Italy, take 2: Florence 

Florence oh Florence..

Upon walking out of the train station I install felt a different vibe than Milan. More welcoming, cultural and touristic and in my opinion better all around.

I started walking toward my hostel because my shoulders were killing from lugging my backpack around when I heard “Alexa?! Alexa?!” And I didn’t think anything of it because I mean, what were the chances that someone who knew was name was here.
Little did I realize my american au pair friend Katie was standing right in front of me.
I was literally in SHOCK. It goes to show how small the world really is.
I walked around with her for a while until I realized that I was extremely tired, hungry and had wandered an extra hour away from my hostel, so decided to say a quick goodbye and get on my way.

The Hostel I stayed at was Plus Florence which was conveniently located pretty close to everything actually on the same street as the train station!
I was skeptical because the reviews were extremely mixed but it was the cheapest and most central of all of the hostels I checked at a steep 20 euros a night without breakfast included. Check in was fast, and was told my room number and to choose any bed which was a bit different than what I’m used to , typically being assigned one. One I made it to my room I grabbed the bottom bunk which happened to be a double.. I haven’t slept in my own double bed since last April… It was like a dream come true or so I thought. I ended up being roommates with a group of Americans who were there simply to party. To each their own but I just wanted sleep to be honest. When I hit the sheets for bed, they were on their way out. Fast forward to 5 am they all came back.. Let’s just say I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but that’s what you get when staying in an 8 person mixed dorm.

Oh and did I mention, there was a pool, sauna and thermal bath!

They next morning I ended up leaving around 9am to set out for the day to try and see as much as I could before the rain came down.

First stop was Piazzale Michelangelo which as you can see below gave an amazing view of the city!

Then the bridge Ponte Vecchio which is the oldest bridge in Florence and is the only bridge that during WWII the germans didn`t destroy.

The next day my knee was killing me so I took a bit extra time to find the motivation to get up and going. I ended up staying at the hostel way past check out time. I mean 1 euro coffee and free wifi, why not.

Once my stomach got past the point of hungry I figured it was time to make a trip to the mercado centrale for some pastries and more coffee of course.

I don’t think I made it 5 minutes without being drawn into the market goodies that I walked pat everytime I went into the central square. I came across a black hat I wanted and started talking to the vendor and managed to get the price down to 18 euros so I made a little purchase. He asked where I was from and I said Canada , not thinking he would proceed further to what province.. But come to find out he knew every single province and had to show off his skills by naming them all in order across his imaginary map. To say I was impressed in an understatement, which made the fact that I bought my hat from him that much more satisfying.

After a long rainy end to Florence I hopped on the train to my next stop Venice!

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