SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO» 11-13 February (2 nights)
Siena kicked my butt on arrival, I walked so, so much I thought my legs were going to give up because of my backpack's weight, but I managed to keep moving and I arrived at my "hostel" after about three hours walking.
I must add that this was only possible because people on my way were kind enough to help me! I had two girls taking me to the rolling stairs that took me from the bus station to the city center. Yes, they took me there, they didn't just point the way! I also had a policeman helping me get orientated on my map, and I had a man hanging up a call, crossing the street running and helping me get my backpack on again because that day it was feeling to heavy to carry. So this is what I always heard about people's kindness to foreigners! So grateful.
At my "hostel" I was offered an upgrade on my room, and for the same price I got a double room all to myself with a balcony that had a view over Siena's rooftops. PERFECT! I loved my balcony so much that it was hard for me to leave it and explore the city. I spent my nights writing, drinking cappuccino and feeling like Elizabeth Gilbert and there I thought I could do that for the rest of my life.
I love how I would find about possible day trips along the way, and how the small towns that I visited always surprised me and I always left in love and happy about my choice.
San Gimignano was an easy day trip from Siena, arriving there just by getting a bus that costs you 6€ or 12€ with return, and you'll pass throw some other small towns of Tuscany which is totally worth it!
In San Gimignano I wondered around a street market and got myself in some abandoned streets as well. I spent 10€ for a microwave pizza (I believed I was paying that for the real Italian pizza), I took so many photos that my camera ran out of battery, and I discovered that going from Siena to San Gimignano is pretty easy, but the return can be a little pain in the ass, but totally doable! Lets just say, tired of waiting, I caught the first bus I saw and ended up in Poggibonsi lost for a while but everything turned out great and I was back to Siena in a blink.
FLORENCE» 13-15 February (2 nights)
It was one of the cities I've dreamed about for ages and no dream ever made justice to how amazing this city really is.
In Florence I walked all the way, I thought about renting a bike but ended up not doing it because there were too many bikes everywhere and I would most likely get ran over at some point. I tried some gelato that wasn't as good as the one in Rome (but I wasn't going to give up on gelatos no more!), and I ate pizza all the time, not caring if it was Noon, Midnight or 10am, I had a perfect & happy relationship with Pizza while in Florence!
I knew I would be back to Florence after meeting my counsins in Rome, so I used those two days to just try to see the main sights of the city, and the funny thing is I found them all by accident. Ponte Vecchio was amazing, all I ever hoped and more! But the amount of people crossing the bridge got me nuts, which I solved by just going to another bridge with the view over Ponte Vecchio which was even better.
And the Duomo? OH MY GOD! I freaked out, I really, really did! No joke! I was wandering around, as usual, I had just crossed a street market and out of the blue I turned a corner and there it is! I may have taken a million of photos, but trust me, no picture can show the craziness of that thing! I looked at it for such a long time and all I could think every time I passed there was "how the hell did they build this???"
There is no place like Florence and the best description I can find to it is a phrase I saw earlier today on a video about Florence, that says "When someone asks you what beauty is, answer Florence!"
ROME» 15-18 February (3 nights)
Here I got to spend some quality time with my family, and enjoy the city in a different way, knowing I was not the one planning our days, so it was pretty relaxing! Still, I was not allowed to get inside the Roman Forum for security reasons, because my backpack was TOO BIG. Yes, so that happened! I also climbed a tree to steal some oranges with the help of my ten year-old cousin. Not setting great examples right there, but we had fun!
My cousins didn't seem very impressed with the city. The chaotic traffic and the loud people on the streets didn't make them leave with a great experience. But for me, being my third time in the city, I can tell you that, for some reason, Rome has won my heart, and does it over and over again, no matter how many times I've been. And you know what? I'll be back to Rome a 4th a 5th and a 100th time, because Rome to me feels like home!