Today we woke up thoroughly refreshed. And by thoroughly refreshed I mean horrifically tired. Yesterday was our long hike, so we thought we would crash quick. Apparently that was not the case. It took me until about 3am to fall asleep, and then was woke up at 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8:30, and then finally 9 when I was supposed to get up. Fun. Part of the reason we had a hard time falling asleep was the stress of making sure we were up on time to catch our train (if we missed it we would have had to wait 2 hours to catch the next one, and that would have been boring), but part of the other reason was the Italian guy serenading outside of our window. Now don't get the wrong idea. This was no Peter Gabriel coming from the boombox over your head thing. We were 6 floors up. I don't think anyone would have been able to hit our window with a pebble. This serenading was more like loud drunken singing, and the sound carried all the way up to our windows which were open because our air conditioning didn't work.
When we packed up and headed to the bus stop, we were minding our own business, when a little Italian Nun came up to Alice and started talking to her. It was interesting to watch. I didn't understand much of what went down. For all I know Alice joined a convent, or sold me into bondage. It was interesting to watch though – to be on the receiving end of the conversation where someone talks at you in another language as if you were slightly deaf, and slightly mentally handicapped. Alice definitely held her own though. The conversation went on for quite a while. I stood there and pretended as if I were deeply interested in the surrounding architecture.
The train ride to Florence was pretty uneventful. When we got here we managed to find out way to the hotel. It was a little gross and smelly along the way. My first impression of the city was not good. It reminded me of NY, which I don't really like all that much. Nothing really stood out, and we walked past quite a few shady characters to get to the hotel. It was a big change from Assisi, and I don't know if either of us were ready for it. Our hotel in Florence was a big step up – working air conditioning. We will leave it at that. We even had free internet for an hour or two as well. I think we may have been jacking someone's open connection, but it was free for a bit. We have since lost the internet, which is why this post took so long to be posted. After we checked into our hotel we took a walk to some of the sights. Again had to walk through some shady areas to get to where we needed to be, but we were more successful with the end result this time. The city definitely changed in our eyes...it was more interesting, there were more tourists, and there were things to actually see.
We got to the duomo in really good time (tripadvisor really helped us, and was honest about the less than touristy area of our hotel, but it is really close to everything. Florence is tiny). While wondering, we happened upon the market (mainly leather, glass jewelry, and tshirts). Even more interesting was when we got to see Florentine's finest sneak up on and shut down street peddlers. This made Chris and I feel much safer. If the cop have time to worry about counterfeit handbags, the town must be good.
A side note: we were perhaps better just not eating. Dinner tasted like spaghetti'os.