Train from Cinque Terre to Venice, via Pisa and Florence

On Friday the 27th, I activated my 21 consecutive days, 21-country EuRail pass. This enables me to travel on trains anywhere in the 21 European countries available to me as much and often as I can or want. I have a rough idea of the path I am going to take, which right now I am planning on eventually using the last day of it to get to Barcelona. The great thing about the pass is that it allows me freedom to do what I what and doesn’t make me commit to booking trains and times. I started off by taking a train from Cinque Terre to Venice, and it had two train changes along it, Pisa and Florence. I had 40-minute layovers between trains at each city too. Instead of being a bum and sitting on my ass at the station, I decided to take the world’s faster tours of the two cities.

Getting off at Pisa train station, there is obviously only one thing to do or see in Pisa, the leaning tower of Pisa. I quickly looked at my map and saw it was all the way across town (not a very big town, but still across it), but I tried to catch a glimpse of it anyway. After 18 minutes of run-walking, I barely caught a glimpse of it, but had to turn back to catch my next train, even though I could have easily just caught the next one. I contemplated this but I didn’t want to get into Venice to late, especially since I was only spending a little over a day there.

An hour later I was stepping out of the Florence train station. There is much much more to see and do in Florence, but I just wanted to get a little taste of the city for the 40-minutes I had to do it in. I was able to see a few different things, and made it as far as the impressive Duomo, the fourth largest church in the world. One thing I really wanted to see in Florence that there was no chance of me seeing was the David. I have heard amazing things about it from friends who have gone to see it and I was very very close to skipping my train and going to see it. I am a little disappointed I didn’t, but then I probably would have felt shorted on my stay in Venice. Next time I suppose, next time.

I barely caught my last connection to Venice, and as I was getting on I helped a girl get her bags on, she had no chance by herself. I ended up sitting by her, and she was from Brazil, and living and studying in different parts of Europe for a year and a half (moving from back to Germany from Italy now, with a quick stop to site see in Venice). We ended up talking about the entire train ride and she was very helpful with a lot of things. She had been all over Europe multiple times and wrote me down lists of things to go see and do, and was especially helpful with Munich.

I also spend part of this train ride trying to plan where I would be going next. My somewhat goal/plan is to reserve a spot on a train out of a place when I arrive at one. I had been thinking I would go to Vienna from Venice, but about 5 minutes from arrival I changed my mind and decided to go with a night train the next night to Budapest (still planning on going to Vienna soon though), and the first thing I did when I got there was reserved a spot on that train and then started my Venice adventure.

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