Welcome to Erin N Ella's Travel Blog!!

All you need to know about Eurotrips;
From budgeting tips to accommodation to food choices and places to go out (and a few other stories...)

Sit back, hold tight, (get a cuppa tea) and enjoy the linguistic ride :D

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Firenze - my oh my David, put it away!

Travellers to the MAX
(For a quick summary, scroll to the final paragraph) 
On they marched, the five girls, nearer and nearer to their next destination. What a shame that they missed their train..... On arrival to Venice central station (an hour early) to depart for Florence, we were extremely annoyed to find out that our train had been delayed for a further 20 minutes. To try and pass the time we sat just at the entrance of the station, trying to soak up some sun and forget about the hunger cramps (prices were steep at the station and if you have learned anything about us - we were ON A BUDGET). 10 minutes before the end of the scheduled delay we entered the station to find out that our train had JUST gone without us - earlier than it was supposed to have left. If you thought we were annoyed before, boy were we angry now. An aggravating hour of heated arguments, long-winded explanations and fruitless demands with the train company followed: we were forced to surrender. The moral of the story is this: Italy is Italy. Expect a certain lack of courtesy and information. Oh, and if there is a 'scheduled' delay, be sure to stay by your train, juuuust in case it decided to leave without you :)

Successful Laundry-ing
That aside, we were excited to arrive in Florence after a grueling travel day. We quickly found out that we were staying in the most AWESOME hostel --> Plus Florence! A chain of hostels which apart from providing a clean and comfortable place to rest your head (as well as 2 bars, a restaurant, washing service, pool and sauna) are brilliant for meeting other travellers and generally some of the nicest and funniest people. SHOUT OUT to Simon and Derek - some of the coolest and friendliest people we met. Simon no doubt made our night by bringing on the groove on our little bar-hop.

What to do in Florence?

A thick and silky cup of chocolate paradise
For a cheap coffee and pastry in the morning, turn right when leaving Plus Florence and walk down towards the several cafes dotted around. On the left hand-side of the road there is a cafe (that we think is called) 'Jolly cafe'- veryyy cheap and great quality Italian coffee and pastries.
If you want to stop for long break and enjoy Florence's famously mouth-watering chocolate cake and hot chocolate selection, as Dora and Ella did, visit Caffe Rivoire - on the Piazza della Republica, close to the Uffitzi.
Much to Simone's disappointment, no one in Florence knew what a pizza florentina is.... strange no!?!?!?

You can get a map from you hostel/hotel and the people at reception will no doubt explain to you where you should go. It is possible to do quite of bit of Florence in one day (as Simone, Erin and Myra discovered), though if you really want to see everything and discover the ins-and-outs of the city, you need a good 3 maybe 4 days.
Sneaky picture :)
Top of the list is definitely the Pitti Palace - an extra-ordinary, beautifully decadent masterpiece whose large exterior doesn't suggest such marvels to be concealed within its walls - an endless amount of rooms filled with a breathtakingly detailed art collection displaying Florence's royal history. At the ticket-booth you can buy a pass either for the gardens or the museum (or both). We bought the museum ticket which was undoubtedly the right choice. If you are unsure, we suggest you visit the museum first and then see whether you would also like to visit the gardens. For both you need at least half a day, and for the museum - a good 2 or 3 hours. While we are sure the gardens are marvellous, one could partly see them from the windows of the palace museum - as well as picturesque view of Florence, so we felt our money was well spent on the museum ticket.
Second comes the Academia - and if you don't know much about art history, one the only things you will find interesting (after long, hot hours spent in the queue, literally) is of course Michelangelo's David. There are countless other sculptures and paintings, all of which are also very beautiful, though they pale in significance next to David. Go early to try and at least avoid some of the queue, otherwise you will find yourself waiting for about 2 hours in the baking heat. At the Academia they don't accept a student card as a discount, but they do accept EU passport holders - so in total entry for Europeans should cost €5.50.
Another chart-topper is The Duomo, Florence's Cathedral. Make sure you are dressed modestly to enter (knees and shoulders covered). Also, the Medici chapels, Uffizi gallery, Ponte vecchio, Piazza dela republica and Piazza dela signoria. 

Yes, there is a nightlife in Florence - to our surprise.  Far from being the Barcelona or Berlin of Europe, though enough to attract the cast of Jersey Shore ;) which is saying something! Although we didn't go there, the club Flo is supposed to be a high-end venue for party-goers looking to go wild and partayyy alllll nighhhtttt loooongggg.
Otherwise, you can also have a bit more of a chilled night in, or perhaps mingle with others on a hostel-organised pub crawl.
For more about nightlife either ask at your hostel/hotel or simply google search! Here comes another warning from Simone - BEWARE OF THE SLEAZE : girl to guy ratio is 1:10.


- Florence is a great place to explore world renowned culture, art and good food
- For accommodation - Plus Florence is highly recommended, and in general hostels are great for meeting other travellers
- For food - there are countless restaurants, cafes and ice-cream shops - you will no doubt find what suits you (you can also ask around at the place in which you are staying)
- Nightlife here is quite good, though you shouldn't feel bad if you take Florence as one of your places during a long trip to stay in and relax in the evenings

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, sounds awesome - I wanna visit Florence now! Very well written :)