We left Rome today, and really didn't want to go. It was a very quick train ride into Florence, and our hotel was easy to find. The Hotel Sampaoli was clean and nice, and like an actual hotel, not a dirty hostel. We went straight to the Boboli Gardens since it was such a nice day, walking down Via Roma and over Ponte Vecchio to get there. We saw vendors and Piazza San Lorenzo and at Piazza del Repubblica. Ponte Vecchio is the most popular bridge, and we stopped to take some pictures over the Arno River with the Tuscan countryside in the distance. The Boboli Gardens are in back of a large museum that has exhibitions, a costume gallery, and a modern art museum. The gardens were beautiful, but it was quite a hike up the hill to the top! The views out over Florence were incredible...the yellow of the buildings and terra cotta of the roofs, and then the green of the hills and purple and blues of the sky in the distance was too perfect for words. We walked down the "Avenue of the Trees" and took pictures at the fountain, and then walked all the way back up, stopping to go through some paths in the woods on the way. The gardens are massive, and I didn't realize they are like being in a forest. You need hiking shoes to get through all of it. We climbed back up to the top, and then went to the other side for more views. Afterwards, we went to the nearby Piazza San Spirito, where there was a small food market going on, and we got to eat some free samples. Then, we stopped at Cabiria coffeeshop for some caffeine...we were both quite tired at this point. On the way back we stopped at a leather market. Florence is a big leather center...it is sold everywhere and made in the city, including at the prestigous Leather School of Florence. We went back to change and then went out to dinner at a nearby cafe. We walked down around the Duomo area and went to JJ Cathedral Pub, where we wrote on the wall (you're supposed to!) and some Italian boys tried to talk to us. They didn't speak much English, though. Then we moved on to the Old Stove, another pub. Some students were out, but it was mostly older people. It had started to rain, and then we went back to go to bed.