Rounding out the European experience
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.