|piazza della repubblica's carousel|
|market in piazza santissima annunziata, florence|
|fishing on the arno|
While in Florence we purchased umbrellas, wandered through the city, saw the duomo's frescoes, and ducked into the Dante & Beatrice cafe for hit-the-spot paninis and coffee (+ to avoid a downpour). We took advantage of a break in the rain to see the Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, and dash over to the Palazzo Pitti & Boboli Gardens.
At the end of the day we dried out while eating an average, over-priced dinner in Piazza della Repubblica and watching the carousel spin around. But before that, in the late afternoon as the rain began to let up, we found ourselves in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, admiring the loggia of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (an art history student's dream), taking great gulps of fall-crisp air and the smoke of roasting chestnuts, and watching local farmers and vendors ply their ware to fellow Florentines. Old ladies fed flocks of pigeons and old men picked up tourists' litter. Couples snuggled along the steps of the square, furiously tapping away on their iPhones. Reggage music pumped out of a bar nearby, and church bells tolled. You could buy artisan cheese, lemon trees, olive-wood bowls, local-spun textiles, wind chimes, and fresh, crusty bread. Or you could just sit and watch Florentine life unfold in front of you.
Sitting in that square, I got the feeling Florence is more fickle than it lets on. Not in the traditional, capricious, unstable, disloyal sense of the word, but in the way that fickleness implies constant change. In a yes we have history but damnit real people live here and we're creating new history all the time way. The kind of thing that alludes to life beyond postcard photos.
It was, I suspect, a few of those perfect hours that make people fall in love with this quirky, touristy, but alluring city. Despite being soaked to the bone.
p.s. that all white outfit? I overbleached the pants and they turned yellow. bleach users: you've been warned.
BY THE NUMBERS
date: september 1
distance travelled: 100 km/62 mi (pisa to florence)
distance travelled to date: 110 km/68 mi
weather: cloudy, rainy
slept at: B&B Hotel Firenze Novoli
parked at: the hotel, for free