(Written: 1/24/09, 18:10)
I have wanted to come to Florence for the last 4.5 years, ever since I saw The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center. I even wrote my first Creative Writing essay in Italy about it. I expected airy white marble piazzas, a gentle wide river, and an overall feeling of purity and light. That’s what the musical felt like anyway. So when my roommates and I made the last minute decision to leave Friday night instead of Saturday, I knew my first images of Florence would be mostly neon and darkness.
Despite revealing itself to be quite unlike the stylized Florence of a musical set in the 1950s, this is still a glorious place. It has rained the entire time we’ve been here, making the streets glossy and puddled, and darkening and intensifying all the colors.
When we arrived, we were hostel-less, but excited. (We somehow survived a train transfer in Torontola and made friends with some Italian soccer players who would only talk to me because I was the only one of my four roommates who could even somewhat understand them.) We walked to the hostel we had been planing to stay at tonight (Saturday) but it was full. Luckily the hostel owner had an available room at his other hostel, not too far away. We settled, changed, then went to a bar we had seen on the way called Slowly. It could best be described as very Italian and very swanky and also very expensive. We stayed long enough to hear some great American music including a Grease medley and “Tainted Love.”
After that we wandered a little and checked out the HUGE amazing Duomo (the 3rd largest in Italy). We met some drunk-ish Americans in front of it, confusing each other for Italians, which led them to trying to lead us to a bar and upon our arrival we promptly turned around and went back to our hostel. It was quite late by then.
Today was much more exciting, but I’ll cover that in a separate entry.
So far Florence is big and flat (compared to Perugia especially), very easy on Americans (tons of English speakers), and very expensive. Our coffees were about $5.40 this morning. Ridiculous!!!