The great thing about seeing a great city for the second or third time is that you are no longer obliged to see again all the great things that appear on all the great lists.
So it was with Florence today.
Imagine being a 25-minute train ride away, and spending five hours in a very leisurely way in this sublime city. No standing in long lines, rushing through palaces, or wishing you had made reservations a month ago.
No, we did not have that kind of a day. In fact, we had a day that was partly spent shopping for items made of leather. And what better place than Florence?
To palaces and galleries Pitti, Uffizi and de Medici, we waved and popped into courtyards.
To the Duomo and the Baptistery, we bowed in awe.
To faux David, we winked. With the Ponte Vecchio, we commiserated about how we have both aged since last we met.
And to the general mass of tourists, we waved “Ciao” as we skipped down the streets they weren’t frequenting.
All in all, a great way to refresh our acquaintance with this great city.
Don’s Food Corner
We knew in advance that we were going to breeze in and out of Florence for a quick visit and had no intention of lingering over a full meal. Actually, how could anything beat yesterday’s stunner?
We tucked into a recommended “cafe” with a beautiful view of a piazza near the Duomo. Well, our simple plans turned into a torture, with snotty and slow service. I had an overpriced pizza ($14!); Jo had a salad of a bunch of stuff including ham and, interestingly, Philadelphia cream cheese – which is seen everywhere in Italy — in delis, grocery stores, in little containers in snack shops. Of all the cheeses of Italy, the Italians find Philadelphia cream cheese an exotic import? As they say, go know.
We waited and waited to order, then we waited and waited to get the food and, worse, we waved our arms to try to get the check and then waited and waited to get it and to pay. A total waste of time and calories.