Wednesday: Fun in the Sun
We slept in til about 10:30, packed water, wine, and books into my backpack and headed out for the day. Vernazza is the most touristy of all of the cities. There were lots of souvenir shops lining the street, and lots of people with cameras, taking photos of EVERYTHING. We found a little place that sold focaccia pizzas, and we carried them down to the center, where you could watch the waves come into a little cove.
After finishing though, we got back on the train and headed to Monterosso. Monterosso al Mare is the northernmost city of Cinque Terre, but one of the few with a beach. It was sunny and bright. We posted up on the beach, reading and people watching. Most people were in jackets and coats, and we looked at them like they were crazy. Primarily because Chase had stripped down to shorts and I was wearing a tank top and had rolled up my jeans. I’m sure they thought we were just as crazy. But it was HOT! According to the internet, it was only 61 degrees Fahrenheit. We were burning up, and it was wonderful. Even got sunburned on my legs during my 1.5 hour nap…
We considered going to Corniglia, the last of the 5, for dinner, but it was a lot of effort, once we had gotten back home. We got pasta takeaway and ate it at home.
We departed from CT in the morning, spending one last bit of time in La Spezia. Andrew picked us up at the train station in Florence, and off we went. Andrew lives in a really cool flat. Granted, it is up a ton of stairs…but what else is new? Thomas and Reid both live on the top floors of their buildings as well. The kitchen was above, with a mini spiral staircase. In the bedroom, there was another staircase to the bathroom. I could tell that sleepwalking to go to the bathroom might prove to be a really dangerous thing, so hopefully that never happened to anyone…
We went to dinner and out with some of Andrew’s friends from his program. His program has about 190 students from the US in Florence. Which is crazy! We went out to dinner with his roommate and two girls. It was the most Americans and the most girls we’ve seen in a really, really long time. Andrew asked the waitress, “Do you do the student wine special here?” She said yes, and we asked what the special was. The special is: it’s free. I’m sorry, what? Yes. Wine is free at a lot of restaurants for students. Only in Italy would that ever be allowed. Or not abused. Ha.
About 2 in the morning, Andrew said, “Let’s go to Secret Bakery.” Now, secret bakery is approximately a drug deal, but with pastries instead. Bakeries that don’t sell to customers, but sell to places like grocery stores, will bake all their pastries the night before they go on the truck for the morning rush. But if you approach one of these places, you can just tell them what you would like, give them a euro, and they give you warm, delicious treats. Super sketchy but totally cool. I had a croissant that was filled with chocolate pudding. Holy moly. So. Good.
Andrew took us around to see some popular sites in Florence, including the famous bridge that sells a lot of gold, Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and a terrace overlooking the whole city.
That night we ate at a very popular pizza restaurant. He made my pizza into the shape of a heart. Precious. It was delicious though. Because it’s so busy, they move people around, so you might sit with people you didn’t come with, or will make you move tables during your meal. Luckily we didn’t have to do that because we had enough of us that we took up a whole table anyways.