I’d be lying if I tried to tell you that we didn’t eat our way through Italy. We definitely ate our way through Italy. I lost weight in Uganda, for one reason or another, but I gained it back in Europe. Not extra weight, mind you, because all that walking kept it off, but I was back to my normal not in east Africa self. hah!
We bought this little cannolis near the train station in Florence. A small place, right in the bustle of people leaving the station. The window was PILED high with desserts and when I saw these mini ones, I pulled Sam inside. We had a spuntino, first, a fresh squeezed orange juice, and then these two sweets.
The funniest part was the man who owned the mini café. He was so obsessed with us being American, in a funny way. He asked us about the economy, our ability to get jobs, and then went on and on about how he “Loves BUCKS.” Sam and I were quoting this guy for weeks afterwards. he was just so good. So so good.
Florence was also the first place we saw Duff Beer. We’d seen the shirts everywhere in Europe, but thought it was just a play on the Simpsons. When we got to Florence we were like WUT and had to buy one, even though it was like eight euro.
We ended up seeing them a bunch after Florence – in Switzerland, where everything is expensive, they were only ONE frank and were the cheapest thing on the shelves. Came in a can instead of a bottle though. hah! Anyways, here’s the beer we laughed at, drank, and, were apparently ripped off for. Too funny.
We stayed on the OUT.SKIRTS. of town in Florence. Like, 45 minute walk to anything. It was crazy arriving there, on the train and then the bus, and at one point I was 100% convinced that we would never find it, have to splurge on a hotel (if we could find one?! gah!), or sleep on the street. I wish I were kidding, but it’s true. Definitely one of the less fun arrivals we had in Europe.
But other than that? It was a long walk, but it was fine. One night, heading back along the river, we stopped for a beer and some dessert I’d picked up earlier in the day. The sun was setting and the moon was rising over the river. We got a beer, two glasses, and just hung out in the dusk. The music from the little bar hut was soft, but it drifted over the evening air, and we sipped, reminiscing already about the trip of a lifetime that we were on, and just taking a moment to breathe and relax and soak it all in.
This evening truly stands out to me. A moment with my best friend in between all the hustle and bustle (that I LOVE) of exploring. I remember feeling like we were the only tourists there – this little spot along the river was among the houses, not in the bustle of downtown, and it made me feel like our long trek out of the city and into it each day that we were in Florence was totally worth it.
Of course, we ate our weight in gelato. We always did, in Italy, a requisite cone per day, at least. I always got cream on top, as did Sam, and we would slurp it as we sat and people watched or meandered along the river. The gelato pictured below might have been some of my favorite of all of Italy, from a great little organic, fresh, homemade place right near the Duomo. Below, kiwi on the bottom, and strawberry on top. I quickly realized that the fruit flavors were my favorite: just the right amount of creamy, but also with lots of brightness, so that a whole cone never felt like too much.
Oh my, what I wouldn’t do for another one of these right about now!
And there ya go. Snacks in Florence. I’ll be back later, maybe next week, with the sandwich we had in Florence, which had to be the best sandwich either of us has ever eaten.
Until then, explore more posts from Florence right HERE and more from Italy in general right HERE and more from our whole two month exploration of Europe while backpacking and taking trains right HERE.