As I mention in my previous post, my boyfriend Zach was able to come visit me and spend a week in Florence! He arrived Monday night, but Kathleen and I did not make it back from Santorini until Tuesday morning. His first night he basically just settled into his hotel and got some rest since he had spent nearly 24 hours traveling. When we arrived at 8 AM, it was time to explore! Zach and I walked around the Florence city center and shopped in the Duomo area. We even checked out the Gucci Garden museum, which we both really enjoyed.
For lunch we had my favorite restaurant – Trattoria Zaza’s! I got the classic truffle ravioli and Zach got truffle chicken. It was so delicious that soon after we left Zach insisted that we must go back again before he leaves.
Of course, I had class in the afternoon, so Zach took a nap. For dinner we went to La Buchetta with Kathleen. Another AMAZING restaurant!! Apparently, the cast of the DaVinci Code movie shot in Florence ate there nearly every night of shooting! We really enjoyed the gnocchi, which is what they are famous for. That night, we did a bit more exploring by the river.
The following morning, we took the train to Pisa. It was kind of a quick trip, since we didn’t go inside the tower or the church, but it was fun for Zach to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa! We grabbed a quick lunch and then headed back to Florence.
That night we met up with a bunch of friends I have met in Florence at one of our favorite dinner spots, Dante’s. Not only is the food there delicious and well priced, the wine is FREE for International Students! I’m not sure how the restaurant affords to do that, but we always have a great time there! I usually get the lasagna and I really think it is the best I have ever had. After Dante’s we walked to Space, which is a Disco Club! It is so much fun to dance there, the decor is super cool, and it’s very different than anything we have at home. I loved showing Zach some of our favorite spots to go out.
The next morning, we walked off the free wine by trekking up to the top of Piazza Della Michelangelo. It was neat to see the view during the day because you can look down on the entire city. Even though it is exhausting, the steps up to this view are always worth it.
After my class, we took the train to Rome! The train was slightly delayed, so we didn’t arrive in Rome until about 10 PM. BUT since people eat so late in Italy, we were still able to have a delicious dinner. I got truffle pasta again. I have no idea how I am not sick of truffle yet! Then we went to the Trevi Fountain, which was beautiful to see at night! Rome is SO crowded this time of year, so it was difficult to get very close to the water, but of course we still had to throw a coin over our shoulders and make a wish.
The following day in Rome started early. We had a guided tour of the entire Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. It was amazing and we loved our tour guide, but by the end of it we were so exhausted. We took a long lunch before doing some shopping and seeing the Pantheon.
Our original train didn’t leave Rome until 8 PM and arrived in Florence around 9PM, and at 5PM we were so exhausted from the day we decided to buy an earlier ticket back to Florence. We bought a ticket that was surprisingly cheap, and hopped on a 6PM train. However, we soon realized why the train ticket was so cheap… it stopped in every single city in between Rome and Florence. We still didn’t arrive in Florence until 9 PM! It was okay though, when we weren’t sleeping, we enjoyed looking out at the Tuscan countryside.
The next day was Zach’s last day in Florence. We were originally going to Assisi that day, but having spent 3 hours on the train the night before, we decided to stay in Florence. We went to the leather market to buy leather goods as souvenirs for family, and to see what it was like, because it is super neat all set up. Then, of course, we had to get Zaza’s one last time. Zach got the truffle ravioli this time and savored every bite! After a full day of walking around Florence, we ended the night with my favorite sushi place. It is called Koko. It’s very nice, but not too expensive. We also spent my mom’s last night here, so it was becoming a tradition!
Last but not least, we hung out on Zach’s hotel’s roof, which had the most beautiful view of Florence. It was so much fun to have Zach here for a week!