Florence is lovely. We arrived late in the afternoon, or more early in the evening so basically dropped our bags and head out to get dinner, via the bottle shop.," bought the cheapest and strongest mixed drink in the store - not before asking if we could drink it on the streets. We wandered and found a restaurant where a waiter had 'Chuck Norris' on his name tag, so our choice was made. After telling them we weren't sisters, we told them we actually were, and then that we were cousins. Later when we asked how to say 'friendship' in Italian, they also told us how to say 'cousins'.
We certainly overdosed on ham and cheese. We shared a pizza with ham and cheese, and also this 'fried pasta' with ham and cheese. It wasn't actually fried pasta at all, more like fried bread?At the very least, it was quality and proper ham and cheese like what you see at deli's, not like the plastic slices from a supermarket. We shared a bottle of white wine and dominated the meal. We spent the night at the hostel hanging out with people we shared the room with, an eccentric Canadian girl who was from a similar area to Elissa and a brother and sister from California. Florence is also loaded with Americans. I've found that a lot of students from America head to Florence to study abroad.
The next day, Elissa and I wandered the city and saw all the major sites from the outside. Florence is a lovely city to explore in this way. There are so many piazzas (like plazas/squares) to stumble upon. We checked out piazza del duomo, the Uffizi gallery area, piazza del signoria and ponte vecchio. The area around the Piazza del Duomo is amazing to say the least. Everywhere you look is a photo opportunity, but I suppose I could say that about Florence as a whole. Outside the Uffizi Gallery, there is a public display of these amazing sculptures, including a copy of Michelangelo's David. I am fascinated by sculptures more so than I am by art so I liked it a lot. Ponte Vecchio is this beautiful old bridge that was built in the 14th century, and now is lined with jewelers.
In the afternoon, we found the Jersey Shore house that they lived in during their one season in Florence and also the pizza place that they worked at. We went in, considering to maybe get a pizza, but when the chick realized we were mostly just being gawky tourists taking a look she was pretty pissed off and kicked us out. And stood out the front until we walked away. I don't know why they're so aggressive about it, what did they expect letting MTV film there and having the Jersey Shore cast work there ?? So we just took a couple of photos from a safe distance away! We also got some gelato from "Grom", one of the places recommended in the lonely planet book in the top five. Naturally, it was pretty good, as has all the other gelato we have tried though. We also stumbled upon a free exhibition on ancient football just outside our hostel, so we took advantage of that and had a look around. I took some photos to make Ben jealous, not that I can imagine he would be jealous of a museum visit really.
That night we head out with the siblings from our hostel. We had looked up where the Jersey Shore cast partied, but decided we weren't too keen on a club so found good reviews of a popular bar down the road. On the way, a couple of locals told us it had actually closed and that we weren't going to get into a club in what we were wearing (they dress soooo well, really classy), so we decided to hit up some area with bars that a couple of these American guys we met on the way knew about. We only hit up a couple of different bars, was an alright night. The highlight of the night was probably buying the flashing Minnie mouse ears that were the same as the ones I had bought home from Ibiza and lost at Poema (popular bar/club frequented on Tuesdays in Utrecht). We paid 3 euros each for some these.. That I now have to carry around with me until October! We have decided that they are our 'vibe ears' which we can wear when we pre-drink, or need a vibe. I love them so much !
While the hostel itself is pretty standard, there's a much better vibe here than there was at 'Venice Gold'. I mean, it's a lot dirtier than the hostel from Venice, but we actually have a kitchen and it's much easier to meet people here. The downside is that we don't have fans or air conditioning so we have to sleep with the windows wide open that overlooks the street, so it's noisy and sunny early in the morning. When the sun comes in, some of the beds are directly in the sunlight. The sun only really reaches the foot of my bed so I just have to curl up to avoid it. If it wasn't so freaking hot and you mysteriously didn't wake up from that somehow, you could legitimately get sunburnt lying there.
I'm yet to have a pasta that amazes me as uniquely italian pasta, but I will continue my search! It's all been pretty good, but nothing spectacular as I envisioned. When I can find something that makes me as happy as the pasta from Rococo's, I'll know I've found the right stuff. I'm not too big on pizza, but I'm looking forward to getting some in Naples (towards the south of Italy), which is known for and I think also the birthplace of pizza. The gelato is everywhere, and huge and epic. Elissa and I spend a lot more time looking at and admiring gelateries than eating it.