October 5, 2015, 01:06 PM
Lone travelling – Pisa (and Florence) 3 nights, November 2015
Well, as fate would have it I’m lucky enough to be in Pisa from 1st-4th November and I have a few queries!
To put things in perspective, my long term relationship just ended (it’s all amicable – thankfully!) and I’ve always wanted to do some travelling. I sought out some last minute travel deals in Italy and here I am.
This will be a new experience for me. I think I’ll be fine during the day wandering about, but may get a little bored in the evening and eating alone doesn’t entirely appeal to me…
Any tips, advice, personal experiences of travelling alone or pointers on locating social evening hubs in Pisa/Florence are invited and welcome!
So, I’ll be staying in Pisa but having sifted through my old slightly outdated guidebooks it looks like I may have seen the local sights within half a day. I’m definitely considering the train trip to Florence for a day or two, but I’m open to suggestions and remain a little wary of a) the weather in November(!) and b) the fact that one of my full days in Tuscany will be a Monday, and I understand a lot will be closed(?).
I’m going to crack down and practice the basics of Italian over the next four weeks and try my best, but I was just curious to know how easy it is to just stroll around and strike up a conversation in English?
My least ‘non-urgent’ query . I love food. I’m already aware that ‘Bistecca alla fiorentina’ is a must try. As I’m only around for a few days, is there anything else you think I shouldn’t miss out on? Time allowing I may even have to try and squeeze in a cookery course somewhere if I can find one.
If you have any thoughts on any of the above and/or would like to share your own experiences I would love to hear from you! Until then, I hope you have a lovely day.
October 6, 2015, 12:36 PM
Travelling in November
The easiest of your questions is the language: it is pretty easy to strike up a conversation whereever you go...if the locals don't speak the language you are sure to find a willing tourist or two (even in November the city centers are full!!) However, the Italians all seem to have a smattering of English - and besides: the act of trying to communicate, finding words to express yourself is just part of the fun!
So no need to rely on outdated guide books for Pisa, you will find quite a bit of ideas and suggestions at this link: http://www.discovertuscany.com/pisa/ - there IS more to see than just the tower.
I also strongly suggest that if you are thinking to visit the tower of Pisa, then book now. Tourist season may be a bit slower but you wouldn't want to get here and then have to wait for another 4 - 5 hours (if not a day or two) before you can visit the Tower up close and step by step: http://www.uffizi.org/the-leaning-tower-of-pisa/
Now for eating alone, I know what you mean ... it's not always "fun". A cooking lesson usually includes the dinner or lunch afterwards - and that is always fun ( http://www.discovertuscany.com/tuscany-cooking-classes/ ) Another idea, is when you are in Florence you can eat at least one meal at the San Lorenzo Market--it is open seating and makes it easier to meet people ( http://www.visitflorence.com/what-to...al-market.html ) and while you are here, another very famous Florentine dish served up (and I am told served up well) is lampredotto. It is served as a sandwich and (so they tell me, but personally I am a bistecca fiorentina kind of girl!) it is pretty good.
I hope this gives you a start in making plans.
October 7, 2015, 04:47 PM
Pisa/Florence - November
That is was really helpful – thank you for taking the time to reply.
Phew on the language front – I’ll just give it a good go! The Pisa info is invaluable. I’ll look into booking my tower ticket this weekend.
I love the idea of a cookery course! The only affordable one I’ve found runs in the evening in Florence and I don’t think I can quite make the last train back to Pisa. I’ll keep on searching though, that’d be a great experience.
Initially put off by the idea of lampredotto, I’ve not tried tripe – but in the spirit of travel, I will have to try it! The reviews online rave about it.
San Lorenzo Market looks amazing – I’ll have to try not to buy too much to carry.
October 8, 2015, 05:10 PM
I also think you should give it a go - you never know! I prefer trippe over lampredotto but the consistency is the most interesting part for both. But overall I think the trippa is just more flavorful, while the lampredotto is served with a spicy green sauce but not cooked in it, which makes a big difference ;-)
October 9, 2015, 01:06 PM
Thanks! I’ll add a more traditional trippe to the list of things to try, that may have to be one of my evening choices .
Last year I went on a bit of a food-tasting exodus which included Chinese century eggs and Swedish surströmming… I anticipate lampredotto/trippe being nicer .
October 9, 2015, 02:55 PM
WOW! you've got courage/guts as far as trying out new foods ;-)
I think tripe/lampredotto will be more filling and tasteful!
October 9, 2015, 03:28 PM
I must admit, the closer it gets the more excited I'm getting about the food in Italy in general!
I'm going to get home much heavier :).