Throughout the morning we walked around Florence and tried to see as much as we could with the limited time we had there. Duomo is a major sight there and it has a pretty exterior designs and architecture. I really enjoyed Florence's atmosphere. It's a smaller town, a lot less crowded than previous places we had been, and has a lot of greenery.
Arno River: I loved this view!
By 1pm Alex and I had finished our lovely walk through Florence and were on the next train to Trevisto! This is a small town that we spent the night in because it's only about a 30 minute train ride to Venice! Our host, Stefano, greeted us at the train station and we all went to get some dessert together and get to know each other. He is a really nice, older man. Super friendly!! Then he took us to his home, showed us around his place, and suggested to show us a good restaurant that night. After settling in a bit and getting plans ready for the next day, he took us grocery shopping real quick before dinner. And when I say real quick I mean it. We were power walking behind him as he raced around and said what we should get. Haha! I thought I was a quick shopper, but he put me to shame!
Not only is he a speedy shopper, he's also a speedy and crazy driver! If you know me well, you know that I'm not the best back seat driver and can be a little paranoid with other people's driving sometimes. Alex and I were scared for our lives in the backseat of his car, clenching onto the door handle. He just swerved between people, sped really fast through small neighborhood roads, went super fast around roundabouts, breaked right before we were about to hit the car in front of us, and so on. The only way I could describe his way of walking and driving style is fast and furious.
Stefano was really into the restaurant we went to because his friend owns it. He said it has "very good price and quality." The food was pretty good. Then he wanted us to try the homemade gelato. We told him we weren't hungry, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He told us to come watch them make it and as we are watching he is explaining what goes in it. "Just a little bit of Vodka...." Alex and I just look at each other and have no idea what to say to him since we don't drink alcohol. I told him we were very full and didn't want any. Then he goes on to explain it helps bring the food through the system and that we'll be able to eat it and keeps saying it's just a little bit. Well, the guy kept pooring more and more vodka into the bowl he was mixing everything in. The more he poored in, the more uncomfortable we felt. I told him we don't drink Vodka and he still kept pushing it.
So here are the 3 of us sitting at the table with our vodka black licorice flavored gelato. He's eating and Alex and I are fiddling with the spoons in the bowl, hoping he won't notice we aren't eating it. Didn't work. He just stared at me, waiting for me to eat it. "Go ahead, just a little vodka. You won't taste it. I don't drink alcohol either, but I eat this. Very good!" He wasn't getting that we don't drink it at all. As he was watching me I just started laughing and said, "Sorry, I just can't eat it. We don't have any alcohol, even a little." Then Alex told him it was religious and he backed off. Then he was telling his friend who worked there why we weren't eating it and they were laughing together. Talk about uncomfortable!
At first I felt bad, but then when we were checking out Stefano had us pay for his dinner and I didn't feel bad anymore. It seemed a little odd that he invited us and was ordering all the food and desserts and then left us with the whole bill instead of splitting it. That place wasn't cheap either. Haha, he's got a good set-up since he said he takes all the people he hosts there and then he probably makes them pay for him each time. He's a smart man because we just have to think its part of their culture or something. He's a very friendly guy, but VERY intense and slightly overbearing. Those few hours of driving with him, running around the grocery store following him, and him not taking no for an answer with the vodka was exhausting! Great host though and made sure we were taken care of during the two nights we were in his home.