My last full day in Firenze was a little rainy and cold. I had planned on going to the gardens that day, as it was pretty much the only thing I had not seen. That is until I walked outside and saw that it was raining. You would think I’d learn to check the weather before actually leaving the hostel. On one hand, it’s like why bother checking beforehand because it’s not like I can change it. On the other hand, it’s good to know so I can plan the day’s activities better. I’ve learned I slightly enjoy walking around in the rain. Not pouring down rain, but a small drizzle. I’m just ranting about weather at this point… Let me get back to my adventures.
That afternoon, I had lunch with Kirsten, my roomie, and a couple of other people from the hostel. The other girl’s name is Kaitlyn, but for the life of me I cannot remember the guy’s name. Oops. For this post, I’ll just refer to him as Patrick. After lunch we walked back to the hostel so Kirsten and Patrick could grab their bags and head to the train station. They were off to Pisa and some other places.
Back at the hostel, we were hanging out in the common room and another girl named Molly walked by, whom both Kirsten and Kaitlyn had already met. Molly seemed really familiar, but I could not figure out why. I introduced myself and she pulled up a chair and sat with Kaitlyn and I. As Molly sat down to hang out, Kirsten and Patrick left. The more Molly talked the more I was trying to figure out how I knew her. She and Kaitlyn are both from the States, but I knew that wasn’t where I had met her. It was definitely on my trip at some point. Anyway, the three of us sat and chatted for a bit. Then we went to the post office. Barely making it there before they closed. On the walk back, we decided to stop at the market and pick up dinner, snacks and wine. That night we had a good ole classic girl’s night in. And, I’m pretty sure it was what we all needed that night.
There was no proper knife and fork dinner or wine glasses. We ate prosciutto and cheese with our hands and drank the wine straight from the bottle. We even attempted to watch John Tucker Must Die. Molly fell asleep and Kaitlyn and I were talking over it, so we ended up turning it off. It was all so American of us and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Before Molly fell asleep, we were talking about where we had each traveled so far and it finally clicked where I knew Molly from. She and I were roommates at my hostel in Munich! How cool and random is that!? That makes three people that I had met in Munich and ran into again in Firenze. It still blows my mind that that happened. Molly was just as freaked out (in a good way) as I was that we had already met. She had been thinking it was random that she had met two solo female travelers from Arkansas. 😂 Nope. Just the same person twice.
That was probably the most eventful day of the week. The next day I caught a train to Genoa. A small town on the north western coast of Italy.
The town was very cute, but I pretty much saw everything there was to see the first afternoon I was there. Genoa is much different than the rest of the cities and towns I’ve been to in that all the buildings are beige. Slightly different hues, but nonetheless, beige. Every other place I’ve been to is so colorful.
One thing that was similar to the rest of Europe is the fact that no restaurants served dinner before 7:00pm. Seeing as I skipped lunch (because I was on a train), I was pretty hungry by the time I was able to get some food. When I did finally eat, I had a huge bowl of mussels. They were delicious! Plus, having been in Italy for a week at that point, it was also nice to eat something other than pasta. Yes – I said it. Words that should probably never be said. There is a limit on the amount of pasta I can eat. 😳 Do not fear, I have since eaten a lot more pasta. I am in Italy, of course.
The people at the hostel in Genoa were not very social, so I got back, showered and went to sleep. This was the smallest hostel I have stayed in. Only about 15 people total staying there. And, most were traveling with other people. A lot of times when people are traveling in pairs, they don’t socialize as much with others. Or maybe it was just me. 🤷🏼♀️
The next day I walked around for a while. Of course found the street where all the shops are. My bag is now completely full and weighs about 15 more pounds than it did when I started. Good thing I only have a couple of more weeks; not sure I could lug that backpack around much longer than that with the extra weight it now has. Two weeks is worth it because I got some really cute stuff. 💁🏼♀️👗 It’s also nice because now I have a few more options for the rest of my trip. I was getting pretty tired of the five shirts I was wearing over and over again.
The next day I took a day trip to Portofino. It’s a small fishing village on the coast. It also has a regional park with hiking trails. That day I did more stair climbing than any other day since starting this journey. To start, I walked up to a little yellow church that sits on top of a cliff. The views from here were incredible. And, the sound of the sea was so calming. I could have sat there all day. I didn’t though. I kept walking past the church because there was also a castle on top of this cliff. Unfortunately, I walked to it only to discover it was closed.
I made my way back down and toward the park. This is where the real work began. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into when I started walking up the stairs. I’m by no means in perfect shape, but I’m also not in bad shape. Five minutes of walking up those stairs and I had to take my jacket and scarf off and put my hair up. I took a quick breathing break, too. Not a break from breathing, but a break from walking up the stairs so I could breathe. I kept going because there was supposed to be a restaurant somewhere ahead. I’ll do a lot of damn walking for some food. I assumed it would level out at some point, too. It did not. It was ALL uphill. If I thought the view from the church was incredible, then I’m not sure what to call the view at the top of this trail. The sun finally started to peak out from the clouds as I got to the top. The sun rays were shining down on the sea. It was unbelievable.
There’s a health app that comes on my phone, so I opened it to see how much I had walked so far that day and it told me I had climbed 114 flights of stairs and gone 6.5 miles. The miles didn’t surprise me as that’s been typical for me every day. But, 114 flights of stairs is a shit ton (technical term). I was wiped out that night. Luckily, I did not wake up as sore as I was expecting, which was good because I left Genoa and had to lug my heavy bag to, from and around the train station.
I stopped in Pisa for a few hours to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The train station had a place to store my backpack, thankfully. I don’t think I would have made it to the tower if I had to carry my bag with me. Actually, I probably would have. It just would have taken a lot longer to get to. Anyway, my backpack stayed at the station and I went to the tower and got the typical tourist pictures. With that out of the way, I grabbed lunch before hopping on the train and heading back to Firenze for a day.
After my day in Firenze, I board ding another train and headed off to Roma. The hostel in Roma is pretty bomb. They provide free dinner. Free food is always a good thing. I guess technically not free because I did pay to stay here, but I’ve had to pay for dinner at all the other hostels. While eating my free dinner, I was able to meet some cool people. Two Australian guys, a Canadian guy, a Taiwanese girl and a guy from India. We discussed cultures, politics and careers, among other things. It was all good stuff. We had some good laughs. It was a good end to week six.