Friday, May 8, 2015

Florence, Italy

A hundred pictures a day, and a hundred more photos that I never took because I couldn't get my camera out in time, or I was just too busy looking around to take a picture of what I was looking at. I'm not sure how much text will be in these posts, but the images themselves tell the story, more or less. I didn't do much if any research on the places that we've visited today and yesterday, and so if I have the time to look up information I'll put it in along with the photos, but otherwise you'll probably just get a link to the museum or monument.

Florence is a very walkable city, unless you get on the bus going in the wrong direction, as we did yesterday. I thought I knew which bus to take back from the train station where the airport shuttle dropped us off, but I was wrong, so I've done my getting-lost-in-a-city for this trip, I hope, although this one was more annoying because poor Mom and John were dragging bags with them. We ended up back at the train station, and I bought another taxi fare to get us to the apartment, rather than trying one more time to find the right bus.

We're staying in the pink building, on the second (or first, if you're Italian) floor.

There are interesting buildings at every turn, old frescoes on the walls, laundry hanging from lines in front of shuttered windows, and lots of construction going on. Some of it in this building, in fact, both above and below and down the street, which makes this noisy street even noisier. It's in a convenient location to both a good bus stop and several of the major attractions (the Duomo, the Uffizi gallery) and not far from the River Arno. We know where to buy bottled water and bus tickets and sliced salami already, and after the first getting-lost incident haven't had any problem finding our way around.

In the French Basque country, many things were named after me. Here in Italy, they're named for Mom. Since none of us speak Italian, we're free to interpret signs and words in any way we want. I like to think that really great people live on Bad-ass Street here.

It's a noisy, busy city, and we're on a noisy, busy street. We walked through one of the older sections of town this afternoon, that appears to have noise control regulations. I wish they had those here, because there are a lot of people wandering the streets at midnight having loud shouted conversations, and these narrow streets seem to collect and amplify the noise. There are three bus lines that go down the Via dell'Agnolo as well, and it appears to be a favorite route for ambulances and police cars, sirens blaring. We're walking enough that I'm sleeping well at night, even with the commotion.

Or maybe it's that I'm in vacation mode, for the most part - I've e-mailed my client on the big writing project to tell him that while I'll continue to do research and outlines for the next set of articles, I probably won't actually get back to writing them until I'm back in the States. Fortunately, he's fine with that; I'm not as fine because that's no money earned this month, but I'd rather enjoy these weeks with my parents without stressing about work. So I'm not stressing! And sleeping much better as a result. Now as long as I avoid thinking about the necessity of getting a job in two months ...

Con la compagnia non si sente la via.
With company, the road doesn't seem as long.

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