Frenzy in Firenze

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ponte Vecchio
After a wonderfully relaxing time in Venice it was back to non stop action.  Having only a two hour train ride between Venice and Florence was amazing however the temperature upon exiting the train was stifling.   It was actually difficult to breathe at times.  Our hostel was much larger than most of the ones we had previously stayed in (with the exception of Paris, perhaps).  As soon as we dropped our luggage off we began our trek around the city.  We first went to the Bascilica of San Lorenzo and from there to the Duomo.  Unfortunately because we were wearing shorts we were not allowed in.  To be honest it was too hot to wear anything but shorts so we did not plan on going back to change.  We visited the home of Dante then traveled on to Palazzo Vecchio, which is Florence's town hall.  From there we went to Ponte Vecchio which is an old Medieval bridge with shops that line both of its sides.  It was an interesting place but unfortunately it was filled with tourists and so hot that we did not stop to look in many of the shops.

Our map showed a nice area called "Piazzale Michalangelo" that looked like it could give a good view of the city.  Little did we know it was basically a hike up a mountain to get there.  I will say that the view was certainly worth it but it took quite a few stops on the way up to make it to the top (where we were greeted with a gelato stand that we may have stopped at three times during our two days in Florence).  We decided that we would have to come back up here to see the view during sunset.
View from Piazzale Michelangelo
Working our way back to the hostel we stopped at Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Maria Nuova, and Piazza de Santissma Annunzata.  There are many Piazzas in Italy.

While doing laundry we took advantage of the pool in the hostel and although we had sweat away most of our body weight during the day we still crawled into the sauna for a bit.

When asked by the other girls in our room where we were from we replied, "Boston in the U.S."  They sincerely thanked us for not saying America because they were all from Southern/Latin American countries.  It is so interesting talking to people and seeing how Americans around the world are viewed.  Most of the time it is embarrassing but I hope that after talking with us these people will at least get a slightly more positive image of what a United States citizen can be.

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