Shopping in Florence- I can’t say enough about it. I would suggest going in wherever looks interesting. Don’t forget to look into alleys as well- many good small boutiques off the main squares. One of my favorite purchases (I admit I could have made it in America but I still feel good about it) was a new watch from Swatch.
We met up with a friend who was studying in Florence for a late lunch before packing up our purchases into our suitcases and heading to the train station. At the train station, we used the automated kiosks to purchase tickets from Florence to Genoa, where we were flying out of two days later. There were no direct tickets so we booked one of the shorter trips with a layover in Pisa. We really weren’t sure if we were on the right train and it also left late, but we got to Pisa eventually. However, since we’d left late, we had missed out connecting train and had to wait longer than anticipated. Thankfully, we had bought some snacks and half bottles of wine in Florence prior to our departure which kept us entertained. The train from Pisa to Genoa was much like the first train we took- very nice and clean and air-conditioned. We ended up having a fully car to ourselves, and we also befriended one of the conductors who sat with us for a while and told us about growing up in the countryside. Really nice guy!
In Genoa, we checked back into the Grand Hotel Savoia for our last couple of days. Our flight back to Boston (Genoa to Rome, Rome to Boston) was easy considering the lax security in Genoa (we didn’t even have to take off our shoes!) Customs was a breeze; however, I did get a few questions about my Canadian Student Visa that I wasn’t expecting.
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone considering visiting Italy. My suggestion would be to spend time in the countryside- it’s incredibly scenic and peaceful, specially during the summer when cities really heat up.
Interested in more Italian adventures? Travel to the coast of Capri and read about the variety of restaurants offered with a water front view: The Complete Guide to Capri Part I