Excerpt from The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries: Florence, Italy
It’s early when we get on the train in Rome to go to Florence. We are also hungry and for some reason, regardless of the time of day, I will crave an Amtrak cheeseburger when I board a train. Here’s a secret: If you ever crave an Amtrak cheeseburger you should probably seek help, immediately. A quick nap, rolling hills passing by, and rather quickly we arrive in Florence. Across from the train station we are greeted with a McDonald’s. Interesting is that there are no Starbucks in Italy. With no hesitation or discussion we grab a taxi and travel approximately 500 feet to our hotel. Our hotel is a Best Western that has to be one of the nicest of the chain, located a stones throw from The Duomo, and complete with a rooftop terrace and nightly wine tasting.
It’s early so we leave our luggage and head to The Duomo and we grab a quick breakfast (ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast? Why Not?) and tour the inside of the chapel and do NOT wait in line to climb stairs to the top. Initial impression of Florence: Lots of tourists and lots of children. Around the corner from the Duomo area is a street with several pizzerias, including one named O’ Vesuvio which is where The Jersey Shore gang is currently filming and “working”. This particular day it appeared they were filming. We came to this conclusion from the shaved head security outside and the losers signing release forms in the side alley which could only look more degrading (and regrettable) if the clipboard said Taxi Cab Confessions.
Read the full column at INeedAHoliday.co.uk
David S. Grant is the author of several books. His latest, The Italia Diary: A Travel Narrative with Inspired Fiction is now available. For more information go to http://www.davidsgrant.com. Follow David on Twitter .david_s_grant