Day 5: Florence By Bike (Barely)

AHA! The bike tour day. Honestly, I ham it up as drama, but it’s one of the most enjoyable days. We get to see a lot of the city, the students get out their energy, don’t get as tired as if by foot, and the guides are almost always really great. 

Except Florence is so crazy! The narrow mideival cobble stone roads share scooters, pedestrians and cars alike! It was mentally exhausting trying to keep myself and the students safe, and not to mention also because it was brutally hot.

We broke off in small groups, one or two teachers, 10 kids, and the guide and hit the streets of Florence. We saw piazzas, courtyards of famous museums, the famous Ponte Vecchio and more. I was constantly ringing my bell, yelling ahead to “look out”, and sweating up a storm. 

These pictures are very misrepresenting of the insanity of the ride. I rarely took my white knuckled hands off the handle bars.  

And, to be honest, I’ve forgotten most of the history the guide taught to us, but I will remember forever the free public fountain (other than gelato and wine, the free delicious water fountains are a top amenity in a Italy) that pumps out *sparkling * water! (left: sparkling, right: regular!)

We joked that all you’d need was a bottle of gin and one could stay on the square all evening. 

After the ride, we reconvened for lunch all together and then students had some time to shop and wander before dinner. Chaperones found a shady spot where we might see students pass by and enjoyed a glass of something local. See! I’m hard at work! 

For our next two days, we had day trips outside of Florence, but since they were small towns and hey, they were both in the same direction, they wanted to consolidate Tuesday and Wednesday’s  itinerary both into Tuesday: one stop in the morning and one in afternoon. This left Wednesday free, but what would we do? The idea of a pool was thrown around as we went to one on the last trip for about €3 per student tucked away in a small town and the students loved it. Elena reported that would be great, and this would would cost about €20. This was more than we felt comfortable collecting from the students after already having them pay €35 for gladiator school. The whole point is that they’ve already paid A LOT of money to have everything included. While we tell the parents there might be a couple last minute and fun changes, we prefer it to be an “instead of” not “in addition to.” We told Elena no thank you. But now we had to come up a plan for the last day. Tomorrow, at least was planned and jam-packed!

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