Sunset in Florence…actually looked like this

Left the comfort of my hostel and went across the street back to Munich HBF. I decided to skip a few cities and just head straight for Florence. My initial plan was to stop in the middle at Innsbruck but the place doesn’t really cater for a backpacking budget. Two trains and about 9 hours later I arrived in Florence (thats in Italy for anyone thats a little daft). Walked out of the train station and its just chaos. First foray into Italian traffic did not disappoint. Need to cross the road? Just start walking and hope the cars stop for you.

Found my hostel quite easily, straight walk up one street from the station for about a kilometre. The hostel, Plus Florence, is pretty sweet, and is the top hostel in Florence. It’s constantly booked out, so being a couple of weeks ahead of myself sometimes pays off. The rooms are all quite new, have bunk beds like usual and ensuite bathrooms. There is all you can eat breakfast for 5 euro and they also do dinner with a lot of pizzas and pastas among other things. I had spaghetti arabiatta and bruschetta a few times. The bruschetta was phenomenal (no surprise really), I could drink the olive oil. They also have an indoor pool so that was wicked to finally be able to have a swim.

First day was spent walking around the city and getting to know the place. The weather wasn’t looking too good, with a massive storm on the horizon but I went out anyway. Walking towards the city centre the roads go through the middle of the markets. If you ever wanted to buy anything leather, then come to Florence. Never seen so many jackets and handbags in my life. First stop was the main cathedral, or ‘Duomo’, of the city, apparently the 4th largest in the world. Quite an interesting cathedral because outside its stunning and very decorative, and inside its plain and boring. Walked back outside and got in line to go to the top of the dome. Now I have no idea what was going on on this particular day, but whatever I did it didn’t cost me anything and I got to walk around the whole outside of the top of the cathedral. The views were great, could see over the entire city, terracotta roof after terracotta roof. However whilst walking around the rain started to come down, and just got worse and worse. Had to run down and stand under some shelter.

In a slight break of the rain I walked back to the markets and went in to the hall where they sell all the food stuff. In very retarded broken Italian i went to one of the stalls and ordered a roll with freshly sliced prosciutto, cheese and sundried tomato. This thing was AWESOME and cheap. Everything was so fresh, and the oil that the tomatoes were in added to it all. The rain wasn’t going to stop it seemed so I munched down the epic roll and just quickly walked back to the hostel. As soon as I got there the rain stopped. Son of a bitch. Just chilled out for a bit, trying to dry out.

Being in Florence you obviously have to spend the money and time in line to go and see Michelangelo’s David. Once I was dried out I walked to the Academia Gallery where the original sculpture is and got in line. It was a pretty massive line, but ive been in far worse and I really didn’t have much else planned. Was in the line for about an hour and a half, so not that bad at all. Now I really had no idea about this sculpture, I just know its of a naked dude called David (wicked name). I honestly thought it was just a human size statue, or maybe slightly larger. But as I rounded the corner to where it was I was quite stunned. The thing is massive, about five and a half meters tall. The annoying part of the whole thing though is that you aren’t allowed to take photos, and they are very very strict on this. There are people walking around constantly just watching everyone. I, however, am an absolute maverick of the highest order and im not flying around the world, waiting in line, paying 10 euros, to not be able to take a photo of a statue just so Italy can make more money from postcard sales. So I just bided my time, floating around looking interested at the thing whilst watching the security at the same time. Two people decided to take a photo not realising they aren’t allowed and the security went off to get angry at them, at which point I took my own photo without anyone left to tell me off for it. Yeah buddy. After that I walked out rather happy and just headed back to the hostel.

Rest of the days were spent doing day trips out to Pisa and another one doing a tour of the Chianti wine region and then just walking around the city in other spare time. Its a really beautiful city, with just enough of the typical cliche hustle and bustle of an Italian city but not so much that it turns you off the place. If you’re not careful though you will definitely still be run over by a scooter. The city is gelato central too, with basically every single food shop selling it, with every flavour imaginable. And yes, it tastes really really good. Im also not gonna lie, there are a lot of good looking things on two legs.