Saturday, March 29, 2003

another day in florence today, and another beautiful day weather wise! i'm definitely leaving my coat here. only thing is i can't find one of those clothing donation dumpsters (i know they have them in italy, i've seen them) so my second thought was to maybe "forget" it in the pew of a church or something, they'll probably give it to charity. or i could just leave it hanging on the hook in my room that it's been on since i arrived, but it would probably sit there forever before someone realized that it didn't belong to someone in the room, and then they might just throw it out. anyway...

went to a lovely english bookstore that lets you trade in your old, used books for other ones. well, not exact trade, but a certain percentage of the value to shop or something. anyway, i got a new book for 2.50. books in general are very expensive in europe, especially english books. your average sorta novel will usually cost (new) about 10 or 11 euro. oy vay. some hostels will have a book exchage where you leave a book take a book sort of thing, but not all, and not this one and i was starting to get a pile.

so i did a lot of sitting about in the sun today, went to a small museum with paintings and drawings and models of the city of florence since.... well, since a long time ago. so it was kind of cool. then a little lunch, a little window shopping. i opted *not* to go to another museum this afternoon, it's the one with michaelangelo's "david" statue, and that was the only reason i was going, because it was famous. but in reality, i'm not that interested in sculpture and i have not personal interest in the statue (unlike the venus painting). so i opted to save myself 6.50 and just sit in the sun.

tomorrow i'll do laundry..... yeeeeeaaah...... fun. and then there's a modern art museum with a renaissance style garden out back. should be good, especially if this weather continues.

Friday, March 28, 2003

so today i went to the uffizi museum here in florence, which claims to have the most art per square inch, or something. and there was certainly a lot there. and best of all, there was my *favorite* painting boticelli's "the birth of venus". :) so i've now seen it, in the flesh. and bought myself a silly little souvenir pen from the gift shop. and of course, there was lots of other stuff, and other famous stuff, but when you've seen one "annunciation" or "madonna with child" you've seen them all, i think. i'm actually getting to the point where walking up to a painting of the martyrdom of a saint, i can almost guess who it is without reading the plaque - and i wasn't even raised catholic!

in the afternoon i visited the duomo, the main cathedral, of florence. it is the third largest in the world, after st. paul's in london and st. peter's in the vatican. so after this trip i'll have seen the three largest churches in the world (surely that will make my resume shine...)

the weather has been just fantastic lately, i don't think i've worn my coat since last weekend, so it may be time to give it a new home, and i think florence is as good a place as any.

more sights tomorrow....

Thursday, March 27, 2003

so i've eaten some good food in emilia-romagna (procuitto, parmegianno, tagliatelle alla bolognese...) and drank some good local wines (including the local sparkling red wine, lambrusco) and now i'm in florence for some culture.

i was able to find my hostel without *too* much difficulty (crossed the river via the wrong bridge, but managed to figure it out) and have put my bags down. i can't actually check in until 2pm, and the hostel is closed from 1-2, so i'm doing a little internet (which is fantastically right here inside the hostel) and then i'm off to find myself some lunch!

after some horrible confusion with my plans, i think i finally have everything straightened out, which relaxes me. it seems as though i have hardly any time left in italy, but at the same time feels like i've been here forever, it's strange, and hard to explain...

so more when there's more to tell...

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

have been having a lot of trouble with my plans, the trains and such, and so most of my internet time has been consumed by straightening these things out...

i am staying in modena now (of balsamic vinager fame) which is terribly boring, but i'm using it as a base to visit and eat in other cities in the emilia-romana region. also the weather has been lovely, and today i think i might even brave the park wearing only a t-shirt! which i desparately need to do, my hands are tan to the wrist, but my arms are pale, it's very odd looking. worse than a farmers tan for sure.

today i am heading to bologna for a big lunch and an afternoon in the park. tomorrow i leave for florence.