So after enjoying the architecture of Florences Santa Maria Novella train station & not taking enough photos, we left our backpacks at the cheap ‘left luggage’ and made our way towards the centre.
Along the way Franca spend less time looking at the age old churches & gelato stop after gelato stop, and more time pressing puzzled & looking buttons (ANGLO/Dale – purposely mis-typed there for the hilarity) at her phone trying to contact some locally based friends of Firenzian birth & some friends who are temporary residents of the historical city.7
Little success was had with the texting & phone calling, so we set off around the city to see what we could see, but we had to stop every once in a while…
…so Franca could try again…
…and again. You can tell that I felt a little at a loss as I started taking photos of the most peculiar of things.
Eventually Franca managed to get into contact with a friend or three so we could really put our legs into forward motion & explore the famous art dealer lined streets of Florence. Along each of the main roads you’ll see groups of men carrying bundles of white card backed pictures & paintings – all remarkably similar – ready to lay them out as quick as a ninja directly in the path before you giving you no choice but to look where you’re stepping. You look – so as not to stand on them – and they begin to offer you one, trying to place it in your hand.
Though I commend the effort made, the methods aren’t exactly to my liking. Just proceed to stroll past, and should you change your mind, well, you’ll see the same pictures in fifty metres time. I appreciate that those people trying to sell are out to make a living to possibly feed their families (or a pet dog named ‘Stewie’), It’s just not a method I enjoy having to walk past all of the time.
I actually learned later in the day that the pictures that you’ll see throughout the city are indeed all the same, and are just bought from other tourist shops & sold at a slightly higher mark-up. Now that’s some clever business-nouse that must be applauded.
So we saw some of the sights. We took some pictures, and then I must have forgotten we have a camera because this is the culmination of that day:
So, we finally met the culmination of all of those messages; our friend Kostas. We mulled over the idea of coffee, a cornetto (pastry) or some gelato. Obviously we chose the liquid of the gods – black gold. We supped our espressos & then took to sitting in the street on a closed shop doorstep watching people pass by as we heard of new music on the way from Kosta’s metal band 81db & interacted with drunk passes by. Also, we took note of all of the locals wearing classic dress for a local Florentine football match. Needless to say we didn’t get any photos of that (when will we learn?).
All caught up & with our accommodation to find & bags to collect, we bid our friend a farewell.
Later that night we did return to the city streets to familiarise ourselves with our home for the next few days and to find a bite to eat. The city at night is a beautiful thing indeed so we decided that the following day, we’d take the walk up to the highest nearby point and take some pictures of the cityscape.
I’ll leave that day for another post as you’ve probably seen enough for one post, but take this image as a teaser for the day that followed.