first week a firenze

by Laura January. 17, 2008 1943 views

So I still love Florence, but have come to discover the small impracticalities. For example, the nonexistence of Ziploc bags - I seriously now have a grand scheme to revolutionize Italy by introducing the wonders of resealable freezer bags. There are giant ziplocs for maglietie (sweaters) e camicie (shirts) but not for food. How backwards is that!
Also, I learned the lesson the hard way not to buy gelato in the middle of town. Perché é carissimo. But I found a nice Bangladeshi lady who owns a vegetable shop that's cheap to begin with but also gave me a 20 cent discount on my potatoes and parsley because I spoke Italian as well as she did, which is to say, pretty badly. She also knew a little English. I feel bad because I know no Bangladeshi. Oh well.
On a different note, I bound a book. Ci sono due fotografie qui. I could have bought one like for 30 euro, but instead I made it! How resourceful of me. I bought the paper in an awesome little artisanal shop on via dei Bardi called Il Torchio. The woman was binding a folio of old WWII newspapers from the day il Duce (Mussolini - I don't rightly know if “Il Duce” is equivalent to “der Führer” - maybe I shouldn't use it?) decided to join the war, which was incredibly interesting. I love all the small shops, but it's sort of annoying when you know what you want and THEY DON'T MAKE IT. Like cheapo disposable tupperware. I mean, life is probably better here because of the lack of cheap disposable things, people think more about the value of whatever they buy, most places don't take credit cards. But at the same time it's so much less convenient.
I still like it. I would gladly live here. I'm making plans to go see the Galleria dei Costumi negli Palazzo Pitti. More later.

Candle tree in the Duomo. It was so beautiful, i like it so much better than the ones in the states. There weren't that many people there on Sunday afternoon, apparently, but I attribute that to the fact that the stairway to the top of the Duomo is not open on Sundays. Cosí non ci sono molti turisti.

The Duomo facade. Truly awe-inspiring. I rarely say that, for the sake of attempting to evade clichés. But really. It was. I was just like, whoa. Whoa. I can't believe that.
I mean, LOOK AT ALL THAT WORK. Do you know how long that must have taken?

THIS WAS ACTUALLY MADE BY GHIBERTI. (actually it's a copy, the originals are elsewhere, but I didn't know that at the time).

Another view of the Duomo. Be ready for many, many more in blogs to come.

The streets are so cute and paved in stone. The biciclisti sono pazzi, though. (They're crazy. But not as crazy as the motorino drivers. OR the three-wheeled truck drivers. I don't understand the three-wheeled trucks. What is the point?)

MORE DUOMO!!!! :D

OMG RISTORANTE. I didn't even eat here, I just thought it was sort of the cutest thing ever. Also it mentions Dante. I don't think he had anything to do with it though.

A SHOP WHERE THEY MAKE HAT BLOCKS BY HAND. Whoa.

Alex enjoys the decoupaged car! It was entirely covered in postcards and maps and such. Gli italiani sono pazzi.

Part of the view outside my Italian classroom. I spend most of my four-hour lessons looking at those roofs.

Nice bridge. The Arno is beautiful at night, more so than during the day. Apparently there are also things called "nutrie" that are a sort of cross between a beaver and a rat, which live in the river. Alison saw one yesterday. Today we were in Italian and Andy was doing hangman or something and the sentence he had was "Marco looks like a nutria." Kind of mean, but kind of true.

The blurry Ponte Vecchio. But the lights are pretty!

Another version of the other bridge.

MORE DUOMO!!!

More of the view straight out of the classroom. The lower window has a cage with birds in it. It's pretty cool. I like it.

The building next to Centro Fiorenza (our language school). How quaint and European it is!!!

Florentine street near the Ponte Vecchio at night. So after Italian I wandered the streets by myself for a while because people ditched me while I was checking my email after class (they didn't realize I was still there, as I later found out). I managed to get back to school after taking a very meandering route without the aid of a map or directions from an Italian, and I was quite, quite proud of myself. Then I ate gelato for dinner.

I made this book by myself! I love it, it feels old already although it's brand new. The pages are all hand-torn, not cut, and the paper was handmade and quite expensive. But so worth it. It's blank, for sketches. Now I know how to make books and I really love it, I might take bookbinding when I get back to Saint Louis.

Kaity reads my book, while Stefania is a photo-stealer!

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