Allora oggi . . . two days ago we arrived in Firenze (Florence) and I desperately tried to remember what it is about Firenze that I love. It was jarring to be in Florence after the tranquility and serenity of Siena. (Okay with the exception of the Sienese Palio preparations and the Italian victories during the Euro Cup.) The first day in Firenze was 100 degrees Fahrenheit and was absolutely packed with tourist. The following day still a100 degrees and even more tourists and students, many of them speaking American English. Then on Monday, slight relief from the heat and a marked decrease in the crowding of the citta centro.
One of the things I remembered about Firenze is that I have never visited Florence in the height of summer. Note to self do not visit Florence again during July or August the lines to see David are extensive the heat nearly unbearable and the crowds irksome. It doesn’t help that I am aware that my presence only adds to the crowding. Another memory about Florence returned . . . SHOPPING fabulous shopping. Where the shopkeepers are engaging, helpful, Italian, and seem truly interested in the fact that you have entered their store. The shopkeepers patiently converse with me in Italian. They share stories and experiences about other areas of Italy and provide travel tips. This afternoon one shopkeeper invited us to join him for an afternoon caffé after we had had a lengthy conversation about the merits of learning Italian through immersion. Ohh, I LOVE Firenze, the people, the gelato, and the ambiance are so Italian. Restate sintonizzati . . .