In florence, my accommodations took an about face from Naples. Instead of the modern, young and energetic atmospere of the Naples Experience, I was staying in a centuries old building with an active church and monastery.

One of the many murals and frescoes I found around my hostel.
Now imagine being surrounded by these

Despite the calmer, more historical vibe, there were still people to meet, and I had a great time. I visited some of the iconic Florentine museums, such as the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery.

Michelangelo's David
This guy is HUGE, more than 5 meters tall

Because the weather was rather poor for most of my visit, I spend a lot of time exploring and admiring the beautiful building I stayed in. I made friends with other residents, and had an overall great time in my hostel.

The many rooftops above the crowded buildings.
I can picture a sly rogue jumping from roof to roof
One of the courtyards, with a single tree in the center.
What a lonely tree

Although I can’t deny the beauty of Florence, I found myself missing Naples. They are very similar cities on the surface, but Florence feels like it has a veneer over it for the sake of attracting tourists, whereas Naples felt like an authentic glimpse into true Italian life and culture.

Now that I’ve been to three big Italian cities back-to-back, I’m excited to change pace, and visit somewhere a little smaller…