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17 July 2014

Rome to Florence: July 14th


Vattican City: the world's smallest country!

We got to check out St. Peter's basilica! It was decked out with incredible statues and murals!

After a nice walk near the cites in Vattican city we went back to our place, packed up our bags, and with our backpacks went to a Japanese buffet before catching our train. It's sad to say, but to me the Japanese food was the best food I had in Rome! Pretty strange! It was also a cheap price for a lot of food... So that also could've been a factor. 

The other night we went to a nice, little restaurant that had good prices for the food, but when we got the bill we were pretty confused as to why it was so expensive! When we asked he said it was €6 for each of our drinks and also a €2.50 service charge per person. What?! Where were those prices on the menu? Annoying. It made us a little sick to think our little can of soda cost us 6 euros, which was half the price of our food. Our waiter wasn't even nice or polite. And that's saying something because Alex and I are pretty easy to please and aren't picky at all. Oh well, live and learn! We check drink prices and service charges wherever we go now.

Train to Florence:
The beautiful streets of Rome and entrance to the metro system!

Alex and I had reserved tickets for our train from Rome to Florence. When we were at the train station it was only showing one train going to our stop and it was leaving about 20 min earlier than our ticket said. Strange. We waited to see if our train would show up before the other left, but it didn't. So last minute we do some major speed walking/ run to the other train. We assumed that the time just changed since it had our same destination and everything.

The ride was supposed to take 2 hours. About 2 hours and 20 min later we start to get a little worried that we haven't made it yet. We found a map on the train and notice that we are going the right way, but we weren't even half way there yet! We were so confused as to how that was even possible! I'm assuming that it was the wrong train and more of the normal metro train, compared to the faster trains that go longer distances and make less stops. It was just a weird situation since our other train never came up on the departing board. 

Then we start stressing a little because we realize we are going to get there much later than planned and will be really late meeting up with the lady who was hosting us that night! In those situations there's really not a whole lot we can do though because we have no way of contacting her until we have wifi. We ended up gettin to the train station in Florence two hours later than we were supposed to. Then we get on a bus our host told us to take and it was supposed to be 5 minutes away from the station and be the first stop. Well, that was not the case. She must have given us the wrong bus number. Hahaha! We kept waiting stop after stop for at least 20 minutes hoping one of the stops would be hers. It never came. The bus was also SUPER crowded and I was standing in the isle way with a ton of other people, with my heavy backpack the whole time. I literally couldn't move and was trapped. Luckily the stop never came because I don't think I could've squeezed through everyone to get off with my backpack. It was pretty funny. I can't help but laugh in situations like these! 

We were eventually able to weasel our way through the crowded bus to get off at a mall. Then we asked some nice Italian lady at the grocery store if she could call a taxi for us. She hardly spoke any English, but understood enough to help us out. What a sweetheart! This was our first time resorting to calling a taxi. We were desperate because our host had plans and had to leave in about 15 minutes from that point. In the taxi it only took us 7 minutes to get to the place we were staying at. The lady was so nice about us running late and was very understanding when we explained what happened. #gettinglostinEurope #ourfavorite 

Best Italian dinner!!
Throughout this trip we've been using Rick Steve's Best of Europe book. It has been very helpful! Rick suggested a hole-in-the-wall Italain restaurant called Craltoria da Giorgio that we decided to try.. Alex and I were in love with everything!! They served three courses and had one overall price, including both water and soda. That made us extremely happy! (Especially after dinner in Rome the night before). I ordered gnocchi, meatballs, and a salad and it was all amazing!! We walked away claiming that as our favorite meal in Europe so far! <3

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