Eating my way through Florence (Day 2)

Travels

I made it to Portugal!!!! As mentioned in my post yesterday my trip took quite a different turn than expected. I left my apartment at 4 am yesterday to catch a flight to Brussels where I had a layover connecting me to Faro. Sadly the plane left Copenhagen an hour late, causing me to miss my flight. I was so tired that I had instantly fallen a sleep when sitting down on the plane, so I had no idea that I was going to miss my flight until 20 minutes before landing in Brussels. At the Brussels airport I got in the crazy long service desk line. While waiting in line I tried calling Brussels Airlines to see if they could help me so I could avoid the long line. I got a hold of a women who spoke poorly English and couldn’t understand that I had made it to Brussels and wasn’t trying to get a flight from Copenhagen. After 10 minutes of trying to communicate I gave up and hung up. An hour and a half later it all got sorted out and I ended up with two new boarding passes; Brussels-Munich and Munich-Faro. So to make the story of a long day really short I arrived at my Surf Camp in Portugal at 2 am, making my usual 5-6 hour trip to Portugal a total of 22 hours. Basically I could’ve been in Australia by now. True travel drama!

However, I didn’t miss a day of surfing and I got to listen to a million really great podcasts, so my day wasn’t bad at all. I was just really tired.

ANYHOW, what I wanted to talk about was the continuation of my last post.

Florence day 2 (Friday): On my second day in beautiful Florence I woke up from my alarm ringing. I opened my eyes extremely confused because of how dark it was for 9 am. Dark meaning 100% pitch black. I checked my phone to see the time, yup, it was 9 am. “Is it really this dark in the morning in Italy!?” I thought to myself. Still not believing it I checked my watch; 9 am. At this point I was so confused with the situation that I ended up texting Paige asking her if it was really the morning – She confirmed, and I came to realize that I was simply just staying in an apartment with the BEST shutters of all time. I’ve never slept in such darkness before and it was incredible. Even though I could’ve slept another 12 hours in that room I got dressed and ready for another day of Italian charm and excessive eating.

First stop of the day was breakfast on top of the department store; one of the things I had googled my way to. I arrived 10 minutes before Paige and sat there enjoying the view of the crazily incredible Dome. When Paige arrived I ordered a cappuccino, a croissant and greek yogurt with strawberries. True bliss. That was probably the greatest place I have ever enjoyed a cup of coffee. It was well worth how overpriced it was.


Paige had class for a few hours, so after walking her to class I was left by myself to explore.

I didn’t have anything planned other than walking around and stumbling upon sights along the way. The first thing I saw was another beautiful church. After looking at it for a while and laughing at the Asian tourist taking selfies with their iPads I decided it was time for my first Italian gelato. Take note that it had been a full hour since breakfast!!


I took the gelato eating so seriously that I didn’t want to just chose a random spot, so I decided to sacrifice the money on the usage of data and put my trust in Yelp for getting me the best gelato of my life. Yelp did not disappoint! I have never ever in my life had ice cream like that. Seriously. Tasting their caramel ice cream for the first time is a moment that I could truly explode into all positive verbs there ever was, but I won’t. I’ll just leave you with; go get it.

To be fair I had three scoops whereof the other two were just really good, not life changing like the caramel.


After the “out of this world” gelato experience I had to find my way back to earth, so I had another cappuccino at a random cafe I spotted on the other side of the river from where the old town is. I’m sure you by now are getting an idea of how much eating/drinking went on on this trip.

Happy off of both gelato and cappuccino the wandering continued. I stumbled upon a garden that looked interesting, so I paid a few euros at the entrance to gain access and walked through the beautiful gates of what I later found out to be the famous Boboli Garden. Oh wow was that a good find! I’ll skip the descriptive writing and let the pictures do the talking on this one.

Wandering the gardens I lost track of time and was all of a sudden in a hurry to go meet Paige after her class had ended. I got to walk across the only original walking bridge there’s left in Florence, the others were destroyed during a war. All along the bridge were jewelers, and only jewelers. I have never seen so much jewelry gathered in one place ever before, it was pretty cool.

For lunch Paige had planned for us to go to Gousta Pizza, a very famous Florence Pizza place that occasionally does heart shaped pizzas. Apparently it wasn’t a good day for me, cause even after charming the waiter I still only got a normal round pizza….. Better luck next time. Regardless of the shape this was the best pizza I’ve ever had. So Gousta managed to steal my heart, even if I didn’t get theirs. Paige and I left our mark there just as most other guests have previously done.


