Ciao Italy – I’m moving on…

My last few days in Naples were bitter sweet. I was ready to move on, but will miss the animals, children, and of course my new friends. Someone once described Naples as a beautiful woman with dirty feet. I find this description very fitting. Naples is full of warm and welcoming people set within a stunning coastal setting. But there’s definitely some riffraff peppering the scene. It’s certainly a place to visit and spend some time as you will quickly feel integrated into the community.

Right before I left, I found a small vegan ristobar called Sbuccia E Bevi. It featured great light lunch options, smoothies, and cupcakes. Yes, I said cupcakes. I haven’t had a vegan cupcake since I left Washington, D.C. and they certainly did not disappoint. It was a superb place to grab a quick bite and satiate my sweet tooth!

IMG_3439

(Sbuccia E Bevi – Cupcake!!)

After Naples I made may way north to Florence. Florence has always held a special place in my heart. In short, I love its history and the important role the area played in the advancement of science. The renaissance period spurred so much new art and science and the city captures this well.

IMG_3613

(Duomo, Florence, Italy – Easily one of the most beautiful buildings int he world)

I spent some time in Florence about 8 years ago and was excited to make new memories with this city. I spent most of my time just wandering around, seeing the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Duomo, Tower, and of course I took a ride on the Carousel.

IMG_3550

(Who doesn’t love a carousel?!)

The science museums are my favorite spots in Florence, particularly the Museo Galileo – it was redone since the last time I was in Florence. The museum features many scientific instruments created throughout history to further the advancement of many areas of science from astronomy to medicine. One of the most impressive exhibits is the collection of Galileo telescopes. I spent an entire day wandering around this museum and the Leonardo Da Vinci Activities Museum. The Da Vinci museum featured many interactive replicas of his inventions and I let my inner science child run loose in there!

IMG_3702

(Museo Galileo. Santucci engineered this Armillary Sphere in the late 16th Century and it’s stunning!)

IMG_3714

(Leonardo Da Vinci Activities Museum)

Due to it’s high density of tourists, Florence is very expensive. I managed relatively cheaply, but I still spent more that I would have liked. I stayed at the Riverbank’s Hostel. It is very nice and clean and has the best location close to the Ponte Vecchio for about $35 per night. I also tried to keep my meals reasonable. But there was certainly wine – it is Italy after all.

Today is my last day in Italy and this morning I made my way from Florence to Pisa to check out this tower business. It’s beautiful here, and there’s a nice breeze. The best part is seeing all the tourist trying to hold the tower up in their pictures. I was caught up in the moment and flagged down a family to capture me doing the same.

IMG_3746

(From traveler to tourist in 0.7 seconds)

I loved this culture for a long time, and I’m glad I took a few weeks here to make new memories. I’m going back to London tonight to meet up with momma! She’s coming to Europe for a few weeks and we’re going to travel around a bit. Spending this time with her will be an amazing highlight in my journey. Until next time Italy, stay cool! Viva Italia!