We find Plus Hostel just a few blocks from the train station. Walk up and it looks more like a hotel than a hostel. Seems to be in the upper swankelons. Head inside and it is pristine in here. There’s a security guard up front who nods at us as we proceed to the two hosts behind the front desk.
They get us checked in in about two minutes flat all while explaining that there is laundry, a bar, a restaurant, and tours available here at the counter if we’re interested. Place is clinically efficient but still has character and everyone is all smiles. Good good so far.
We get to the room and the AC is blasting. Nice beds, towels, it’s super clean, ensuite bathroom and there’s a window out to a balcony. “Dude… this place is awesome.” “Ya, feels like a hotel. I don’t really know why you wouldn’t stay here.” “This is definitely the best hostel of the trip so far. How much was this joint?” “Only, like, 35 bucks haha.” “Ok, that’s just silly.”
We get cleaned up from our travel day and go downstairs to explore the place a little more. It’s sick. Huge laundry room with 10 washers and dryers, “There’s not gonna be any conflicts or waiting here!” We immediately biff our entire backpacks in them.
Around the corner from this is a giant common area with a full bar with disco dance lights going, a restaurant, multiple tables to sit at, a pool table, foosball table, two tennis tables, signs to an indoor pool, and an outdoor area that looks like it may also have a pool.
“Man. Florence is not fucking around.” “I guess this is what being the cultural hub of the universe will afford you.” “This place rocks, I’m pumped.” “Drinks?” “Drinks.”
We get a couple of dG&Ts while the laundry is going. It only takes 30 minutes to wash and 35 minutes to dry. After all of the laundry fiascos we’ve had on the trip this comes as just sweet sweet icing on an already killer hostel cake. “Did I mention how much I love this place?” “I know, (sniff..) I know.”
We take in a few more drinks and watch the place fill up a bit. There’s a table of a dozen loud drunk college kids here now. Another group of tough guy types take over the pool table. And outside are two older gentleman politely talking while enjoying some cigarettes. The full range of patrons.
Smells like teen spirit comes on and some drunk girl yells, “This is fucking Creed!” MacKay and I start howling, “Ahhh Kurt Cobain rolls over in his grave.” “Fuck, I guess.”
Up next is Scorpions, Winds of Change. “Who is responsible for this music?” “Haha I know. Can’t be those guys. These kids weren’t even born yet.” After this is Breaking the law by Judas Priest. “Alright, this requires some investigation. MacKay goes up to get more drinks and talks to the bartender about it. “This your playlist?” “Fuck yeah I love this shit! You guys want a shot?” “Haha sure.”
The bartender’s name is Chris. He enjoys 80’s metal ballads and free shots. He gives us two large draws of Jim Beam. MacKay eyes them up sideways and shakes his head, “I’m allergic.” Ahhhh… ok, I’ll let that slide. He gets a beefy vodka shot instead, leaving me with two large shots of Jim Beam (which I don’t actually mind, having garnished some respect a few years back when two shots of Jim Beam quite possibly saved me from going into anaphylactic shock. Actually, I should write them a letter of appreciation. But that’s a story for another time…).
Chris decides to have a shot too, “Cheers Fuckers!” “Haha cheers, man!”
After this we’re as good as gooned. But we’re also dead tired having toured almost the entirety of the planet’s best preserved archaeological site, walked all over Pompeii and Naples, and then a 3 hour train ride to get here. There’s also this cultural mecca right outside the hostel doors that will require some serious exploration tomorrow. The Duomo. The David. The Uffizi. Ya best to just hit the hay and save the energy for a mega tour day.
We gather up our laundry and head back to the room with what’s left of our drinks. I sneak out the window and have mine on the balcony. Wow, this place is enormous. There’s a whole ten stories across the courtyard. And yeah, that totally is a pool down there. Off-season I guess, but still pimpin.
Feels kind of weird to do a bunch of shots and just go to bed, but we settle into boxer time in the comfy comfy sheets and hit the lights anyways. Could be just the ticket for a good night’s sleep. Though I am excited. I fell in love with beautiful Florence last time I was here (was that a decade ago? sheeeesh). Looking forward to seeing it all over again.