Right after we got into our hostel thinking it was pretty great… Until we looked up in the corner and saw the black mold seen below.  The “Hotel Sampaoli” is very close to the center of Florence, but wasn’t even close to meeting the reviews it had received online.  The hallways smelled absolutely horrible (so much so that Grant actually almost got sick), the bathrooms were almost unusable, and the black mold.  Oh, and the last time it was supposedly ‘inspected’ was in 2010.   The experience may have been different if there wasn’t black mold, but I don’t think I could honestly recommend the hostel to anyone else.

Black Mold (Disgusting)

For more information about Sampaoli and my trip to Florence, follow the following links:


Woke up with a little bit of my voice back, but was able to sleep in because of my great class schedule (no class today!).  I  was excited because I was hoping to finally get to get out on my bike, but a constant downpour prevented that from happening.  I ended up running up and down the stairs of our apartment building a few times because I was so restless.

When some of the roommates when back, we decided we were going to try and go shopping before all the sales ended.  After mistakenly going to some sort of shanty town and another place solely selling American brands (at crazy prices too), we walked over to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.  This is the oldest of the four Papal Basilicas in Rome.  It is the home to a few Papal tombs along with the Papal Cathedra (basically a Pope’s Chair).   (iPhone photos below)

stjohnlaternArchbasilica of St. John Lateran


papalcathedraPapal Cathedra

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