Florence..a lovely city (but where's the laundry?)

Trip Start Jan 11, 2007
Trip End Jan 15, 2010

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Flag of Italy  ,
Saturday, April 21, 2007

You come to Florence for the art. You come to Naples for the food. That was my statement after 24 hours in the beautiful tourist city that is home to David and the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Florence is a beautiful place, that's for certain. We took the Eurostar express train from Naples, and arrived in just over 3.5 hours. The sun was beginning to set and it was easy to walk to our hotel from the train station. Like most European cities, the historic district is small and compact, and most of the major sights are within walking distance. I love that about the areas of Europe we have visited so far. It is so easy to travel via train, and not worry with parking, expensive gas, or fighting traffic on the highway. I wish America had a better rail system. Maybe our country is simply too large to make it work efficiently or maybe we've just never invested in the infrastructure.

We visited the Uffizi and Accademia museums and saw the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio bridge, which are all required stops on the express tourist pass through town. Being a short-timer, transplanted Neapolitan, I did wonder where everyone lived and where they hung their laundry to dry. I saw no evidence that a single person actually lived inside the city walls of Florence. Maybe all the natives ride the bus to work each day, and are required by city law to park their car outside the city so the tourists can take over the actual town. Florence was a lovely city, but compared to our new adopted home of Naples, the inhabitants had little of that passion, zest, and flair so characteristic of the Italians we have met in Naples. I guess they grow 'em hotter in the South!

I can't wait to return to Florence and visit more art museums, walk through some of the smaller streets, and shop at the charming paper and leather goods stores. I found a wonderful book shop where all the books and paper are handmade and many are bound in leather---it's right near the Santa Croce church which is itself a sight on the must see list. Off to the left on a small side street in that same area is Vivoli Gelateria, a place where they claim to have the best gelato in all of Italy. Quite a claim for a country that loves its gelato, but the stuff was amazing. What was NOT amazing was the bread in Florence. Apparently there is no salt in the bread, as a Neapolitan told me later. I would not eat it and thought they must keep the good bread for themselves and give the bad bread to the tourists. My husband said I was rude to the waiter when I told him in Italian that in Naples, the bread is good, but in Florence, the bread was not good. I was not at the table when the bill came. My husband paid it quietly, and whisked me out without mentioning the extra 3 Euro "bread charge" that had been tacked on, on top of the other 6 Euro in bread charges for no apparent reason, other than perhaps that I told the waiter the bread sucked.
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Blenda Simms on

Hahaha, I'm enjoying the laugh of knowing exactly what you are writing about here.

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