8th June 2017

Note to self: Always double check the date of your tickets.

I didn’t go to sleep last night until well after 2am so I slept in till 9. With checkout at 10 I packed my bag (it’s getting very full, not sure what to do at this point!) and took off for the train station.

Knowing that the train didn’t leave until 11:30 I decided to walk the 25 or so minutes, so I could see the winding streets of Venice one last time.

I always find it hysterical that, even when on the other side of the globe, I end up sitting next to a fellow Australian. We spoke for a good 45 minutes before a new passenger at a later train stop claimed that he was in her seat. He got out his ticket to check, but even though his seat was correct his travel agent had booked it for the wrong day! Poor guy had to pay 100€ to stay on the train (in comparison my ticket cost 19€).

I arrived in Florence, walked the 5 minutes to my airbnb where I met the host. He introduced himself and apologised for his ‘poor English’ and then proceeded to hold a perfectly normal conversation, the only time he stumbled was when explaining if you ‘pull out’ or ‘pull up’ the fold out bed. I’ve noticed this a lot actually, the Italian’s apologising for their poor English when really it’s very good, better than my Italian!! I actually thought I had a private room in the airbnb host’s home but turns out I have this little studio apartment in (I think) the original monk’s quarters next door to the Basilica di san Lorenzo. Either way the building is definitely 500 years old and still maintains its original flooring. Pretty cool!

I’d eaten a peach all day (pretty tasty!) and it was 2pm by the time I got settled so I set off on the hunt for food. I headed straight for All’antico Vinao, a well known panini shop not far from where I’m staying. I ordered the ‘La Favolosa’ – salami, cheese, artichoke cream and spicy eggplant. IT WAS SO GOOD. Thing was bigger than my head too, so I was nice and full afterwards.

img_20170608_152445_2361.jpgI stopped off at Gelateria dei Neri afterwards and got a scoop of pistachio gelato. It was super creamy and started melting pretty quickly in the heat, pistachio flavour was about a 6/10.

At this point the sun was blaring down on the streets so I decided to head inside and check out the Galileo museum. Amongst some weird stuff like Galileo’s fingers and wax models of the various stages of childbirth (best contraception I’ve ever seen) it was astounding to see the various instruments used over the centuries to study the planets, sun and stars.

The size of some of the telescopes was absolutely remarkable, and seeing a 400 year old gold protractor gave me memories of high school. The various thermometers were beautiful glass masterpieces, whilst the rotating cone that somehow seems to defy gravity was interesting to learn about.

Most of all though, the Armillary Sphere from 1593 was the most beautiful object in the entire museum. It is a model of objects in the sky centred around the earth or sun.

Once I finished I spent the next 4 or so hours walking around the town, down by the river, passed the Ponte Vecchio bridge, down some beautiful alleyways, passed a wine store (had a glass of noble montepulciano, which is not the same as montepulciano d’abruzzo unfortunately), ate some more gelato (pistachio and hazelnut, most authentic pistachio I’ve had so far), wandered some more, went to a convenience store and bought a 2€ bottle of montepulciano d’abruzzo, realised why it was only 2€ and then proceeded to have a nap around 830.

Woke up at 9 and headed off for some dinner, ended up at Braciere Malatesta and ordered the I picci fatti da noi, spaghetti with sausage, mushrooms and tomato. The pasta was delicious, you could tell it was freshly made and cooked to perfect al dente. The sauce had so much flavour, the sausages and mushrooms were delicious and I’m seriously going to miss tomatoes once I leave Italy, they’re just amazing little flavour bombs.

I’ve got a big day tomorrow so it’s bed time now!

Buona notte! Xx

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