Having been in Hamburg for a month now, I finally went on my first big trip outside of Germany. As most of you already know, I spent my weekend in Florence, Italy!
It all started when I was browsing Skyscanner for cheap flights (really great for discount airlines as you can search from a specific city to anywhere in Europe!). I ended up finding a cheap flight between Hamburg-Lubeck and Pisa, so I booked my flight and began planning my trip. Now I know what you're thinking - "Pisa? But you said you spent the weekend in Florence!". Upon landing in Pisa, I took a bus directly to Florence where I met up with my couchsurfing host. Couchsurfing is amazing because you get to meet real locals who love to show off their town... and you get to crash on their couch! My host for the weekend was Elena and her family, who were all amazing and truly welcoming.
The first night I arrived, Elena picked me up from Santa Maria Novella, the main train station in Florence. Her boyfriend drove and dropped us off at Elena's place, where after taking some time to settle in, we had dinner with her family. Though there was a slight language barrier between her family and I, they were all very friendly and made me feel right at home. Her mother offer me some liquor that was brewed at a monastery not too far from Firenze.
After having a delicious meal with her family (homemade Italian pasta!) we picked up her boyfriend and they showed me Firenze from above. We also proceeded to walk around, and even saw a bit of the city center (where all the main tourist attractions are). I had told Elena earlier that evening that one of my must-sees was Il Porcellino, so I was really happy when we got to see him!
Looking down at the city center (Palazzo Vecchio on the left and Il Duomo on the right)
A really nice church
It is rumoured that if you put money in his mouth and rub his snout, you will someday return to Firenze
Rumour has it that while Michaelangelo was imprisoned, he made a self portrait of himself as seen on this brick on the outside of a church
Fountain featuring the God of Wine
Following the river to the city center
If you look closely, there are people standing on the concrete next to the water! In the summer, the water levels are lower (the 'falls' aren't there) and you can actually cross the river! It is also a popular sunbathing spot
Il Porcellino during the day (and the market behind him)
Gold doors of Florence Baptistry
Tortellini and sparkling water
Tiramisu and pistaschio gelato
Statue of Dante
Basilica of Santa Croce
Basilica of Santa Croce - courtyard
Pinocchio riding a bike!
On my third and final day in Firenze, Elena and I went on a walk, also to the city center because not much else was open on Sundays. Later that day, she drove me to Fiesole which is just outside of Florence. It looks down on Firenze and was absolutely breathtaking. We ended the day with a coffee and snack before heading home for dinner.
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella - with rose garden in front
Beautifully adorned doors
White chocolate pistachio and biscuit flavoured gelato
On the way to Fiesole
Huge trek uphill
...and there's more
Monastery at the top
Monastery at the top
Coffee and pistachio cream puff at Il Barco (both miniature and delicious!)
Thanks to Elisa (Elena's friend) for the treat!
I arrived at Pisa airport around 5am for my 6:50am flight, which was not enough time for me to find the Leaning Tower of Pisa (without taking a taxi) so I ended up walking around and taking pictures in/around the airport.
Bought a cappuccino from a machine!
All in all, it was a great trip to Italy! I can't even begin to describe how incredible everything was: the architecture, the art, the atmosphere! I have no doubts that I will be back one day.
That's it on my weekend in Firenze. Until next time! Ciao for now :)
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