A rainy day in Florence.  We set off this morning all together in a storm, marching through puddles and suffocating on a hot and stuffy train.  Finally arriving in Florence 20 minutes later, I quickly bought an umbrella from a dodgy vendor and continued (with more ease) through the rain.  We all bee-lined for il bar to have a nice, warm coffee.  Our lovely tour guide Simona took us to a bar called Gilli, built in 1733, where I had my caffè on the beautiful green marble counter admiring le paste surrounding me.  We then head off to the Uffizi Gallery where we marvelled at le opere by famous painters such as Bonecelli, Carevaggio and saw the painting which released Da Vinci of his painting master.  The Uffizi, originally built by the Medici as the public administrative offices during the Renaissance, has a jaw-dropping corridor.  On the ceiling were delicate frescoes outlining important people in the Florentine area.  Extremely interesting, but I don’t recommend starring at a ceiling and turning around too much….

In the afternoon, we were free to do all that we pleased.  Elysia and I went off the study the beautiful Duomo in Florence, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.  We spent about 30 minutes scouring the facade, rich with colour, statues, family crests and intersting geometric designs.  We also climbed la cupola, which after the 463 steps to the top, we were showered by pouring rain drowning the shinging city with a mist.  Drenched clothes aside, it was a beautiful sight.  The stairs also led us to Vasari’s beautiful fresco which despicts the judgement of man in a very graphic way.  It really makes you not want to go to hell… there’s skeletons and demons there who eat you.

One thing I love about Italy is the friendlyness towards foreigners.  Naturally, I always speak Italian to them, but they never try to correct my language mistakes like the French, and they continue on in conversation regardless of your skill level.  It makes learning the language fun.  You in no way feel stupid for making mistakes and speak with confidence.  We’ll see where it gets me!


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