So I guess I haven't written much since we got to Italy, which means we haven't slowed down much in the past week! First off, Italy is amazing and I wish I spoke Italian. There are definitely similarities to Spanish, but I only get about every fifteenth word if I'm really lucky. But it just sounds so good that I am mezmerized just hearing it all around me, all day long. Note to self:learn Italian.
So first off, we took a ferry from Greece to Italy and we were, quite possibly, the only women on the ferry. We felt like we were back in a Muslim country for a minute! Being the low season there weren't many people on the ferry at all, but the majority were truck drivers. We made friends with two English guys and a group of Italians (who spoke about as much English as we do Italian) and played cards and talked most of the overnight trip. When we landed, we hopped on a train to Rome (the eurail pass is MUCH better now being in Italy and having an eraseable pen!). Rome was as incredible as I could have imagined. Rahima had been there before, so the next day she did laundry and slept in while I rapidly depeleted my bank account running around and paying ridiculous, but necessary, entrances to Vatican city, the Sistene Chappel, and the Colleseum. It was incredible. Once again I was awed by what people were able to build so long ago and how well it has staved off the effects of time.
The following morning we headed to Pisa, but ended up getting in touch with a gal from SF that we met in Sevilla who is now travelling in Italy (are you all still with me?) and is in Florence. So, with our backpacks in tow, we took a city bus to the leaning tower, took pictures as the sun set, jumped on another train and headed to Florence to meet up with Chloe and the people she had been couchsurfing with.
So, we ended up staying the last three days up in the hills of Tuscany, with a bunch of Italian hippies. As one of them described Galiga, it is a fraction of a fraction of a town. It maybe consists of five houses on a hillside. The house where we stayed has eight bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, a foozball table, and a great fireplace in the livingroom/diningroom (which also doubles as an oven for bread and the waterheater!). At any given point there are between 8 and 25 people there. Some are students, some have jobs in Florence, one is the mayor of Galiga, and so on and so on. When someone cooks, they cook for everyone. Somehow there is always food (most likely pasta). The anarchist philosophy just seems to work. It is "rustic" (aka dirty) but someone is always cleaning something up. They were all so welcoming and really, really nice. One night the parents of the girlfriend of one of the guys (once again, are you following?) came and cooked dinner for everyone. They made delicious polenta and even brought homemade bread and wine. Italians seem to be the happiest people on the planet as long as they are eating, feeding someone else and in a big, loud group. :). I love my people!
So yesterday we spent the day wandering around Florence in the drizzling rain, saw most of the sights famous to Florence, drank some coffee, ate some gelatto, and had an apertivo for dinner. Best deal in Europe. For 7 euros you get a drink, and then all you can eat appetizers which are really good. So Rahima and Chloe and I got to sit around, stuff our little faces and enjoy (and I mean really enjoy because we could afford it!) good company and good food. La dolce vita!