Sunday, June 05, 2011

Firenze 1: Firenze = Florence

We woke up, and I had a caprese salad for breakfast. I learned that I could eat a caprese salad pretty much any time, any place. The hotel's breakfast buffet had these amazing, huge, fresh hunks of mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and bright red, juicy tomatoes. Then we cabbed it to the train station. I don't know if any of you have taken a train lately, but it's a little nerve racking for anyone that likes to plan ahead and be everywhere early like my dad. You have to stand and wait for them to post what track the train is going to be on which usually happens around 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. My dad kept pacing back and forth and checking multiple boards just to make sure it wasn't posted in one place and not another.

So the track was posted, and we rushed over and basically had no clue what was going on: how to get our ticket validated, where our seats are, etc. Next thing we know some random Italian guy is grabbing our suitcases, looking at our tickets, and helping to load us on the train. Seemed pretty nice...until he demanded 15 Euro from us, which we didn't give him. Train ride was uneventful. They gave us drinks and cookies. We get to our hotel in Florence, The Hotel Savoy, and no naked torso sculptures, but instead, this:
How can I not love a hotel that is decorated with shoes? I'll overlook the no pool issue that it has. ALSO, across the street there is a Gelato Festival! Are you kidding me? I get Mango Gelato to break out of my vanilla slump. Delish!
We then just decide to wonder around Florence and see what we can see. We first go by the Duomo (which is a Cathedral). I think that it is possibly the ugliest church I have ever seen. (Pictured at the heading of this post). It's all green and red and icky. There was a huge line, so we didn't wait. We went to the Santa Croce Church instead. More art but also some tombs of important people like Galileo, Michelangelo and Dante, so that was interesting. I made my mom complete a survey for some psych grad students. I basically wouldn't let her leave until she finished it.

Then we went to do some shopping...window shopping at the Ponte Vecchio, The Leather Market and a place that I just referred to as the Piggy Market. The Piggy Market had a bunch of individual stalls mostly selling leather items (that's kinda Florence's thing) and had this statue.
You're supposed to rub the pig's nose for good luck or a return to Florence or whatever. Did it. For dinner, I seriously needed some protein. The carbo load needed to stop. I had Veal Parmigiana...don't get all "poor little vealies" on was yummy. When we got back to the hotel, we discover are room isn't turned out and my bed (the sofa bed) isn't made up yet. We call housekeeping and this maid rushes around a light speed to "turn down" the room. My dad telling her "take your time. it's fine." which seemed to only make her go faster. She laid out this little tray that had slippers and laundry info and A PILLOW MENU on it. There were 8 different types of pillows that you could choose from and order. I didn't though. I just kept the ones I had.

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