Italia! Part the Second (and a surprise)
|Are we there yet?|
Florence also has a much more modern vibe than Rome. The cobblestone streets are paved over with asphalt, there is continuous construction / improvement, and there seemed to be much larger thoroughfares for traffic, although not as many taxis since you can walk practically everywhere. The apartment that we stayed in was a five minute walk from the main sights in Florence. We had an appointment at the Accademia Gallery that evening to see the David and man, was he impressive.
|Surprise! With the Ponte Vecchio in the background|
|Bryan hard at work in the kitchen|
|View from the Piazzale Michelangelo - there were quite a lot of stairs|
|The largest steak|
|Pub food and aperol spritzes back in Rome|
Italians take their dogs everywhere, which is really adorable. We saw dogs of all shapes and sizes go into stores and restaurants.
We didn’t rely on public transportation in either city (besides the high-speed train). We got a car service through our airbnb to and from the airport in Rome and took an Uber to the train station in Rome. There are plenty of taxis around as well and walking to each location was easier than dealing with the tram / subway / bus system in Rome.
Before we left, everyone had warned us of pickpockets. While we were there, we didn’t notice any thievery but there were a lot of people selling selfie sticks, water, and harassing you to buy bracelets etc. If you ignore them, they will leave you alone. We never felt unsafe at any point during the entire trip.
There are free public water fountains all over Rome (nasone or fontanella). Do drink out of these or use them to refill your water bottles. The water is deliciously cold and safe. They even have fountains with free sparkling water.
Pack comfortable walking shoes. We did a TON of walking in both Rome and Florence, around 10+ miles per day in Rome and 5+ miles a day in Florence.
Let me know if you’ve ever been to Italy and where you visited. We’d love to go back again someday and do a tour of the Tuscan vineyards and countryside and maybe the northern lake region as well. Ciao!