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In Firenze!

After spending way too much time on planes and in airports, Sarah and I got to Florence yesterday. Even though we were exhausted, we managed to go out and find dinner, then stumble back to our hotel and get ten or so hours of sleep. Today we felt much better, and spent the entire day exploring the city to see what we could see.

In short: wow. Everything about this city is fantastic! It's beautiful in even its small details, and nearly everyone is friendly, even to us Americans. It helps that ghira has helped me so much in my quest to learn Italian, so usually I can conduct a large part of any given transaction using it. More often than not, when I (inevitably) say the wrong thing, whoever I'm talking to just laughs and corrects me.

The city's much smaller than the maps make it look, but there are so many little streets packed with interesting stores and caffés and restaurants that I imagine you could spend months here without finding them all. Two that we can recommend highly already are I Fratellini, a tiny little panini-and-wine shop with excellent prices for excellent food, and Trattoria Zá-Zá, a touristy but still great restaurant. We had dinner at the latter today, and after a great meal, tipped the friendly (and patient) waitress well, and then wandered over to the nearby gelateria, across the piazza. As we were getting ready to order, the waitress from Zá-Zá came running up to us carrying a small cream pudding with cookies, and told us it was a gift, and that we could return the dish when we were finished. I think we'll definitely be going back there!

I have so far managed to avoid Stendhalismo, but just barely.

If you haven't looked at our photos so far, feel free. I'll keep putting them up each day. Here's a shot from Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking the city.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
lostphotos
May. 4th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAY FOR YOU!
omg so proud of my little italians. mm mm.
ghira
May. 4th, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)
It's nice to hear you're enjoying yourselves!
rfreebern
May. 4th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
It has surpassed all of our expectations. I'm amazed that after four months of studying and building up expectations, it's still better than I had hoped for. This is an amazing experience!
ghira
May. 4th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Are you going to drop in on a university lecture (if
there are any going on)? There's no way anyone would rumble
you, or even care. It would probably be easier to follow
than cinema or TV.

rfreebern
May. 7th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
I think for this trip at least, we've got our hands full just seeing the sights and exploring. My understanding of the language and the culture feels a lot more solid than it did a week ago, and I'm getting plenty of practice with the language just shopping and eating.
rfreebern
May. 4th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
We are proud of us, too! We keep thinking of you as we walk around the city and see the beautiful things you told us about. IT IS SO GREAT.
ghira
May. 6th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
I realise you're mostly there for art, but have you also tried
watching Italian TV? Bookshops? edicole? The cinema, maybe?
rfreebern
May. 7th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
We've watched a little TV, and spent a fair amount of time in bookshops. I bought a copy of Neil Gaiman's "Stardust" in Italian, and we picked up a cute kids' picture book called "Ippo Parla" too.

The weather forecast is calling for rain at least one day this week, so we may try and catch a film then.
ghira
May. 7th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
Lots of newspapers and magazines sold in edicole come with free (or cheap)
DVDs or books. Worth a browse. I acquired a lot of my Italian DVDs that way.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 19th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
ristorante firenze
Just within the old Florence you can find a real pizza as the original Naples one: ristorante firenze (http://www.munaciello.it/ristorante_firenze.htm).
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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