Today we head to the Tuscany region of Italy. We stayed at a BB Firenze Centro. It was a very modern hotel. That night we all took a walk to Il Gatto E La Volde where one of the main dishes of this region is spaghetti and meatballs. They were definitely not your typical spaghetti and meatballs, it contained a slightly spicy sauce but it was honestly delicious. At the end of the meal they gave us all a shot of limoncello for a cheers to good health. Tonight we would go to the Red Garter bar where we sang karaoke all night! At first it was very intimidating singing in front of everyone but after a couple drinks, everyone becomes a rockstar! Our trip manager broke the ice and sang first, then a group of guys tried to be the Backstreet Boys.
The next day we walked back to the center of town and watched a leather demo at Leonardo’s Leather and Gold. I honestly learned a lot of facts about leather since Florence is known for it. They are also known for their puzzle rings. The puzzle rings were created by men who suspected their wives of cheating. Once they take the ring off it falls into 4 connecting pieces that have to be put back together. However, it is very difficult to put back together if you don’t know how. It took me about an hour an a half to get it the first time even after being shown twice. Although it was difficult, the ring is probably my favorite souvenir from my trip. I like showing it off and telling people the story behind it.
After the demo we had a local guide give us a walking tour of the city center, showing us the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and the fake David statue. There is definitely a lot of shopping to do in this area. I did get some fake leather for gifts and for myself since it was a lot cheaper and I did not want to spend that much money.
Tonight we headed to this beautiful area that overlooked the entire city. It was breathtaking !! With Contiki you can opt into buying a group photo so this was where we went to take it. After taking the pictures we took a short bus ride to a restaurant with another beautiful view. They gave us a delicious sangria that I honestly could have drank every day for the rest of my life. For the main course we had a glazed pork and risotto with zucchini.
After dinner we headed back to the center of town we went to one of the most popular night clubs in Florence, Space Disco. I am not a club person, I’ve never been clubbing, I’m not a very social butterfly however I had such an amazing time. Since it was a Tuesday night it wasn’t very busy the only group of people that were there were our tour group of 40 people. It was such a different environment for me but I felt so much more comfortable with these people since they were becoming my new friends. It was a chance to let loose and get to know everyone even more.
The next day we took a trip to the town of San Gimignano, which is a medieval town in Tuscany. We spent a couple hours shopping (and eating of course). There were also some areas with amazing panoramic views of Tuscany. Every single part Tuscany was beautiful, there was not one bad view. After San Gimignano, we drove to the Chianti region for a wine tasting at Tenuta Del Palagio. We were given 4 different types of wine to try, mostly red wine. We were also given a variety of jams/jellies, cheese, oils and bread to try. The Chianti reserve wine was their most popular wine, although it didn’t tickle my taste buds like the Rosa Rosae and for only 6 euros a bottle I couldn’t go wrong.