Traveling in Italy and spending one week solo in Florence was another dream come true. On my bus ride from Siena to Florence I was so excited I think I said “Oh my God I’m going to Florence” a million times.
Whenever I am arriving in a new place by bus, I always have this tiny freakout moment with fear of getting off at the wrong place or that the driver doesn’t stop where I need.
Solo in Florence | Italy
I explored Florence like a crazy person. Got the map in my hands and tried to walk everywhere and all the time in diferente streets. I wanted to see it all.
I’ve discovered with this trip that I love wandering around with no specific purpose. I just like to watch people, take photos and enjoy the tiny moments while eating a gelato or a pizza slice.
I think my friends and family sometimes think my life backpacking Europe is all rainbows. It’s not. But want to know the truth? It’s not suppose to be that way.
This is not a normal vacation of waking up at lunch time and lay on the beach all day and enjoy time to rest. I always knew it would be exausting, and that’s my choice.
I wake up every day around 7am or sooner. With little time to explore, waking up early gives me a few extra precious hours. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it’s suppose to be.
Arriving in Florence solo, I was happier than ever. My eyes were glowing with the excitement of seeing this city.
Still, my legs were starting to feel the weight of my backpacks. It’s really true you should pack light. But as a first time solo female traveler, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
The good thing about going solo is that I don’t have to follow a pace that’s not my own. So if I feel tired, I just rest and that’s ok.
Whenever I want to walk I walk. And when I want to sit down and write on my notebook I can do so. And when I feel like having a gelato in some church’s stairs I can do it. See the beauty in it?
I can do anything I want, everyday. It’s totally up to me the way I spend my time.
Florence made me think about all these things. I don’t know if it’s because I was in a big city, but I felt the total freedom to just do everything I wanted, and I enjoyed my time well.
Meeting my family in Rome after two week solo traveling gave me the strengh to keep moving. I recharged my batteries and I was confident I could do this.
Of course I had my low moments, as always. I missed my train to Lucca because I stood in front of the arrivals screen instead of the departures. I also missed one train from Rome back to Florence, followed by a run of 400meters in less than five minutes because Italians are crazy!
Solo in Florence | My meltdown
Oh, and I made a mess in my dorm because once I got back I decided to change beds and this made a new guy steal a girls bed and once she got back she had no bed to stay. I may have pretended I had no idea what was going on.
And I also had a melt down in Florence. On my last day I got back from my day trip to Pisa and Lucca, entered the room, sat on the floor with all my crap everywhere on the floor and I stayed there from 6.30pm until 1am.
The reason of this was that I had no hostels booked. For months I had planned this trip, but after Italy I had nothing. I was leaving to Venice the next day, would be there for three nights and after that nothing.
I couldn’t decide were to go because I was too scared and I eventually started crying.
The good thing about being the only girl in the dorm is that when the guys see you crying on the floor, they’ll offer you beer and chocolate, get your computer and start looking options for you.
Two Australians and one guy from California saving my life that night. I was so stressed that when the one from California offered me chocolate I almost shouted.
“oh, you guys think you can shut us girls up with chocolate”
Not my finnest moment because he was super nice and really cute, but my mood improved after that.
Let’s just say by the time I got up the floor I hadn’t decided anything. The guys really didn’t help me with the decision of where to go. Still, they helped by being nice and not calling me crazy for the way I acted.
Honest thoughts after one week solo in Florence
I loved Florence, but not in the way that you expect. It wasn’t a city that took my breath away all the time or made me say “Oh my God” every corner. Florence was different.
Here I embraced being alone, where I took time to follow my wishes of the moment. It was where I enjoyed the little things, but the ones that made me feel complete and that I am in the right place and doing the right thing.
Florence was there I started to follow my heart
I sat on a place with a panoramic view of the river and just stayed there watching the birds fly. Far away from the crowds, I discovered this place close to the water and stayed there watching the sun go down with a smile on my face as I enjoyed my so much loved silence.
Maybe you think that watching birds, write on a notebook and going to a distant place from the center is a waist of time, and that I didn’t enjoy Florence the way I should have.
What about museums? What about the art? The renaissance? The Duomo? I don’t think I can explain anyone this, but trust me when I tell you that I was much happier this way than if I had spend my fulls days in museums and churches no matter how amazing they could be. It’s the amazing part of travelling solo.
I don’t have to explain it, I just have to do what I feel is right at the moment, and If it feels right and makes me smile, than I’m sure it’s the best way to spend my time.
Florence is the center of it all! From here, you can get a train or a bus to everywhere you want in Italy. And you can do it in a cheap way!
If you want to take a day trip to Pisa & Lucca, buy a ticket to Lucca but make a stop in Pisa first (the ticket will cost you 7€, 14€ round-trip).
And if you always wanted to go to the Cinque Terre, but spending a night there is too expensive (you’ll pay more than 50-60 euros per night). Stay in Plus Florence Hostel that will only cost you 11,8€ a night, and then get the train to La Spezia (12€) where you have regular trains that do the Cinque Terre coast and stop at all the five towns.
Leave a Reply