It’s our second day in Florence so far and have already seen so much! I’ve got to say that our hotel here is SO much better than it was in Rome — tiny with uncomfortable beds. Tamika and I have a pretty large room on the top floor with a balcony! (I love balconies.) It’s only 5 floors up, but the view is still pretty and relaxing. Our beds are softer here, too.
After our last stop in Rome, we hit the road for a 2 hour bus trip to Florence — but we got an exciting pit stop along the way to Siena! Siena, Italy is a quaint little town in Tuscany, Italy and also another one of the country’s most largely visited places.
Being in Tuscany reminded me of Under the Tuscan sun, one of my mommy’s and my favorite movies. It’s still surreal to be amongst such beauty in real life. Siena is so pretty. The whole city is built on 3 hills around the remarkable Piazza del Campo, where they hold popular horse races twice a year. It’s a medieval city; the building architecture pleasantly read Middle Ages. Being here felt like I time traveled to the 16th century. It’s artsy. It’s memorable. It’s authentic. I took in as much of its beauty as I could in less than two hours — before I knew it, it was time to continue our journey to our next destination …
Upon arrival, I can see that Florence’s architecture looks different from Rome’s. Florence is decorated with more colorful, prettier buildings and more of the narrow, stoned streets. It’s really reminiscent what I imagine vintage Italy would have looked like.
Many of the buildings in central [Florence] are colored as if from a crayon box: dagger red, trumpet yellow, rain-cloud blue.
I have also seen more Gothic style buildings here, such as the cathedrals and the Palazzo Vecchio (old palace) with flying buttresses, arches, gargoyles, etc. Some places are just as crowded, but overall, in the areas outside of the main tourist attractions, the atmosphere is a tad less chaotic and more relaxed than in Rome. Even our tour guide here in Florence seemed less rushed and more laid back, while still being very helpful and extremely knowledgeable about the city. I think I like staying in Florence more than Rome, and I’m glad we have more days here.
The restaurants I’ve been to in both Florence and Rome more or less offer the same type of dishes with a little variety at each place. They each have tons of pizzas, about 5-8 pasta choices, salads, seafood, and meat dishes that typically include ham, steak, or beef. I am very surprised that I have not seen many menus with Caesar salads, chicken parmesan, chicken marsala, or fettucini alfredo. These tend to be my favorite “Italian” dishes back home – but I guess those are more of the Americanized Italian meals! I’m still keeping hope alive that I will be able to find them… I’ve been wanting to taste the authentic versions of these dishes. But — I heard that the chicken here may be pigeon, and that’s reallyyy creeping me out.
The staff at the businesses we’ve visited in both Rome and Florence have been phenomenal. From Brioni to J.K. Place to Anitco Setificio Fiorentino, these luxury brands all keep the customer first and highly value having a niche in what they do. They’re passionate and love to share their business structure, information about their product or service, and are generally very friendly and open, which definitely inspires me to conduct whatever business I decide to go into in the same manner. I am excited to keep learning not only about Florence’s deep history, but life lessons as well and getting advice on being successful and happy in my professional field.