Episode Fifty Seven – Playing Catch-Up


Why is blogging so hard? Honestly guys, I know a lot of you are faithful bloggers yourselves, and I just have to ask: don’t you feel sometimes like there’s just too much to write, too many ways to write it, and not enough people who would really be interested in reading all those words even if you ever did somehow manage to write them down?

I’ve written and re-written posts about my trip to Italy, highlighting certain elements, making interesting observations, throwing in quirky and sarcastic comments, and I’ve determined it is, in fact, impossible to perfectly replicate all my adventures in blog form. Obviously this isn’t a surprise, but it’s still depressing when there’s so much I want to say and I don’t have the time to say it all. So here is one of the more concise ways I’ve managed to describe the activities of my second of seven days in Italy (I should take bets on how many of those days you guys will ever actually hear about :P)

I took this in Vatican City: if I ever get that far into my account, send me candy as a reward :)

I took the liberty of composing a list of all the plans we had on Sunday, our second day in Florence; I’ve also mentioned why each and every one of them ended up falling through, and why that was totally okay: apart from the fact that the spontaneity of the day ended up being one of the most fulfilling and satisfying days of travel a girl could hope for :)

1. The Uffizi Gallery, pride of Florence and home to some of the Italian Renaissance’s most important works.

Bust because: the queue was super long and we’re impatient.

No biggie because: we got in a couple of days later anyway, and because we randomly ran into some girls from Nicole’s home college, had a nice long chat while they waited in line, and got the idea for No. 2 which follows.

Barnard girls randomly reunited in Florence!

2. The Boboli Gardens, sprawling green ‘must-see’ for visitors.

Bust because: you have to buy a combined ticket including access to a bunch of other stuff we didn’t care about, and we’re cheap.

No biggie because: Rebecca knew another cool place we could go (No. 4 on this list) after grabbing some picnic items (No. 3)

Scary Italian guard didn't let us in without paying :(

3. Picnic food from the Old Market (bread, cheese, cured meats, possibly wine).

Bust because: the food part of the market was closed by the time we got there, so we had to go to the supermarket instead.

No biggie because: the rest of the market was perfect, complete with letterpress drawers, big old keys and a magician whose trick I’m still perplexed by to this day.

I wanted to buy almost everything on sale here!

4. Piazzale Michelangelo, hilltop viewpoint of Florence and some of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

Bust because: due to the tumbledown Ikea ‘lockers’ at our hostel, Nicole was carrying her computer around with her, and by the time we’d dropped it off at Rebecca’s flat so we could tackle the hill, the rain had come on.

No biggie because: we took cover at the Cultural Centre instead, where Rebecca takes a creative writing class (“which I suck at because it’s in Italian”); then had gelato for dessert. And because the weather was better the following day when we finally did visit the Piazzale.

The view from the Piazzale the next day was clear as a bell: simply perfect.

5. Dinner at Pizzeria Spera, winner of the World Pizza Championships.

Bust because: we had done so much walking and shopping and discovering that by the time we collapsed into our hostel beds, a team of wild horses couldn’t have dragged us back out. We dined on croissants, apples and tea instead.

No biggie because: …well, actually this one I was kinda bummed about, especially since the next (our last) evening was Monday so it was closed. Naturally. I guess maybe it was no biggie because those pizza championships it won were ten years ago in 2002; but Grant went there when he was in Florence and he said it was the same chef working there and it was amazing :(

Even without the World-Champion pizza, there was no shortage of the delicious stuff!

So yeah, on paper it should have been a failure of a day; but all the wandering that resulted from all our changes of plans made for some excellent window shopping, some great exercise and a really up-close and personal look at Florence, which is my favourite kind of travel experience anyway. I’ll throw in a few bonus pictures in a vain attempt to help you all visualise just how far we walked that day: just imagine that these photos were taken at 2-mile intervals, and you’ll get the idea.

I quickly switched from lattes to macchiatos after this. Too much milk getting in the way of my coffee!

Tuscan countryside, classical arches and... tourist booths! Yay!

Nicole was kind enough to take many pictures of me during our trip! She obviously read Episode Fifty Five ;)

Marbling inks in a papeterie I had to leave before I bought the whole (very upmarket) shop.

A very Florencian man walks his very Florencian dog past the puppet theatre. A day in the life...

I don't even know if I would like these but I wanted them SO BADLY.

Phew! That was a long day, wasn’t it? Good, I’m glad you understand. I’ll try and keep them coming!

Best wishes to you all!





Filed under France

4 responses to “Episode Fifty Seven – Playing Catch-Up

  1. Fantastic pictures! They make me long for a return to Italy. :-) The Uffizi Gallerly is easily one of most amazing places on earth! I’m glad you had such a great time.

    I’ve found keeping a list helps me keep my muse from going nuts. Breaking things down into smaller pieces helps to. I have three weeks in London to write about . . . still! I’ve blogged about it at least 50 times, with each post offering just a glimpse. :-)

    • That’s true, I really admire the way you post about London. I sometimes feel like I’m rushing through my ‘commentary’ on Italy, but I also know that the long-term effects of what I learned there will stay with me, while such specific memories as the taste of a pizza will fade quickly. After this torrent of practical information about what happened when, I hope to be able to render a more reflective view on my time there like your London posts which I love so much.

      You know what I would really love to see? A post on what sort of record you kept while you were actually IN London. That might be a little too personal, I don’t know; but I always feel at a loss for ways to express myself that fit in with my busy travel timetable. I’d love to hear your secrets!


  2. L.A.

    Great pictures! I went to Florence back in 2001 and this brought back some great memories. I wish I had been older when I travelled to appreciate it more, although this serves as a sign that I’ll have to go back!

    I hope you keep writing about your travels. I agree with you that it’s hard to get it to translate in blog form, but you did really well here, and I enjoyed reading it :)

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, I’m practically plotting my next trip to Florence already :P
      I’m doing my best to keep up! Not the easiest thing when you’re taking seven courses in French and adding new travels to the list every day, but a girl can hope…
      Thanks for stopping by, L.A. ;)

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