About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Florentine Paper Shopping and Home Again

We slept in today.  It was nice, but we missed the breakfast at the hotel.  After packing our suitcase and leaving it with the reception desk when we checked out, we headed off into Florence with no specific plan.  

Our first destination was breakfast.  We found a little bar that served crepes.  Brandon and Katrina each enjoyed a crepe.  I had a calzone.  Their breakfast ended up looking better than mine.  Unfortunately, the counter person was rude and charged us 18 euro for breakfast.  Crazy!  Katrina was not happy.  

Crepe happiness before being charged 18 euro!

We wandered the streets checking out paper shops and other shops along the way.  We tried to find another science museum near the Accademia, but it ended up being an Anthropology museum, which we were not interested in.  

One paper shop ended up being a lot of fun.  The shop keeper explained to us how the Florentine paper is made, then gave us a demonstration.  Very cool and amazing!  Katrina bought some papers.  Brandon has been wanting a wax stamp for quite awhile now.  We ended up buying an 'S' and some pieces of red and blue wax.  The shop keeper gave us a demonstration on the correct technique on how to stamp.  

The sample of paper made right in front of us.  The shop keeper ended up giving this to Brandon, all wrapped in gift wrap.  

Italy seems to be obsessed with the Simpsons.  It's on TV all the time.  Its advertised as "America's Family".  Isn't that great!  Italians see us all as the Simpsons.  In the malls you can find shirts, knick knacks, calendars, gift items, toys and so much more, all with the Simpsons on them.  You can also find Duff beer everywhere.  I haven't tried it, but I doubt its very good.  

Duff Beer...Why?

We eventually ended up in Piazza San Croce, where we took a break to rest our feet and people watch.  

Santa Croce Church, a 14th century Franciscan church.  Inside this church is the tomb of Galileo Galili (1564 - 1642)  He lived in Florence under arrest for having defied the church by saying that the Earth revolved around the Sun.  The tomb of Michelangelo (1475 - 1564) can also be found inside the church.  

Our last treat before heading to the train station.  I think this is the most expensive gelato we have ever purchased, and we didn't know the price beforehand...7 euro each, or 21 euro for all three of us.  Oh, ya gotta love tourist areas.  We usually pay 1.80 euro at home.  

We caught the Freccia Rossa home this evening.  It was a relaxing and quick trip back to Monza.  Our taxi dropped us off at 8pm.  

After this second trip to Florence, I became more appreciative of it.  I didn't like it all that much last time.  I still don't rank it very high compared to many other places in Italy.  I just don't understand why a busy, very crowded, expensive town is considered by some to be the most beautiful in all of Italy?  Yes, Florence has many important sites to see, but overall I really enjoyed the small hill towns of Tuscany far far better.  

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