Now. The marks in Florence. I could spend an eternity there, wandering around while admiring the tourists and locals as they pick out their fresh finds. In fact, there wasn't a single day where we didn't spend a good chunk of time hanging out there. I got to try honey biscotti,
|Perfection at its finest.|
Then there are also the shopping markets where you can buy clothes, souvenirs, and accessories. Here you can bargain with the shop owners about how much you want to spend. I got a cool ring for both myself and my sister as well as a fantastic purse that I swear I've seen before in a dream. Its a large bag with a long strap and is decorated like a patchwork quilt. The best part about it was that while it was originally priced for 25 Euros, I got it knocked down to just 12.The markets stretch down several streets and all you can smell is fine Italian leather while walking about.
After spending time in Florence, I learned that there is no greater feeling in life than walking through an Italian city with good company while eating free food and getting tipsy off of Tuscan wine. Every day the sun was shining and somehow, I felt like I was home. Not that Florence was anything at all like Port Colborne. What I mean is that I feel as though
I could actually live in Florence. Forever. I was comfortable and at ease there, and I think that if I were to ever settle down in Italy, it would be in Florence. Yes, the economy is
eternally unstable. Yes, the government is completely corrupt and, yes, there is a train, bus or postal strike almost every week, but I do love Italy. Whether or not I would actually want to be this far from my family and deprive my future children of a Canadian education, I don't know. But if I do, I will be in Florence living happily ever after.
Il Porcellino (Italian for the piglet) is in the neighbourhood just behind the markets where a famous statue of a boar is. It was completed in 1612 and tourists from all over the world flock to this little piggy to rub its nose for good luck. It also promises a return back to Florence one day, and just to make sure this does happen, I rubbed the nose twice. The nose has been touched so many times, in fact, that the grey colouring has rubbed off, revealing the gold underneath.
The Duomo is the very famous and very beautiful Catholic basilica located in the centre of the city. It was nearly impossible for me to get a picture of the entire thing because it really is that big. Not only that, but the many buildings surrounding it make it difficult to get a clear shot of it. For a steep price, you can climb to the top of the dome that offers a spectacular
|Mom and I on the Ponte Vecchio bridge.|
Ponte Vecchio is the famous bridge that stretches across the river separating the south from the north. It was filled with shops selling gold, silver and diamonds and was a bit of a nightmare. Not because of the high prices of jewelry that I couldn't afford, but because of all the tourists pushing and shoving to shuffle from one side to the other. Even though I technically was one myself, I hate tourists.
On our last night in the city, my parents and I ventured back into the empty markets and rode the carousel that runs 24/7. We behaved like children and found a large bookstore not too far
away which I was very excited about. The shop was three stories high and offered a "pasta bar" on the first level. My parents kept themselves occupied with that while I wandered about, picking up Italian novels and running my fingers along their spines, wishing that when I opened the books they would magically make sense to me, as if I spoke fluent Italian all along. Of course this didn't happen, but there was an English section that I got lost in. I ended up buying a book called Between Shades Of Gray, and spent the rest of the night reading it while drinking a hot chocolate.
On the train back to Rome, my dad was seated in a different cart than my mom and I. Our company was a tiny, wrinkled old Italian woman who talked non stop and was oblivious to the
|Enjoying lunch with my parents in front of the museum|
where the statue of David resides.