On Wednesday, Michelle decided to meet some friends in Cinque Terre for the day. This ended up to be perfect, because I had a six page research paper to start and finish by the end of the day. While she spent the day in the sun hiking the hills, I sat by butt in a chair and typed away...boring. By 11pm, my paper was finished and Michelle arrived back at my apartment ready to celebrate!
My second guest of the week, Allie, arrived in Florence Thursday morning. I met her at the train station ready to get the weekend started! While I was at class, Michelle and Allie bought tickets to the Duomo Museum. Before they explored the museum and climbed the 414 steps of the bell tower, I filled them in on all things Duomo with my newly acquired knowledge all thanks to Renaissance Art and Architecture. This is my favorite museum so I was thrilled to hear about how much they loved it. After making our way back to the leather market for Allie to purchase a couple leather goods for family and friends, we headed back to my apartment to figure out plans for the rest of the night. We decided the best way to spend the evening was to head up to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunset. We definitely made the right decision because it ended up to be one of the best sunsets i've seen all semester. Having Michelle and Allie by my side was wonderful, its always nice to have a little piece of home with me in Florence. After soaking in the beauty of Florence at night, we headed to one of my favorite restaurants for pear ravioli. The first time I ate this pasta, I couldn't shut up about how delicious it was- Allie and Michelle followed suit. I heard about this meal constantly for the rest of the week.
FRIDAY!! Today ended up to be one of the best days of the semester. Michelle, Allie, and I decided to go on a vespa wine tour! We were picked up at 9:30 in front of a local cafe in Florence, bused to the Chianti country side, and started fun-filled tour day. There were a couple other girls our age in our group, so our tour guides had us practice driving the vespas before leaving to explore the hills of Tuscany. Turns out, the only girls that were allowed to drive their own vespas were Michelle, Allie, and I. Coincidence that we were the only three girls from the midwest? We didn't think so. I was so happy that my driving skills came through for the day because the other girls in our group had to have a tour guide on their vespa with them, basically driving it for them. SCORE! We spent three hours whipping through the hills of Tuscany. I couldn't believe how beautiful the scenery was... even if I tried, I couldn't conjure up a scenery more beautiful. We stopped in an amazing medieval town, San Gimignano, for a panoramic view of the countryside as well as three time award winning gelato. My friends raved about the gelato, but honestly, it didn't compare to my favorite Gelateria dei Neri back in Florence. After vespa-ing (is that a word) for another hour, we ended at a winery for a tasting and a meal. I know a little bit about wine now that i've been studying in Italy for three months, so it was hilarious watching Allie and Michelle try to impress the owner of the vineyard. I didn't want the tour to end, but unfortunately, we were forced to board the van and head back to Florence. We all agreed that we need to buy mopeds to ride through the streets of Madison. Somehow, I don't think my parents would agree to this idea...
Saturday was Michelle's last day in Florence (sad) so after allowing ourselves to sleep in a little, we spent the day hitting up the final hot spots of the city. We ended the night with another amazing sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo and a dinner at my favorite restaurant, Osteria Santo Spirito. Yum... truffle gnocchi. It was so much fun having Michelle here for a long weekend! Ciao Michelle! Thanks for visiting
After the explosion was over, we escaped the crowd and headed to a restaurant that was serving a tradition American breakfast. Everyone chuckled at the fact that all ten of us were wearing a dress, sandals, and a jean jacket. Classic. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the sun on a beach in Florence. I even got to Facetime my family in time to sing Happy Birthday to Finnegan. One year old!! Since we had Easter Monday off of school, a group of us decided to head to the outskirts of Florence for an afternoon of hiking the hills of Fiesole. The hike was about 5 miles through an absolutely breathtaking terrain. We walked through woods, a vineyard complete with horses, an olive tree field, and a national park which had gorgeous views of the city of Florence from a distance. It was a perfect Monday spent in the sun. I can't get enough of this city. Allie and I decided to keep it casual for dinner with a quick aperitivo at a local bar, Moyo, a ride on the carousel in Piazza della Republica (another item off my Florence bucket list!!), and another beautiful sunset. It was suck a perfect day!
Tuesday was Allie's last day on her long visit to Florence. After a whole week of having guests, admittedly, I was getting a little worn out. I had class in the morning, so Allie was able to sleep in and catch up on some rest. As soon as class was over, we headed BACK to the leather market, for the third time, for Allie to buy a couple more items for herself. I'm holding out on my leather purchases until I know exactly what I want. It started to rain just as we were done at the leather market, so we headed back to my apartment and had a relaxing day of watching Netflix... just what the doctor ordered. After one last dinner with Allie, I walked her to the train station and we said our goodbyes. I absolutely loved hosting Allie for the past several days! She makes me laugh harder than anyone I know and we made so many amazing memories that will last a lifetime! I can't wait to reunite back in Madison this summer! Ciao Allie!!