About 10 days into my 4 month Roman adventure, I took off with two friends to do some sightseeing in another nearby region in Italy. I’m currently on a train back to Rome from an unforgettable weekend in Tuscany.
Bright and early Friday morning, with my alarm sounding at 5 am, I called a cab to Termini station to catch the bullet train to Florence. Upon arrival, we felt some light mist that eventually turned into a moderate downpour for about half an hour. On our way to find our hostel we found ourselves damp. But by the time we checked into the hostel and changed our clothes, the streets were glistening and we stumbled upon the most beautiful spot in Florence. A glorious view, with perfect natural lighting; the quintessential tourist picture: ponte vecchio right after it rained.
We then spent the day touring Firenze, proudly being tourists in a city we did not know. The Duomo was spectacular, the Statue of David was jawdropping to say the least, and the view from Piazzale Michaelangelo at sunset was a moment I will never forget. Check out my previous post about the gelato I had! It was by far the greatest gelato I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting! Florence is a beautiful city, a bit more modern and cleaner than Rome, more American influence throughout the city, but absolutely breathtaking. And the smell of leather on every corner didn’t hurt either. I will be back for you, Firenze.
On Saturday morning, after surviving our first hostel experience, we hopped on the train to Lucca. We were picked up from the station by a lovely man who had arranged a horseback riding session in the hills for us. It was absolutely magical. My horse, Paco, was a little wild, but I’ll never forget the experience. I like to say Paco is the greatest Italian man I’ve met thus far!
Lucca was a real treat. I think it’s so beautiful that the city is surrounded by its original walls. Within the walls, there are 100 churches. The style is incredibly unique compared to any other style I’ve seen in Italy. Our airbnb host, Ana, was an amazing older Italian woman, who lived through massive green doors in the middle of a small piazza right by the city center. Her apartment building was built in the 15th century, with high ceilings and massive windows looking out into the piazza and alleyways surrounding. This is Piazza San Michele, a major hub in the city of Lucca. This church was so beautiful.
On Sunday morning, we took the train from Lucca to Pisa. We were so excited to shamelessly play tourist and take way too many pictures at the Leaning Tower! We relaxed most of the day but not before spending an hour or so getting the perfect picture! I think Pisa is the one place where it’s totally okay to be a cheesy tourist, and no one will judge you!
Sonia, Kendall, and I had an amazing time this weekend. It was a great first trip outside of Rome and I learned some basics about riding trains and staying in hostels around Italy. Can’t wait for my next adventure, but first I need to get back to Rome and enjoy my temporary home. xoxo