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Rounding out the European experience

with 2 comments

For someone who has spent years of his life in Europe, I have spent tragically little time of it in Italy. In fact, I only made it there for the first time in 2009, and even then only for skiing in the Dolomites. That was fantastic, but was not terribly Italian, for the most part.

Currently, I have the benefit of four days in Florence for work, and while I do actually have to do work here, I have time to get out and see things. My first impressions after about five hours in the city:

  • Buses in Florence have no shocks, or their shocks have not been replaced, ever. Must now see dentist to have fillings put back in.
  • Eating takes planning. Wandering around looking for a restaurant tonight did not work. Mediocre food at best, which I think borders on a travesty when in Florence. Need to look for reviews and get it right the next three nights. No time to waste.
  • As with so many European cities, I already see that it is what is behind the facades that is interesting. Florence is actually rather dusty and dingy, not least when one has just arrived from Leipzig, where, oh, 2,000 buildings or so have had their exteriors renovated in the last 20 years. Peeking into doorways and archways, however, I saw fabulous things and need to do more of that.

Staying at the Villa Finaly – which belongs to the University of Paris for complicated reasons – is pretty much like being in an Audrey-Hepburn-in-Italy movie. I am not staying in a room, more like a chamber, with a library, yes, an entire library cum sitting room attached. Am taking pictures like mad, but forgot my cable to get them off the camera.

If you have any Florence tips, do share them with me, please.


Written by Dale

May 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

Posted in dining

2 Responses

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  1. Love your observations and have to say my 2 days experience in Paris in early May was similar except we didn’t use the buses, only the underground. No dentist had to be called. The dust and dirt in Paris were quite noticeable, too.

    I know if I’d done a bit more investigation and planning prior to the excursion things would have gone more smoothly. But at least I knew about the bank holiday so we were able to actually see the Louvre and Versailles – two places I could have used much more time at. Ah well.


    May 24, 2010 at 9:15 am

  2. The food search went much better the next three nights, I am happy to report. Wish I had been able to stay longer in Florence, but am happy with what I was able to do given that I was there for work.


    May 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

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