Heading back to Paiges apartment for a well deserved nap we did some window shopping along the way. The cheapest kind of shopping. When we got to the apartment we ended up taking a two hour nap before going to dinner. Food – nap – food. Great pattern.

Paige had made reservations at one of her favorite restaurants, and I ended up being just as impressed as I was with our lunch. We shared a delicious charcuterie and cheese starter and both ordered truffle gnocchi as our main dish. This was only my second time trying gnocchi, but I don’t think it’ll ever taste that good again. My oh my.


We shared a bottle of wine and spent the night having deep conversations about our lives. I shared my live changing gelato experience with Paige, who’s was convinced that she knew a better place than the one I had discovered, so obviously we had to try it out.

We walked a few blocks and got in line for a clearly very popular gelato place. Considering the fact that I had spent 75% of the day eating I only got one small scoop that was enjoyed on the side railing of one of the beautiful bridges. The gelato was good, really good, but it didn’t beat the experience I had had earlier that day. I don’t think any ice cream ever will.

We made our way back to Paiges, watched a movie and off to my Airbnb I went.

Day two over and out.

// Annika

First day in Florence (Day 1)

Travels

A few months ago I announced that I was on my way to Florence to visit my best friend, who had decided to study abroad in gelato central of the world.

I had planned to write all about it after the trip, but life got in the way. At this moment I have just started my next trip, but as it took a different turn than I expected I am now stuck in Brussels airport for a solid 6 hours. So why not take my mind for a venture down the italian memory lane I thought.

I had a layover in Vienna and ended up on a miniature plane. I always hope to avoid planes with propells like this, but there wasnt much to do about it. Capturing this beautiful picture made it worth it.

I booked my ticket January 1st. I knew Florence was in Italy (obviously), why I expected beautiful buildings, lots of historic charm and great food. I also knew that the Jersey Shore crew filmed a season of their show in Florence, and the people there did NOT like it. Bad publicity I guess. Other than that I really didn’t know much about it.

In a situation like that Google is a great companion, so when my best friend asked me what I wanted to see I actually had a few things on my list. I wanted to experience the view of the city, drink coffee on top of a department store with a  great view of the dome, I wanted to see the David statue and go on a day trip to Cinque Terre. Most importantly however, I just wanted really good food. This is how the trip turned out:

Florence day 1 (Thursday): I arrived to the tiny Florence airport at 1 pm and caught a 6€ bus to the grand central station. I purchased a dictionary, yes a real tiny book, not an app, and practiced my Italian all the way on the bus. When I arrived I had learned how to say hello, goodbye, can I have a glass of wine and thank you. Just enough to get me through four days.

I met my friend at the train statition and together we walked to my Airbnb to drop off my stuff. The apartment wherein I had rented a room was owned by a very nice man and located in the cutest little street.

Just outside my Airbnb beautiful sughts awaitened


After five minutes of chit chatting with the host we were off to get food. My best friend took me to one of her favorite places; Nobile Bistro.


It’s a tiny little panini place owned by the cutest Italian couple. Everything is handmade and incredibly delicious. And cheap. A true win, win, win, especially because they also serve drinks.

Aeporol spritz is the drink of the summer in Copenhagen, so having journied to its mother land I felt it was the perfect moment I experienced a first. When the cute lady heard that I had never tasted one before she freaked out and promised me she would make it the best one ever. Now it wasn’t a Hendricks G&T, but it was pretty damn good.

After having our aeperol spritz virginities taken by a darling Italian women we ventured on into the florentine streets with a little more than just a slight buzz.

We walked through one of the many leather markets in town and I bought a beautiful green coin purse as a nice little travel memory to bring home.


I instantly gave up on my bargaining skills and persuaded Paige into helping me get the wallet for as cheap as possible. She got it down from €15 to €10, so I was happy.

We continued our journey to a cool cafe where I had my first ever cappuccino, what a day of firsts huh! It tasted incredible and was the beginning of four days filled with more coffees than even the worst days at the office.


Straight from the cafe we headed for dinner, with a few pit stops in different vintage stores.

We had dinner at a beloved American college student restaurant called Dantes. I kid you not when I say that 70% of the guest were Americans my age. The food and wine was great, and you get unlimited amounts of the house wine that is homegrown in the adorable Italian owners own winery, so I see why it’s a students dream. However I always prefer local gems, so Dantes won’t be the first place I recommend.

After sharing a bottle of wine it only took me seconds to fall a sleep when I got home after a day of so many new impressions.