A stop on the way to Rome
Let me finish up with the end of my visit in Florence
. It continued to be hectic and crazy, but wonderful. Florence is such beautiful city, but the people there have made a deal with the devil. There are so many tourists there, that you rarely hear Italian over the complaining and kvetching of the Americans, Japanese, and other Europeans. While I waited in line to see the David, the young American couple behind me fought about whether it was worth a 3 hour line to see Michelangelo's masterpiece. They were really fighting and she finally walked off and he waited around and then went after her. I wanted to turn around and say, yes, it is worth a three hour line -- people have no problem waiting 3 hours for a ride on a roller coaster that lasts 2 minutes, but seeing what I consider the most impressive piece of art in the world is a problem -- it makes me sad.
5 Liters of Wine
While in line I ran into students from Tech who were waiting in line and a man who lived across the street on the fourth floor kept holding things out of his window for us to see -- like his dog. He also warned us about the pigeons dangerously overhead, which I thought was nice. The best part of the trip to Florence was the last day, it was still raining but we went to the Boboli Gardens, where the rain stopped -- they were beautiful. Then on the way to the next site, the meanest Chapel in the world, Santa Maria del Carmine, I found the sandals I have been looking forward for the past 4 years, but the store was closed. On the way back from the Chapel, the store was open, and it turns out that they only make shoes there, but fortunately Ann will be in Florence next week, so they are being made for me and Ann can pick them up, my shoe dream has come true.
The imposing San Gimignano skyline
After the shoes, Joyce and I went to have a few cocktails, and devoured the potato chips. Then we went to dinner, it was the best dinner of the trip. I had gnocchi, fried zucchini flowers, and an entree of asparagus and parmesean, if you are ever in Florence, eat at Mama Gina's. After packing my new luggage and sleeping one more night in my kick ass room, we were on the road to Rome
in the rain. Our pit stop for the day was San Gimignano near Sienna. It is a hill town known for its towers. It used to have 57 of them, now 14. Its another town that has sold its sould for tourists, but it is really beuatiful. It wasn't raining there, but soon after we left, the temperature dropped and the rain came, it was like winter. 50 degrees and pouring as we arrived in Rome. Joel got a little lost, but we got checked into the hotel, my favorite of the trip, the Albani. Leslie and I got our transit passes and raced off to the Vatican so I could show her where to meet me the next day. Then it was back in a taxi through crazy Roman traffic to make it for the welcome dinner -- veal and potatoes -- yummy.