Saturday, April 30, 2011

Florence by train

Today we decided to take the treni (train) to Florence (Firenze). We arrived to a bustling (make that a nightmare) crowd of humanity. Good Lord! This is a mission.

Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Gucci and every name you can you imagine is represented here. You can’t walk a foot without running into these names in the storefronts and on people. I have never seen so many people wearing so many name brands. The Italians, from kids up, are moving fashion statements. If the name brands weren’t enough, the markets are full of everything from Italian leather to ceramics and masks.

From the train station, it is a short, but crowded, walk to the Basilica. The cathedral is a huge blue and white tile edifice that only a few thousand photographs can describe and even then not well. Truthfully, as beautiful a city as Florence is, it is almost too overwhelming to enjoy. It makes Manhattan seem quiet.

Diana found some awesome leather jackets in the market. The owner came down from 250 Euro to 200 Euro for cash. It wasn’t in the budget, but I sure would have loved to buy that for her.

We rested over coffee at a little cafĂ© La Sosta de’ Golosi on the Via De’ Pecori and had our first bad food. It took forever to get it and the ravioli and the gnocchi were cold . But, it was an excuse to people watch and we still loved it. We finished off with gelato and (you guessed it) caffee.

By cinquedi (5:00pm) we had to go. Neither of us could do anymore activity. We took the express back to Fiorentino and made the mercifully quiet drive home. As much as we enjoyed the city and as beautiful as it is and as much as I love urban lifestyles, I couldn’t do this everyday. Getting too old, I guess.

On our way home while we were stopped at one of the train stations we looked down at a couple of “love doves” they had nestled themselves about a foot from the train tracks off of the station walkway. To our horror we heard another train approaching fast, we feared for the doves’ lives as there was nowhere for them to go. In between the carriages we could see feathers flying everywhere and we feared the worst. You can imagine our surprise when we saw the doves alive and well. True Italian doves have adapted well!

Wednesday, we see Carla and discuss our project. The European Union is taking natural supplements off the shelves to “protect the consumer.” Of course, we all know what that means…protect Big Pharma. Diana is really ticked off as I am. It amazes me how people will put up with things.

Many countries, such as Holland for example, did not want the Euro. But, they got it. Many, like Italy are paying the price now. The Greeks and Italians can barely afford to live in their own country and the U.S. is not far behind. The EU is bankrupting the European Union just as the Federal Reserve is bankrupting the U.S. What will end up happening is the bankers will repossess the countries!!!

Oh, by the way Brian, take a look at the picture. We found cannolis! Every size and description are for sale. (Just saying).

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