From Amsterdam, we took a plane to Rome, where we had about 24 hrs to cram as many things in as possible. We got to Rome around 5 p.m., so we had just enough time to get some dinner and gelato and then people-watch on the Spanish Steps.
|There was a huge group of loud, inebriated German high schoolers here at the Spanish Steps later that night, which was fun to watch.
|Making an awkward chin support out of my gelato. This was from Venchi near the Spanish Steps—highly recommended.
Our main day in Rome was a little disappointing because the metro wasn’t running north of Termini, meaning our plan to visit St. Peter’s was thwarted. There was some sort of electrical problem, so it messed up the commute for pretty much everybody in the city. The buses were subsequently jam packed, so we decided to just walk around whatever was nearby.
|This picture of Ben gets me every time. This was the terrace where we ate breakfast at our Airbnb.
|I think we liked Palatino Hill more than the Colosseum.
|I asked the guy at the desk if I could take a look inside, but he wasn’t into that.
Ben and I were both really excited for Florence because it’s our favorite city in Italy we’ve both been to before. We got to our Airbnb around 6 p.m. and had requested to have our hosts cook us dinner. Easily one of the best nights of our trip so far. Their home is about a 20-min bus ride from the city center, and they are the most lovely, beautiful couple living in the loveliest, most beautiful Tuscan home.
They had smooth jazz playing in our room when we arrived and had a fresh carafe of water + cookies waiting for us, too. The meal with them + little Bernardo, one of their sons, was probably the most beautiful four-course meal I’ve ever had. I wish I had taken pictures of it, but we had panzanella, pasta, stewed beef and vegetables, salad, and gelato with pine nuts and cookies. Wow wow.
If you haven’t heard of or gotten into Airbnb for your travel accommodations yet, please do. It is so cool to get to know people by seeing the way they live in their home. Anyway, here’s what we did in Florence the next day.
|I tried to get a jump start on blogging on the train ride from Rome to Florence, but I lasted about three minutes before this picture was taken.
|From the train.
|The little outside patio at our Airbnb. Taken from our bedroom window.
|Walking from the bus stop to our Airbnb.
|We got bored waiting in line for the Galleria dell’Accademia, so I started taking actor head shots for Ben. He’s currently looking for a new agent.
|David was way, way bigger than I remembered.
|Next was the Duomo. I forgot how awesome (literally) this cathedral is.
|We climbed 414 steps to get to the top of that bell tower, and then later, to get our money’s worth, climbed 464 steps to the top of the Cupola. The views were well worth it, though.
|More waiting-in-line headshots.
|Totally worth the hike.
|Proof that the previous photo wasn’t taken off of Google images.
|Scary painting on the inside of the Cupola.
|Pano from the top of the Cupola.
|The descent from the Cupola.
|We saw lots of sleeping-sidewalk-dogs.
|And amazing street art.
|We went to Gustapizza for dinner per the recommendation of both our hosts and a friend. Yummiest pizza and so cheap!
I’m not even sure why I’m giving this a heading because we only had three hours here. Our train from Florence to Zurich had a layover in Milan, so we had just enough time to stop at the Duomo and buy some groceries before we got to the land of expensive (Switzerland).
|In case you were wondering how we’ve been traveling, those are all of our belongings in those two little backpacks. It’s been so nice to not have to check any luggage this whole trip.