Friday, July 3rd
After the long wait in Rome for the train ticket to Florence, as soon as I stepped off the train in Florence… I was ready to get back in line again. I knew I had to get the connection to Nice sorted out sooner rather than later, especially since I already had my hostel in Nice booked for two nights. Using the Eurail timetable app, I was able to figure out a route that worked, but left from the other train station in Florence. It was also a couple of hours longer than the one leaving from the main station.
The hostel was only half a mile from the train station but the once again blazing heat made it feel much further. The hostel was in an old convent built in the 15th century or something like that. After resting there and attempting to cool off for a while, I decided to walk around the city. There was a large town hall that looked out of place with its dark stone work and a tower that looked like it was plucked from a castle. It was the original location of the David statue too and a replica stood out front. There was also a neat area full of statues located diagonally from the hall. I also found the main church in town right before it closed and toured the main part of it. The outside was more interesting though. I guess I should also mention that to cross over and visit most of the stuff in town, I crossed the famous covered bridge in Florence. It doesn’t really feel like a bridge when you’re on it and there’s buildings on both sides. It just feels like another street that has a few openings where you can look over the water and realize that it really is a bridge.
The famous statue of David is also located in town so I decided to go to its museum. It was much smaller than a lot of museums, but was very high quality. While you could get bored at other museums or wonder why certain pieces of art were deemed museum worthy, it was clear that everything in this museum was top notch. The scale of the David statue was surprising, and something that’s difficult to realize when you’ve only seen photos of it. I was expecting a human-sized statue, not something that was at least twice the size of a very tall person.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I picked a hostel that was next door to a small grocery store. No more hunting! This gave me a chance to stock up for the next day’s long train ride, which mostly meant buying some butter cookies and Schweppes.
Leaving this time, I noticed a wedding in the square a few doors down from the hostel. There were a couple hundred people dressed in white. The guys even had white pants. I guess there was a restaurant there next to the church, because they all seemed to be eating. I was on the south side of the river in Florence and decided to continue on towards the east. There was supposed to be a good overlook point, but by the time I got there it was getting close to dusk and I didn’t want to climb the dark hill. I still had not eaten dinner (my last meal was at the McDonalds next to the train station in Rome), so I decided to finally find someplace to eat dinner. I found a reasonable restaurant with outside seating. I had gnocchi. I didn’t realize it was potatoes at the time, but covered with pasta sauce and cheese, it was very tasty.
Returning to the hostel, the wedding party was still going on, now with more music and dancing. I had a hard time trying to sleep for a while, but the music and noise finally stopped around midnight.