My First Days in Florence

I love Florence. It in some ways reminds me of Paris in as much as history is all around you and you cannot help but feel connected to it. The people here, as in Paris, enjoy life with outdoor cafes and late night eating. Social life is very important here. I found it impossible to enjoy any of the outdoor cafes in Paris because of the heavy smoking. People smoke here but it is rare to be completely surrounded by them in the outdoor seating areas and I am very much enjoying sidewalk dining here. Florence is smaller and more accessible than Paris and the residents are more friendly. (Not to disparage Paris which is wonderful!!)

My little apartment and the view from my window

People here walk and bike. They shop at the local markets. I suspect that Amazon has not damaged the local retail business much! You hear church bells often. People recycle everything and deposit the materials into repositories throughout the city. (It is so efficient!)

The Garbage bins one for food waste, one for plastic and glass, one for paper products and one for non recyclable materials

Eating out in Florence is a social event. No one is rushed. Dinner is expected to take hours and includes appetizers, wine and desert. You must ask for the check, and never feel rushed to make room for the next guest. I’m sure this is why a reservation is necessary in most places unless they are catering to the tourists who are in a rush and want to eat and go. There are many places to eat and the food is excellent. Many of the restaurants have large cuts of meat hanging in the windows. These places sell steak by weight and they are huge! I am told the steak is amazing but I have not found a small army of people to share one with yet!

The local farmers market is huge and a treat for the eyes! Stalls with fruits and vegetables, a vast selection of fresh cheeses, meats, eggs, honey, fish, baked goods. The vendor bags the food for you, no touching the merchandise. It is so easy to shop at the many small little shops that you encounter as you walk around town doing your business. It easy to stop and buy fresh bread, meat and cheese every day, always fresh and delicious.

When you go into a bar (coffee shop) you order your caffè and pastry or little sandwich and stand at the counter to consume. You are not expected to pay until you have finished and are ready to leave. In many places if you sit at a table the price goes up. For instance a cappucino at the counter may cost 1.5 euro but if you sit at a table it might cost 6 euro.

None of this adequately explains why I love Florence. It is hot, humid and crowded. It is full of tourists and it is noisy. At night, with the windows open street noise and mosquitoes come in and you can’t sleep, with the windows closed it is hot and you can’t sleep. It is magnificent; I am besotted!

Florence from altroarno (across the Arno River)

5 Comments on “My First Days in Florence

  1. Your room is charming. Did it really come furnished with a Matisse or did you add that? No wonder it reminds you of Paris. And who knew it pays to stand up and eat? You are becoming a local.

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  2. Love your descriptions and views of Florence. I will never get there and am happy for your blog. Love you

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    • Everything you have described sounds magnificent, even the night noise and mosquitos. I love your room, its so cozy. I know you will catch up on your homework, and just think you’re studying in Italy. Ciao

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  3. OMG! Such a beautiful city. What are you eating? Stinky cheese and wine? Keep the posts coming. I continue to live vicariously.

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  4. Gaw…I didn’t realize that you were posting your blogs! You will obviously have a more encompassing view of Florence because of the length of your stay over my two-day stay during a downpour. I am thrilled that I will be able to view Florence through your literal and personal lens. I only wish that I was there with you!

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