I'm going to write about my experiences in Rome and Florence, Italy.
When I made it in to Rome on February 14th, 2017 I had to walk about 5-10 minutes from the train station where I arrived from the train from the port city an hour and a half outside of Rome to get to my hostel I was staying at. That night I arrived at the hostel, Hostel Allesandro Palace, it was roughly 9-10pm and I was tired from the day spent traveling over a sea. I didn't have a good meal during my time on the boat so I decided to go to the restaurant right next door to treat myself to a drink and nice dinner. I ordered a fat calzone for 9 Euro, a small mojito for 8 euro, and an lemon ice cream thing for 4 euro.
The next morning my buddy Liam showed up to Rome to travel with me for a little while after meeting and Spain a month prior. He is the Canadian brewer friend of mine mentioned in the previous post where we also brewed with out Italian homebrew friend!
That day he gets there we decide to go walk around Rome and see what it's all about. He had to stay at a different hostel in Rome for the first night until he could move over to my hostel for the remaining 3 nights in Rome. We meet up with a cool German guy from his hostel and decide to walk Rome.
We start our way out towards the Colosseum and notice all of the monumental buildings on our way. We ran in to a awesome pieces of architecture all over the place with no idea what almost any of them are. After doing our little bit of walking, we ate a sandwich overlooking the Colosseum and decided to head back to the hostel to shower and get ready to go out.
We leave the hostel once again to a pizzeria we stumbled upon and sat down to eat. I ate a whole medium sized margharitta pizza for 6.50 Euro and a half liter of wine for 5 Euro.
We head back down to the hostel to pass out and wake up to catch a train to finally go brew some beer!
We had a blast that Saturday brewing beer with our Italian friends, which you can find in my previous post here.
After drinking a fair amount, we made it back to Rome. In our hostel we had a nice bar so end up at the bar where we shared two more beers each. Nothing cool was happening so I decided to hit the hay and rest up a little for the remaining days. That Sunday we had to do a lot of chores including laundry, purchase next hostel,and train ticket to Florence. Later that night we went back to the same restaurant as mentioned earlier, but got more wine and some bruchetta as well.
Last night in Rome! We ended up making a few American friends at the hostel that night but I once again went to bed around midnight. Next morning we didn't have a train ride until the afternoon/evening so we decided to go grab some more food and explore just a little more.
Rome had the most monumental, massive, buildings I have seen. Giant pillars, sculptures, monuments, oblisks, churches, everything. Everything was god sized!
Since Liam was gifted with the Euro Pass, he pays basically 10 Euros to go on a train to anywhere. I had to take the more local train. His train took 1.5 hours and left 0.5 hours before mine, which would take 3.5 hours and was 20 minutes late...
The train I took was a commuter train so I had to barge my way on the train with my big backpack on my back and my smaller one on my front. I claim the closest empty seat I can and throw m big pack on top where the luggage goes and quickly sit down, throw on my headphones and try to relax. I had gotten on my train that's destination was Florence and I was safe, success.
After the 3.5 hour train ride from Rome to Florence, I arrive, get off and make the 15 minute walk from the train station to the hostel Liam and I would be staying at for the next 3 nights called, Plus Florence Hostel. I arrive to the hostel to find a text from Liam saying that "he's chilling in the pool downstairs"
This was the first hostel we've stayed at that has a working pool, let alone a nice sauna and steam room!
I drop my luggage off, shower, and pick Liam up from the pool to go eat some food and possibly grab a beer. We start walking anywhere and stumble across a nice looking cathedral and right across the street we find a taproom. Most other restaurants were closed or too pricey so we go in. The server was awesome! He spoke minor English but me instantly made a connection because he loves California and beer!
We both order a beer and a marinara pizza. The 7.2% double IPA I ordered was SO GOOD! Definitely one of the better double IPA's I've ever had. Not hazy, but definitely juicy, great mouthfeel and so refreshing! After that we go back to the hostel to get some sleep.
I wake up at about 8:30AM the following day and had a kick to do some yoga and meditate, so I did. I went downstairs in the small gym where nobody was and did 30 min. of yoga and 20 min of meditation. I go change and get ready to walk around town. Liam didn't get up until 11:40 or so that day, so from 9:30-11:30 I waited for him. We ended up walking around, walking by the Museo delle Academia, where the Statue of David is stationed.
We buy the tickets for 15 euro and go inside to do some cool touristy stuff. We spend about 2-3 hours in the museum, analyzing all of the 1300-1500 AD paintings, sculptures, and music. The most famous of all the art in this museum was the Statue of David, which was an early piece of Michelangelo's.
We get up a little earlier this day to get ready for the Duomo. We stop at a cafe where I got a small salami sandwich and espresso and swear I got overcharged for it. I payed 6 Euro for both, which was a little pricey if you ask me! In Italy I feel like I've had more people try to gyp me of my money like that more so than in Spain or the USA anyways.
We make our way to the Duomo and wait 20 min in line with our pre-purchased ticket to enter. We step foot inside and had to go through a metal detector, so I put my little multi-tool in my wallet and passed it through without any problems.
We see a little inside the church. It was more basic inside than the outside, which is one of the most gorgeous pieces of art I've ever seen. We started walking up the, what seemed like, never ending stairs.
This staircase was extremely narrow, twisted, and in some cases steep. After about 15-20 minutes, we make it to the top of Duomo...
Since my trip in Europe, this was the highest point I have been, being able to see all of Florence and the surrounding mountain ranges.
I was in awe of this view. It put a whole different perspective on Florence, let alone Italy, for me. After the Duomo we head back to the hostel to regroup for a little before deciding to go back out and exploring even more.
We then walk to the river which parts Florence and we walk across the famous bridge that has little shops on it, very high class shops.
This was during sunset and it was gorgeous! We head back because I was tired from all the walking over the last day/week.
After this we decide to stop and find some food, so we grab a little snack, a bottle of wine each, and decide to head back to the hostel to take a dip in the pool and warm off in the extremely hot sauna.
Alcohol wasn't allowed in the pool area but when have I been known to obey all of the laws... Liam ends up meeting these french folk in the steam room who we end up having dinner and playing pool with after, ending the night out.
Now, our last day in Florence, we walked around in the morning, ordering out train tickets out to Venice, where I will be spending 4 nights, trying to figure out where I'd like to go next since Bologna, Italy, was too expensive for me on my path to Venice.
We also walked past the Di Venci museum but don't go in because it was 7 Euros and I need to start saving more money. We stopped at a Chinese Restaurant and ended up getting the most, good, food we've had yet for 6 Euros. Spicy chicken with onions, bell peppers and garlic, and steamed rice. I was so full but it was so good!
Florence ended up being an awesome city! I think I liked it more the Rome to tell you the truth. I wish I had more time here but am glad I got to experience it in all of it's glory.
Florence had more English speakers, from what I picked up, and a younger scene then Rome as a big university is here too.
Tonight we leave for Venice! This will be my first ever water based city I'll have been in! Wish me luck!