Won't you take me to - a gypsy town

Florence Travel Blog

 › entry 54 of 92 › view all entries

After a great breakfast of cereal, bacon and eggs we headed out to check out the areas we'd seen as well as the others that Florence is famous for. We decided to walk through the market area on the way to the Duomo – lots and lots of leather on sale in the form jackets, bags, belts, braclets. Thankfully we weren't constantly pressured to check out everyones stall like you get at most markets. In fact I don't think any of the sellers said anything to us unless we had stopped and was already looking at their goods.

Being that we were walking around late morning it also meant lots of other tourists and a large number of tour groups so it meant that all the areas we were going to look at were also being looked at by lots of other people.

  It's not really a problem if it's just the outside of buildings, various sculptures and the markets which are of interest but to actually go into any of the attractions expect a nice wait. We chose to look around the city and avoid going into any of the places. We also had fun just watching all the tour groups walking around some with name tags, others with bright white scarves and some just with a numbered sticker.  Also had fun watching the gypsy women all across town walking around begging for money.  Strangely enough these women look better dressed than a lot of back packers apart from the dirty hair.  They all claim to be pregnant and have no money to feed their childrem.  We think not....

On the way to see the replica of David we came across a nice little piazza with an old style merry-go-round which all the little kids – and Bec – were very excited about.

We sat for a while watching the kids and listening to the violinist that was busking nearby. It was a nice way to relax and rest the legs for a bit. When we finally made it to see David we were quite surprised to see a number of other sculptures in the area. In fact we probably spent more time looking at the others than of David as they looked more interesting and everyone has seen a picture of David at some point.

Walking a bit further towards the river and we walked between the buildings of the Uffizi?? museum which of course was teaming with people both just wandering around and those lining up to get in. We strolled through looking at the various sculptures of the artists who have works in the museum before trying not to get run over and cross the road to the small footpath by the river.

It's not so much the cars as crossing it's trying to find a spot on the other side and not get forced back on the road. Just as we went across a large tour group departed leaving heaps of room.

From the river we could see a few canoeists paddling around and off to the right was the bridge which had shops built on either side so that when you walked across it looked like just another street until you got to the middle and saw that there was water underneath. The bridge is also the location for gold and silversmiths and again was full of tourists looking at all the shop windows. We were quite amazed at the prices of some things – most had the price tag hidden but the few we saw were all well above 1000 euros with one as high as 19000 euros for a ring that didn't look very special.

We grabbed a huge icecream and proceeded on towards the palace. It took a good ½ hour to eat the icecream and filled us up enough not to want any lunch or a big dinner. We sat out the front of the palace as it was nice and warm while we ate our icecreams. It was relatively quiet with just locals sitting and enjoying the sunshine, but it was only short lived as a school group arrived and made quite a noise. It wasn't long before we headed back into town.

We sat down for a few beers in the square with the Duomo and sat and watched the hordes of people for a while. After an hour or so we decided to head back to the room for a rest and to get away from the crowds for a bit.

Craig decided to quickly make his way over to the train station and get the tickets for tomorrow. On the way back he stopped in for a haircut – won't be doing that again unless they speak english. The barber basically ignored what he wanted and cut it how he thought it would be best. So instead of just using the clippers all over, he clipped the sides and then trimmed the top with the thinning scissors.

Later in the day Craig saw the gypsy women walking along laughing and joking with their "pimp".  We found out that all the gypsy beggers are employed by someone who places them in different areas and their job is to walk around looking derlict asking for money - anyone who reads this please don't give them money, just wave them off.  They aren't doing it to pay for food for their children, unborn or not, they are well fed (especially by the look of them) and they aren't down on their luck.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: spocklogic