Firenze (the City, Not the Centaur)

“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness!
There’s no looking at a building here after seeing Italy.”

-Fanny Burney

I’ve been falling rather behind, but I will do my best to catch up on my recent escapades across Europe. A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. I will post about both Rome and Assisi, but, before that, I want to talk about my trip before that pilgrimage. I had the opportunity to spend a little more than a day in the city of Florence on my way to Rome. It was recommended that we leave early and try to find a place in Italy to visit before meeting up in Rome for the beginning of the pilgrimage. Some friends and I, along with a few other groups, decided to go to Florence.

In order to get there, we had to take an overnight train from Vienna to Florence. It was a long train ride (or at least it seemed to be). We prayed; we talked; we slept. From hanging out with friends, to waking up in the middle 100_1002of the night to find a man standing over you speaking in German asking for your ticket, it was quite the trip, but they were good times. We got into Florence at about 6:30 or 6:45am. Something we learned: it is very hard to find something to do in a foreign city (such as Florence) that early in the morning. After wandering around for a little while, as is to be expected from college students like us, we found a chapel at which we attended Mass. Mass itself was rather difficult, since it was in Italian, but we managed to make it through it. We received Jesus, so it was still a beautiful and wonderful way to start the day. After Mass, we walked around for a little bit until we found Il Duomo – the famous cathedral of Florence with the big red dome. After finding out we could not go in right then, we found a place for breakfast.

After wandering around for a little while, one of our friends wanted to meet up with his friend studying in Florence. So he went his way. Our other friends and I really didn’t know what to do. (We couldn’t do very much with ~20+ pound backpacks on our backs, since we couldn’t check into our hostel for a few hours.) So we just wandered around for a little while until we found a café. We got pizza, enjoyed the free wifi, and reveled in our ability to just sit and not have to worry about anything. Our morning consisted of hanging out in the café, then hanging out in the train station, and then heading to our hostel. Quite the morning!

After taking a quick break at our hostel, we started out on actually seeing Florence. Because it was getting later in the day, we didn’t have time to do too much, so we headed toward the river. Walking along the river, we made our way to the 100_1022Ponte Vecchio – the famous bridge filled with shops. Being able to see the river and all of the beautiful Italian architecture was such a delight. I can’t say that I usually enjoy being considered a ‘tourist,’ but that was a moment when I was okay with it. I just enjoyed looking at and seeing all of the beauty surrounding me, be it in the nature or the architecture. It was great to be miles away from homework or classes or any obligations. I could just take in the sights surrounding me. Walking across the Ponte Vecchio, we gained even better chances for amazing pictures. While I usually suppress it, sometimes I just accept that I am an American tourist traveling across Europe. I don’t make it a usual thing, but every so often.

Once across the bridge, we found a small little place at which to eat dinner. I got to enjoy a lovely plate of pasta with a glass of some Italian red wine. While they were both good to begin with, knowing that I was enjoying those in Italy just seemed to make everything even better. After dinner, we decided to venture around that side of the river, taking in…Italy. We walked along the river and through the streets, and just enjoyed each other’s company as we walked around Italy. After crossing back over the river, we walked around for a little bit until we found some gelato. We enjoyed the gelato and then decided to call it a night and headed back to the hostel. The next morning, we got up, found some breakfast at a café, and then got on our train to Rome.

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

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Duc In Altum

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: When in Rome…Get Pooped on by a Bird | Eärendil Star
  2. Trackback: What I Learned in Austria Is… | Eärendil Star

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