Whirlwind trip through Europe Part 1 - Italy!

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February 13th 2013
Published: February 13th 2013EDIT THIS ENTRY

Hi All,

So I am sitting here writing this after having come home early from work. It appears I lost my voice on Friday last week and still can't find it (good dad joke, I know). I am fine otherwise so both my doctor and myself are a little bit stumped. It is possible I have contracted a virus after running myself into the ground attempting to cover 6 cities, over 5 countries in just 10 days. Crazy yes but also oh so much fun!

It began on the 24th of January when my friend, Jaclyn, from Melbourne arrived in London at 7am. I refused to let her become jetlagged so I forced her to stay awake and stay busy. The next day we were up and ready to tackle the cities, starting with Florence. Our plane arrived in Pisa at approx. 7pm in the evening and we took a one hour bus ride from Pisa airport into Florence city centre. We then proceeded to walk to our hostel. The directions said it was 5mins from the main station, it was definitely closer to 20mins when you are lost and dragging bags along with you. Anyway, we arrived at our hostel (Plus Florence) at about 9pm and were desperate for food and a welcome drink. We went out in search of food and found nothing, back at the hostel two Canadian lads overheard us and said we could join them for dinner. Turns out they meant lets get Maccas and go and drink the $2 bottle of wine we just bought. So there we were, our first night in Florence drinking red wine out of a McDonalds cup and eating McChickens in the middle of Piazza Santa Maria Novella at 10pm on a Friday night. Classy. It turned out our hostel was the place to be and so we rang on Australia Day in the bar downstairs to our hostel with Canadians, Italians, French and Argentinians.

The next day we slept in, oops. By the time we had wandered aimlessly through the streets of Florence and had been through the same stretch of market stalls 4 times we decided to try and catch the free walking tour. Turns out, they don't do them at 2pm every day as we'd been told and had to try and find our own way through the streets yet again. The only way
to truly see a city is to get lost in it. So that is what we did. At 5 we made our way to Piazzale Michelangelo, a famous square with a truly magnificant panoramic view of Florence. We'd had a beautifully sunny day which created the setting for a beautiful sunset. I have attached the panorama photo I took, it turned out amazing.

On the 27th it was time for us to leave Florence and head to Rome, however we could not go without first taking a trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I think we approached the tower at the wrong angle as it appeared to be quite straight. It also was not as big as I imagined and so I was quite disappointed with the first sight. After walking around we had a much better view and attempted to take a few typically touristy photos. My favourite is Jaclyn blowing the whole thing over.

We arrived in Rome in the late afternoon on the Sunday and checked in at Mosaic Hostel. I would recommend this hostel to anyone staying in Rome. It is about a 5minute (yes actually 5mins) walk to the main train/bus station in Rome and has great links to everything. The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly and the rooms were amazingly clean as well as very modern. In the morning we had an all you can eat breakfast that mainly consisted of cakes. Our one full day in Rome was the most exhausting of the trip. We were up at 8 to make sure we saw everything we possibly could. Of course it decided to bucket down the whole day but that didn't stop us. We went straight to the colosseum. It was spectacular. There are no other words to describe it. We continued to walk from there through to the city centre. We stopped for lunch around the Panthenon and had the best carbonara I have ever had in my life. We continued on to the Trevi fountain and Spanish steps before getting on the Metro to head to the Vatican city. My word the museum is incredible. The sistene chapel, decorated by Michelangelo, is amazing. As you look up to the roof the figures almost appear in 3D to jump out at you. I could have spent hours looking at all the paintings that cover the entire inside of

Panoramic view from Piazzale Michelangelo
the chapel but unfortunately there was more to see! Following the museum we made our way to the St Peter's square. There were still christmas decorations left up. It would have surely beat out carols by candelight on Christmas Eve. Following the Vatican city we made our way back to the hostel where after dinner we crashed absolutely exhausted.

The story continues in Part 2...

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