Our next destination was Florence which involved taking three different trains.
We left our apartment around 7 a.m. for our 7:27 train. It was a quick walk to the train station. Our first stop was La Spezia where we waited about 40 minutes before catching the next train to Pisa.
There were only a couple of people on the train going to Pisa.
After arriving in Pisa, we had a fifteen minute wait before our train was to arrive. While waiting, we began talking to some people also heading to Florence. We were talking about our travels when an announcement in Italian came over the speaker system and everyone started leaving the platform. We did not understand what was going on. Finally, someone told us they had switched to another platform. We checked the arrival board and it was blank. Everyone made a mad dash to the steps, which takes you to the tunnel to get to the correct platform. We made it to the new platform and the train left on time. We finally arrived in Florence at 10:32 a.m.
TIP: Pay attention at the train station, as they do change platforms at the last-minute. This happened to us several times during our travels.
After departing the train station we made our way to Hotel Crocini, about a ten minute walk from the train station. We wanted to stay relatively close by, as we had another early train to catch the next morning to Naples. It was an easy walk to the hotel which was located on a quiet street close to the river.
We were early, but Hotel Crocini allowed us to check-in. After filling out the paperwork, we were off to our room. The was no elevator, so we carried our luggage up a flight of stairs. Just another reason to pack light while traveling.
The room was small, but functional and included a coffee maker and refrigerator.
The tile in the bathroom was a little busy for me.
The hotel provided a basket full of amenities, which was a nice touch. A furnished hairdryer in the bathroom was not very powerful. If this would be an issue bring your own, as most of the places we stayed had the same type of hairdryer.
On our way back out, we peeked into the breakfast room which looked nice. To bad we were leaving before breakfast was served in the morning.
Returning to the front desk they gave us back our passports (when checking into hotels in Italy, they take your passport to record information from them). I took the passports back to the room to lock in the safe while J and the gentleman at the front desk discussed the maps and points of interest in the area. We have been to Florence before and decided to wonder around the city and enjoy the remainder of our day. We started walking along the river making our way to Ponte Vecchio the pedestrian bridge.
There were plenty of people shopping and looking at the many jewelry stores located along the Ponte Vecchino.
As we continued walking, we saw the statue of Michelangelo and the Uffizi Museum. There was a line waiting to get into the museum.
We stumbled upon Hotel Pensione Pendini which is located near the Duomo and Uffizi Museum.
There was a merry go round in the piazza in front of Pensione Pendini.
We skipped going into the Duomo as there was a long line.
The outdoor leather market is close by and of course we had to make our way through the market.
We stopped at the Mercato Centrale Firenze which is located close by the leather market. There are all kinds of places to eat inside and plenty of places to sit down and relax. This gave us a chance to get off our feet. We could not resist eating a cannoli, which was delicious.
The Basilica of Santa Croce.
It had been a long day of walking and sightseeing. We ended up eating dinner at an outside café that we found while walking around. We enjoyed a glass of wine and some food before calling it a day and heading back to our hotel.
We really enjoyed our day in Florence, but we were catching an early train in the morning. We had walked about 27,000 steps today (I wear a fitbit), but I knew we would be walking even more in the next couple of days. We advised the front desk when we checked in, we would be leaving early to go to the train station. When we checked out the next morning, they provided us with our breakfast in a bag to go. What great service. I would definitely stay here again when I return.
We were anxious to get to our next destination, as it is one of my favorite places in Italy. We were heading to Capri, where we would spend the next couple of days.