Buongiorno (good morning in Italian) everyone!
So here's the deal, a big majority of my posts for the next couple of weeks will be geared towards my recent adventure to Italy. I’m going to be discussing the highlights of each city, the delicious food, the beautiful Renaissance art, and just about anything else that you can imagine!
But for today's post, and the next few days posts will be journal-like entries.
Why? Well, I actually kept a journal (inspired by my mom, she did the same thing when she traveled) and wrote in it every day about what I saw, what I ate, anything I thought was worthy of writing down, lol. This was an easy way for me to always remember my trip, and what not!
So I thought to do my posts like this, would help you get an overall overview of my time I spent in this beautiful country.
In saying that, today's journal entry will be all about my flight to Italy & my first day in Florence!
Let's get started (-:
p.s. These journal entries contain sarcasm (I’m going to mark what is sarcasm with this *), some inside jokes that probably don't make sense to anyone, and just reflect me.
(I labeled each entry by the date of the day)
I woke up not knowing what time it was, only knowing how high we were above the ocean. It seemed as if I was the only one awake. luckily, our flight was going to land soon.
Mom and I got to Paris around 8:30 in the morning, which was later than planned. We were supposed to have a two-hour layover in Paris, and then an hour and a half flight to Florence. but our flight from Washington Dulles was delayed, making the two-hour layover, an hour.
Mom and I ended up running through that Paris airport, through customs and security so we wouldn't miss our flight to Florence.
But guess what?
We were running through that airport, frazzled and hot, to only find out that the flight to Florence was delayed for two hours.
Needless to say, it was a little crazy.
The flight to Florence (once we boarded the plane) was actually short, and not too bad. There were massive views of the countryside and of the Alps! Which was pretty cool.
Our flight landed around noon, and I’d like to mention how small Florence’s airport is. but I’d also like to mention that I could already see the beauty of Tuscany from there.
We waited for our bags and exchanged our money. my mom was complaining that she got gypped (probably did though) on the exchange rate.
We met our driver who drove us to our hotel. however. He did take some sketchy roads and I started thinking "Dang, haven't been here for five minutes and I’m already going to get murdered"* lol. But I was actually surprised how aggressive Italian drivers were, it kind of reminded me of my dad's driving.
Once we were driven around the city of Florence (which was beautiful) we were dropped off at our hotel/B&B, Le Stanze del Duomo, which was small but was cute/quaint. The B&B was actually very close to the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (also known as the Duomo). The Cathedral and Duomo were absolutely beautiful.
After we checked in and got ourselves settled, mom and I walked over to the Uffizi gallery. I’m going to be completely honest, I wasn't that excited to go to the gallery, but I was more impressed than I thought I would be (even though I still think I could've lived with not going there, but it was important to my mom).
tip: I highly recommend getting reserved/skip-the-line tickets. although these are more money, they save a lot of time, especially if you don't have a lot of it.
But as I mentioned above, the Uffizi gallery impressed me more than I thought I would have been.
Now, I love art, I really love art that's deep, beautiful, and meaningful. I love art of all kinds. However, for some reason, I am not a big fan of religious art. which is what the Uffizi gallery had a lot of.
And when I say a lot, I mean there were a lot of Jesus Christ/religious paintings, lol. in fact, the whole Uffizi gallery was probably made up just of that.
now back to the point, the fact that the Uffizi gallery was more impressive than I anticipated it to be, was a great thing. I’m glad my mom dragged me there, lol.
I want to point out one of my favorite pieces of artwork that was there; the birth of Venus painted by Sandro Botticelli painted in the estimated time frame of the 1400s. I honestly don't know why this painting is a favorite, but I do know that it's absolutely stunning.
Once we were finished walking through the Uffizi gallery, we decided to go get dinner Since we were famished. However, there is a beautiful view of the Ponte Vecchio right outside the Uffizi gallery so mom and I got a little distracted. We somehow got distracted enough to the point we walked over the Ponte Vecchio and window shopped.
As hectic and crowded as it was, the views were amazing.
After the Ponte Vecchio, mom and I finally decided to head to dinner. Now, have you ever heard of the Hard Rock Cafe? If you haven't, 1) their food is amazing 2) they're a big deal 3) there are a copious amount of them all over the world. And it's actually on my bucket list to try to go to as many hard rock cafes as I can.
So for our first night in Italy, we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe: Florence, Italy. I know, how American right?
Fun fact: since there are Hard Rock Cafes all over the world and the menu is pretty universal, each cafe has implemented one change to the menu by adding their own regional meal. This means something special from their area. For example, in Florence, the cafe had a "local legendary" burger. This burger featured their Chiania cow meat (pretty sure that's what it's called). I ended up getting that, and it was surprisingly delicious. I didn't think it tasted any different, other than the fact that it tasted a little richer, in a way.
Once our hunger was soothed, mom and I walked back to the B&B and basically crashed. We were absolutely exhausted, and the "tomorrow" was going to be even more exhausting.