Ciao! Or hello. Whichever.
Last month I went to Italy, with one of my best friends, Kyla. If you follow me on my instagram/snapchat, you’ll know who she is. We see each other way too much.
We stayed in the outskirts of Pisa. The only problem is – neither of us can drive. Transportation was really limited. The only form of wheels we had were bicycles, and the train station would’ve been 45 minutes away. Luckily, a family friend was around and offered to take us to and from the station (Thank you Christina) so we managed to get 3 day trips in between our lazy-stay at home-chill-netflix-revision days. We went up to Pisa, Florence and Siena on three separate days. (Siena was by far my favourite, maybe because I’d never been before.)
First up, Pisa. We did the oh-so-touristy things, such as pizza, gelato, and climbing the leaning tower. Oh and did I mention it was Valentines day? Well, for us, Galentines day. Embrace that single life, ladies.
We had a few lazy days in between – here are some examples – a bike ride down to the grocery shop for our FOOOOOOD. And a lovely vegan meal prepared by yours truly. It was yummy and meat-eater approved.
After a few lazy days, we decided to go up to what I call the capital of culture (except it’s not the actual capital of Italy but let’s just pretend) – Florence. Here we roamed the halls of multiple art galleries (including the famous Uffizi) and it felt as if culture was seeping into my bones from the walls. There was art everywhere. The walls had art on them; inside it was magical, outside it was street. The paintings were so rich with colour and so old. It all soon became a blur – things were starting to look the same and you start to understand the patterns within the walls.
After the Uffizi, we also ventured up to the Boboli Gardens, where there was another art gallery on display indoors in the Pitti Palace, where we see rooms decorated in luxurious colours and jewels. I wasn’t allowed to take photographs in there that day so there’s just this sneaky selfie I took of us in one of the mirrors up there ^^^. The highlight of the trip was definitely seeing the Duomo, which we saw both at the beginning and the end. The intricacy of the doors and the building itself was impressive and under the glow of the sunset, it was truly a sight to see.
The streets of Florence were also pretty – it was raining hard that day so my phone was kept safe in the trusty pocket of my oversized Winter coat but some snaps were taken here and there.
And of course, the Ponte Vechhio, where lovers write each others’ names on locks, women and men buy expensive jewellery from the rows of shops that line both sides and – tourists who give in to the traps left by sellers of nick nacks.
You guessed it – a day of rest. Next stop, Siena. Now, this was a new experience for both of us because I’d never been to Siena before, did not know what to look for (although it was pretty obvious once we got there) and had no idea where the good restaurants were. But we survived. It was the longest train ride we had to take – an hour and a half. But the sun was shining, there was a cool breeze, everything looked beautiful even inside the train cabins and the wait was worth it.
The first stop – Piazza del Campo. This is where the Palio di Siena, a medieval horse race, is held twice a year. You can read more about it on wiki, I haven’t seen it for myself but I am dying to. We then climbed the tower which overlooks the city – the Torre di Mangia, and had a mini photo shoot up there because the view was mind blowing. We also made friends at the top – a South African public school teacher and a group of American students on exchange.
After almost hyperventilating because there were no barriers and someone could have fallen…………..we decided to head down to search for food before making our way to the Cathedral, which was next on our list. The Cathedral was the prettiest I’d seen so far in Italy, it had a slight gothic feel but with intricate (as always) designs throughout the church as well as a chance to climb to the roof. (Which we are all about, as you can see.)
Oh, I also have a thing for tiled floors. Look at it. So. Damn. Beautiful.
We ended our week with a bang. A fuse broke. Our electricity ran out. It was winter. Our gas was diminishing. How was I going to feed the both of us???? Luckily, there was just one day left before we had to head back to school in forever rainy England. Here’s a picture of some pasta that I made to finish this travel post. I hope that maybe these photos have made you consider Italy as your next travel destination? I adore the country, so maybe you will too.