Well today started out as usual with a long Skype call from New Zealand, then a warm shower and out of the door for breakfast.
But before breakfast I had to remove the rubbish. There is no rubbish collection and householders take their garbage to collection bins. These are all around this suburb. So recycling is alive and well in Florence.
Then into my favourite place for breakfast. This is the sight that greats one as one enters the premises. Mouth watering to say the least. But I stuck to my macchiato and brioche.
Then the bus into town. Yesterday I was accosted by two separate people one to ask directions and the other for my signature on a petition against drugs. This second girl/woman chattered away to me in Italian and when I told her “Non parlo Italiano” or I don’t speak Italian she then switched to English and told me that I looked like an Italian. I think maybe that was a compliment; certainly when I look at the fashionable Italian women around this city.
And today on the autobus on the way to town I was asked the way to the Santa Maria Novella train station. This was easy with a few pointed fingers particularly as it was almost exactly opposite where the bus stopped. She spoke Italian and I understood her to say that she came from Poland and that she would like to visit New Zealand sometime.
Then I set out for the Academie de Belle Arte. This is of course where one finds the original David by Michael Angelo. A gentle saunter through streets now becoming more recognisable to me, brought me to the Via Risoli and there at the end was the Academie. But what a long queue confronted me and it was so long and so many people around that I have resorted to Wikipedia’s photo for this. The photos I took show only people queuing and once inside photography i forbidden.
This is the plaster copy of David that now stands in the square where the original stood for several centuries.
I decided to join a small group being shown around the Museum. For E60 (gulp that’s $NZ96/$US81) we went straight in by-passing the queues, had one and half hours with this delightful (pregnant) guide Lara to show us around and talk to us about the artworks, paintings and of course, David.
The traffic is fast and furious Look out if you try to cross other than on a pedestrian crossing. Drivers take no notice of the road rules. They stop and double park wherever they choose. This of course, makes it very difficult for the buses to get around corners, particularly the very long buses with the groin in the middle. And cyclists I guess, are the same the world over. They appear to disregard any road rules, traffic lights or pedestrian crossings, and they are everywhere in this city.
But I did see this one guy arguing with the traffic warden as she was giving him a ticket. Unfortunately my photo disappeared into the great blue yonder when I was downloading my camera today.
And then after David, I strolled through the square into a market that seemed to be completely filled with vendors of leather goods. All beautiful of course. After all this is Italy, and all competing for attention. But I priced a couple fo items at several of the stalls and they were all the same price.
By this time it was well past three o’clock so I decided to have lunch. Not a great success. The pasta was dry and the sauce lacked body but I was eating it in a pavement café in Florence. How bad is that.
After that and another stroll through the almost familiar streets to the autobus stop at the stazzione for the ride back to the apartment.
I rounded off the day with a visit to the local supermercado. That was quite an experience. But easier this time than the first.
And now I am exhausted. I was out for over six hours today, mostly on my feet so I shall say goodnight to all my friends in the blogosphere.
And a few more photographs: