in which i fell in love with florence
First of all, I had no idea that that was how you said “Firenze.” I had to learn from The Jersey Shore. Every time Firenze’s name would pop up in Harry Potter, I’d just pretend it didn’t exist. Because that is how mature people roll.
It was around this time that I began feeling really tired of taking photographs. I know that’s a little sacrilege, but as much as it pains me to admit it, I began wondering if I’d overpacked cameras (I brought along a Nikon D7000 with a 35mm lens, a Nikon FM-2 with a 50mm lens; mostly because I forgot to bring the 35mm, and a Lomography LC-A+ with a wide lens attachment I borrowed from Shine). From here on out, I would bring a maximum of two cameras every time I stepped out into whichever city we would be in.
It took about four hours to get to Florence from Rome, and when we got there, we were famished! Because we traveled in a group of five with one bag each, we do not usually like hailing cabs (they fit only four people) so if there is no public transport like a bus or a tram, we usually just walk it. Which is not a pleasant experience if the roads are cobblestones (which they are).
We rented an apartment that was about twenty steps away from Piazza della Signoria. Seriously. It was awesome. There were also a cluster of pizzerias down one side, so we ended up grabbing a bite to eat.
I’ve probably mentioned it already, but I’ll say it again: In Italy, they usually serve each person their own whole pizza.
I had porcini (mushroom) risotto because I missed rice, and because I hadn’t had any yet in Italy. They actually sell “instant risotto,” kind of like instant noodles here, but they took about twenty minutes to cook, so I don’t really know what’s so instant about that. Also, the instant stuff smells really good, but tastes kind of like nothing.
Mama, trying to fit us all in one picture, hehe.
As you can probably tell, Florence is beautiful. My parents said that most people who visit Florence are only there for the day, opting to spend the bulk of their vacations in bigger cities like Rome or Milan. Of course, my mind played with the idea of maybe living there one day or something. It was really picturesque, although my brother pointed out that it seemed like it was comprised of 90% tourists.
I rather love the markets, too. They have a lot of stalls that sold leather (smelled so good!) and other unique, handcrafted items. One seller showed us how to tell the difference between “plastic leather” and real Italian leather. Frankly, I was horrified that they would even sell artificial leather along with the real kind.
Here are some tourists rubbing the snout of Il Porcellino for good luck. According to tradition, you put a coin in the boar’s mouth, allowing it to fall into the grate below (around its feet). Then, you rub its snout for good luck and also, of course, for a return trip to Florence. There is a marble copy of the Florentine Boar in the Louvre, among other places, and there was a florentine boar in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, apparently! I have yet to check it out, although I do remember seeing a boar when I went on the Studio Tour in London, further down this trip.
Because of a tip from two friends (thank you Armando & Lora!), we decided to catch the sunset at Piazalle Michelangelo, which has a panoramic view of Florence. I should have anticipated a high climb (duh, Carina), but it’s okay because it was worth it.
Be-a-utiful! For a minute, I wished I had brought my Sprocket Rocket (imagine!) but I know it’s severely impractical. Still though, that would have been a lovely view caught on film.
Thank everyone and their mother that David has a bunch of replicas strewn all over Florence, because we were NOT able to see the original. It’s a long, sad story, but enough of that! We were still all smiles here: