We landed in Genoa, rented a cute small Italian car and pinned it down the highway to Florence. Driving on the other side of the road (and car) was alright, but driving in Florence was very stressful even for me the passenger. The streets were filled with tourists walking which made us question Google maps…is this even a street? Is it one way, and if so, which way? A million gray hairs later we got to our air bnb and went straight out for dinner and gelato. Best gelato I have had I might add! Please do yourself a favour and order the flavour Cremino… it’s basically vanilla ice cream with a thick layer of Nutella on the top.
We stayed right in the centre of the old town. There was a bell nearby that donged the hour, every hour, so you can tell the time in dongs. This stops at 11pm (we think) and the streets become quite and then begins at 6am accompanied by the street noise starting up for the day.
In the morning we went straight to what’s known as the best panini shop Florence. The sandwich was huge and totally not what I expected… way better than how we do paninis in the western world. We ate as we strolled down the street to the coffee shop. At the coffee shop you line up to order then you sit down and enjoy your purchase then line up again to pay… can’t say I was into that.
We then wandered the streets looking at all the old stuff. There is a great street art scene in Florence with several distinctive artists that had pieces all over town. There was one that defaced all the street signs with stickers to make them funny… that was my favourite. Most of the signs were defaced with this artist’s stickers. It made walking around the streets even more interesting.
For lunch we went to a covered market called Mercato Centrale which was very cool…all the food looked and smelt so good! But we had to choose just one so we got gnocchi and it blew our minds. Then we met up with a friend, who is now a Florence local, and she took us up a hill to look out over the city. What a stunning view. Then we wondered through the streets, stopped at a coffee shop and enjoyed our company. In the evening we had Apertivo at a really cute little bar. This time of the day is really cool! You can pretty much go to any bar and buy drink and there is free snacks available to enjoy with your drink. We moved on to dinner at a fancy restaurant and ate some traditional foods. Chris’ favourite was the dessert which was a sweet wine with a heap of biscotti to dip in it.
The final morning we skipped breakfast and went straight to the Train station to get to Cinque Terre… we were very hungry on the train.