We woke up around 7am, and got up when we were good and ready. We showered quickly and got dressed. We had to spend a little time unpacking and reorganizing all our clothes. We planned to wash laundry in Cinque Terre, but it didn’t work out, so we updated the plan to Florence. We packed all our dirty-needs-washing clothes (which isn’t all our clothes) into a bag to bring to the laundromat. Then we headed into the cucina where Eugenio had laid out a fantastic breakfast spread for us and the other guests (who we haven’t seen yet). We broke our fast on croissants, yogurt with cereal, coffee, tea, and lemon and apple pies. It was all tasty! We washed our dishes and set out to explore the farm on foot. We had about 20 minutes to wander the fields and leave our prints in the morning dew. Afterward, we hopped into Eugenio’s car, and he drove us into Florence proper. We chatted with him about the family farm on the way in, and all sorts of things about life in Italy. We thanked him profusely when we reached our destination, and hopped out.
Next we set a loose goal of finding a laundromat, while we wandered aimlessly about the city. It actually didn’t take very long to find, which surprised us. We tried to do laundry, but neither of us has used a public washing machine in years, and it was all foreign. Literally. There was a man mopping the floors there, and he helped us out, even though he couldn’t really speak English. We were so grateful. He probably thinks we are just dumb Americans, but he got a good laugh, so it’s worth it. We got the wash cycle running, which said it would take a half hour, so we wandered around some more, but stuck fairly close by. We awed at the fantastic old architecture of the city, and did the typical tourist walk; looking up, not paying attention, taking pictures of everything, taking pictures in front of everything. You know.
We circled back around to the laundry a few minutes before our cycle was completed. Then, we moved everything over to the dryer. The only available one. Mandy went to pay to run the machine, and that’s when we realized that that was the only broken machine. So we had to wait 21 minutes for the first dryer to finish. We took another short walk, and circled back again, just in time for no one to come and remove their laundry. So frustrating. We waited “patiently”. Eventually someone emptied a dryer out, and we threw our stuff in to dry. We were hungry, so we took a seat on the sidewalk immediately outside, with line of sight to our dryer, and we ordered lunch at Gallery. Before the food came, Mandy folded the laundry from the dryer. I got spaghetti carbonara which was great. I got vegetarian risotto which was delicious. We shared a bottle of white wine. Of course, we also shard a tiramisu, which was outstanding as well. After we paid up, we walked some more.
We eventually wound our way to Il Duomo di Firenzi. We were stunned. What do you even say about it? The scale and detail of this structure blew our minds. There’s just so much effort clearly involved in its design and construction. It’s amazing. We wandered around it in awe for a while. We opted not to stand in the massive line to get inside. Then we wondered if maybe we’re crappy tourists? We were feeling a bit claustrophobic in the area immediately surrounding the cathedral. There were so many tourists. So many shops selling touristy items. We felt an urge to get away from there, so we walked south. We approached and crossed the Arno river, and started hiking uphill. At the top, the path opened onto the Piazzale Michelangelo. We were afforded amazing views of the whole of Florence, with the Duomo quite prominent. To see how far and how dense the city is was mind blowing. We wandered around the piazza to take in views from each direction before heading back downhill.
We were hungry again. Okay, I was hungry again. But it wasn’t yet a food emergency, so we had time to be picky. We walked a while, trying to get away from people, to find somewhere quiet. Relatively quiet. We were a little excited when we finally found a quiet street, and figured maybe the next intersection might have a restaurant. Suddenly, a giant plaza opened up in front of us, and there was the Palazzo Pitti. And a whole boatload of people. Crap. We were getting sick of hauling our laundry around, so we finally gave up and picked a place that had no one in it. Unfortunately, they didn’t accept a card, so we got back onto the street, and popped into the next place we found, which was Café Bellini. I ordered tagliatelli Bolognese, and it was okay. I ordered tagliatelli with truffles. We got a couple glasses of wine, a white and a rosé. After the meal, I got an espresso, which was pretty good.
After dinner, we started making our way towards the bus station. Our feet were sore and our bodies tired from all the walking. It was relatively early, and again we wondered if we’re crappy tourists. We hopped on a 23A, and rode it to the end. At Sorgane, we got out and began looking for a taxi. We watched a couple drive by as we waved to them. We were unable to find any signs indicating a taxi stand, a number to call; really anything taxi-related at all. Mandy had the brilliant idea to look for signs for a hotel, to see if reception could give us a number to call or perhaps even call one for us. We followed signs to Together Florence Inn for a few blocks, and wandered into the lobby. The receptionist called a taxi, no questions asked, and it arrived shortly thereafter. We gave our address and made the ride home, enjoying the sunset over the beautiful Tuscan landscape out the windows. We relaxed a while in our room and then went to sleep.
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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.