Florence, what to say about Florence…first I will mention its name. Florence is actually the English term for this city, the locals call it Firenze. This is very helpful to know for booking train tickets as no Italian website even with the English translation recognizes the term Florence.
Before coming here we didn’t really know that much about Florence, we intended to mostly use it as a home base from which we would go and visit the towns of Siena and Padua. Upon our arrival there we found, however, that the train to Padua was much more expensive than we had anticipated – about 100 euros round trip verses 40 euros round trip. Needless to say, we didn’t have this expense in our budget and found ourselves with an extra day to spend exploring Florence.
Our first day we took as a rest day. After so much traveling and early mornings in Rome, we took a much needed break from sight seeing; we worked on talks for our retreat in a few weeks, as well as caught up on a little sleep.
As we were wondering the streets, we came across a large leather flee market. We greatly admired all of the handcrafted bags, belts, and other leather goods, all made locally and from local leather. We had to ward off an all to eager salesman; he offered to give us over fifty percent off the belts that we were looking at, but we were slightly wary of his ability to give us such a generous discount at the drop of the hat. We told him we would come back after looking around. On our way back, we tried to avoid him, but we saw him sitting in a cafe while on a break. We made eye contact. It was awkward.
We then ate some bread, cheese, salami and a pear for dinner. This has been our go-to meal for practically our entire trip. It has been a nice inexpensive way to feed ourselves. However the baguettes here aren’t nearly as fresh as in Rome and we’re thinking we may have to come up with some new food ideas for when we’re in Spain.