Sunrise in Settignano

Yepp another travel throwback to my very first all nighter. That’s right, I’ve never stayed up all night, not even at sleepovers. For my Italian immersion program, we spent the first week staying at a convent turned school (sort of) in Settignano called Villa Morghen. It was our last night at the Villa because the next day we would be moving into our hostel in Florence.

A couple of us were casually drinking and chatting, finally getting to know each other and last minute we decide to go for a walk at 3:30 in the morning. It was a “why not” (or “ma perché no?”) moment. Not everyone went, there was a couple of other students that were smart and went to bed.

My friend Adam, kindly lent me his sweatpants and I changed into comfy shoes and brought along my disposable camera (of course). Oliver brought his camera and got some hilarious photos of our journey. Bianca decided to take on the task of carrying around the giant wine bottle.

Our goal was to walk to Fiesole, but mostly to find a good spot to watch the sunrise. We walked over 14 km in the pitch black! Not going to lie, I didn’t think we would actually stay out all night. We walked up hills, saw the Florence skyline at night and walked in the dark using the flash on our phones to guide our way. Don’t worry, we had a system down, we each had a number and called it out in order. We’re not that foolish.

At one point we were tired and slept on a bed of rocks off the road. I’m serious. It was really cold but surprisingly I felt quite comfortable. We huddled up in a line and had group huddles like little penguins. I remember thinking: what are we doing. We could so die. I just wouldn’t look back because it was pitch black behind us. We’d share stories and we may have sang a few songs and  I think at one point we all just walked in silence. Then on our way back, slowly but surely, the sun began to rise and it was all worth it. We may have unknowingly trespassed a farmer’s property, when we saw a man with a gun and a dog. He started to shout, either at us or something else, we had no idea! But we all ran as fast as we could. That was a bit scary. However, we found a different spot to watch the rest of the sunrise and it was breathtaking! It was starting to get warmer (thank goodness) and we made it just in time back at Villa Morghen for breakfast with enough time to pack our belongings to Florence.

Sometimes I still can’t believe that I got to spend an all nighter with some really great people while in I T A L Y – excuse me!? It felt like ages ago and I’m thankful I have photos to share and look back on.

Now, if you’re going to pull an all nighter and decide to walk to a different city in a foreign country, here are a few things you might want to consider:

  • Go with a group- safety in numbers and it’d be more fun
  • Make sure your phone is charged and turn your GPS on
  • Wear layers, it’s get a lot colder at night, in the morning you can rock the jacket tied around your waist. No judgment
  • Enjoy the sunrise, take in the beautiful scenery.
  • Take a nap the following day, you’ll need it.

Enjoy these pictures from my disposable/iphone,  I shared a few of them before!


The sunset that day.


Making our way through Settignano.


We’re all smiles and still full of energy.

i culi cattivi

“I Culi Cattivi” as said by Mohammad. Photo taken by Oliver!

F1270017   IMG_8199IMG_8205


Enjoy your next all nighter to watch the sunrise! 🙂


All photos on this site are mine unless otherwise stated. 

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