After another day of sightseeing in Venice, the SAS trip headed out via bus to Verona, the land of Romeo and Juliet. It was a nice little place to spend the afternoon. I didn’t see Letters to Juliet, but from the trailers on TV, I was expecting something much different from the place I saw. When we arrived, there were some arches we walked through into the city square, then a long street filled with shops, restaurants, and gelato stands. After a short walk, we ended up at Juliet’s balcony. The alleyway leading up to the courtyard was FILLED with letters to Juliet. Italy 057

Of course, I wrote one! Italy 061

Then we took pictures around the courtyard where there were tons of statues that you had to rub for luck, love, or money.

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Juliet’s Balcony .. there was an actress up there for a little bit, but I missed her!

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Me rubbing the statue for love 🙂

(Not as vulgar as it sounds)

After lunch, shopping, and of course gelato, we boarded the bus again and headed for Florence. Now, I had high hopes for Florence seeing as my older sister studied abroad there for a summer in college, and my younger sister told me it was her favorite city in Europe. However, as usual, I have to disagree.

Maybe it was my tour guide, maybe it was the fact that we walked/waited in line for 6 straight hours, maybe it was just super hot and our hotel was in a sketchy area  .. but Florence was probably my least favorite city in Italy. It was still beautiful, it had good food, it had AMAZING art, but I would have rather had more time in say .. Capri or Venice.

On arrival, our hotel was super nice inside, but there were dirty, old Italian men cat calling to the girls in our group outside! Ridic. The great view from my room made up for it though.Italy 078Just what I imagined Italy to look like!

That night, the tour group had a really nice dinner at the hotel and after that, I went out to a nearby restaurant for a drink with some of the girls in my group. What we thought was a local Florentine happy hour was more like stumbling into Cancun,Mexico Spring Break 2010. The bar was playing songs like Pitbull and that gasolina song, which was fine, but not what I had in mind for a night out in Italy. It was fun, but we called it an early night because we knew we had a long day coming up!

We woke up at what felt like the crack of dawn for a walking tour of the city. It was really nice to have a tour guide, but honestly, she just talked way too much and way too slowly for me to truly get a lot out of her. The best part of Florence was definitely seeing The David, which we weren’t allowed to take pictures of due to some Italian copyright laws. The next best thing was the famous bridge. It’s a bridge that there are houses and shops on! I had no idea Florence was famous for it, but it was so neat, I’ve never seen anything like it.

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I also think it needs to be mentioned that I had the best pizza of my life in Florence. While its true it was just a plain old cheese pizza, they gave us the BEST spicy olive oil to drizzle the top with. I ate the entire thing.Italy 134

Obviously, finishing large amounts of delicious Italian food was a trend .. Italy 135 

The best gelato in Italy, according to our tour guide!

While it may seem like I ate my way through Florence .. wait .. I did 🙂