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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

From Venice to Florence – Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Hi everyone from the beautiful city of Florence, Italy!

What a journey it has been thus far in Italy! After leaving La Spezia we took a train to Venice and arrived at our hotel. Once everyone settled in, we headed to dinner and navigated through the beautiful, narrow streets of Venizia.

The next morning, we went to the Rialto Bridge and spent time exploring around the boutiques and eating an authentic Italian lunch. We witnessed a glass blowing demonstration, which was unbelievable seeing how the glass is heated and blown into any shape the glass blower wanted.

We also went to the famous San Marco Square. We had a few loafs of bread to feed the pigeons as we held it on our hands and watched the birds flock to us. Before heading to dinner, we were serenaded by the gondoliers’ voices as we floated down the canals in big beautiful gondolas.

BP France, Switz & Italy on a Gondola

We stopped at a delicious Magnum ice cream store where we were able to build our own ice cream with an endless array of toppings. It was a much deserving treat after a very hot and humid day.

Our time in Venice went by way too quickly as we headed to Florence.

Once we dropped off our backpacks, we headed to the famous leather markets and had the chance to put our bargaining skills to the test. The markets were flooded with merchants selling various items such as leather purses, wallets, coats, ties and watches.

We headed to the Piazza della Republica, which is a square in the heart of Florence that was used for the Roman Forum and until 1888, was the central market place. We discovered our new favourite gelato place. Some trip members even went for a ride on the merry-go-round situated at the very center of Piazza della Republica.

We headed to a delicious restaurant all dressed up in our evening attire ready to hit up Space Disco. The group danced the night away! The Disco played many of our favorite tunes! Overall, everyone had a great time and many stories were shared on our way back!

BP France, Switz & Italy Group Photo in the Mountains

The next morning we roamed the streets of Florence while heading to the Palace and Boboli Gardens. The Palace is a vast residence bought by the Medici family in the Renaissance period. They were well known as the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany who also adopted the renowned Michelangelo. There, we got a chance to roam around the beautiful open fields in their backyard and got a chance to take some very nice group photos.

The following morning, we walked to the Academia Museum where we got to visit the immense Statue of Micehlangelo’s David. We got to see many of Michelagenlo’s other sculptures at the museum and got a guided tour of the city of Florence by an engaging tour guide, Marcello.  We ate along the Ponte Vecchio bridge, visited the Uffizi Gallery and some of us climbed to the top of the Duomo to view the whole city!

At night, our meal was unlike any other meal we’ve had thus far on the trip, we went to Cooking School! We got to learn how to cook our meal and channel our inner Italian chef. We prepared bruschetta, spinach and riccota filled crepes, fresh papardele pasta made from scratch, mushroom stuffed zucchini and a vanilla and orange panna-cotta. Everyone got their hands in this meal and we can honestly say that it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had!

We ended the day playing a few fun activities at the park and stopping by a gelato shop right outside our hotel. Firenzia, you will be missed! This city was definitely many of our trip members’ favorite so far.

Speak to you soon from our next stop, Sorrento!

The Westcoast Blogger

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