Wednesday, July 10, 2013

If we had blogs in 1997: Florence, y'all

In the latest entries from the 1997-1998 European journal, the student comes to her senses about Italy. Florence can do that for you, I guess. As always, spelling, grammatical, and factual errors have been preserved.

29 Oct 1997
I guess I don't hate Italy, just Rome. Firenze was a lot better. I left around 9am this morning and walked. I saw the Palace Vecchio with the Hercules, Neptune, and Replica David statue. David was cool despite the fact the real one is in a museum. Apparently it never occurred to me to see the actual one in the museum. Then I walked to the Duomo and went inside. It was nothing after seeing St. Peter's yesterday. But the outside was cool. I walked through the leather market and ate some gelati. Malaga is a good flavor - I think it has raisins or dates in it. It's rum raisin. I saw the sites of Firenze and then went to Pisa. I saw all the sites of Florence in one morning?!?

I changed the 8 in the 28 to a 9 since they didn't mark my Eurail yesterday. You write in the date when you use a day on a Eurail pass. I had a 15 day over two months pass. Pisa was well worth the hour train ride. The tower was amazing though it really is about to fall over. They have weighted blocks on one side and there is construction everywhere. The tower is no longer moving and engineers say it has been "saved" for another 300 years or so. There are also a lot of touristy shops but the number of tourists wasn't bad (They were all at the Uffizi in Firenze) I wanted to eat at a restaurant there but it was siesta hours so none were open. I spent two hours there then took the train back to Firenze SMN. While it was fun to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it's not a place I need to go back to. Not like Florence or Rome or so many other cities in Italy. But you wouldn't have to twist my arm if I found myself having to go back. I was lucky because I got there about 5 minutes after the train was supposed to have left but it was late. When the lady checked my pass she questioned the dark 9 but just told me to be careful next time.

Pisa tower restoration efforts
I forgot to mention on the way to Pisa I sat with a lady and three Italian high school age girls. I thought the first stop was Pisa, but it was Empoli, so I returned to my seat and said "wrong stop". Then the girl across from me told me they had studied English for three years and still couldn't speak it, and I said the same about french. She asked me where I was going and I said to Pisa to eat good food and see the tower. Then they got off. This was worth mentioning? Then there was another stop and I got up and looked around, then the lady in my compartment spoke to me in perfect English. She told me how to get to the tower and asked what part of Britain I was from. Funny because after I told her I was American, she told me she had spent some time in Philadelphia. That was after I told her I missed the leaves on the trees changing. Finally Pisa came and I followed the lady's directions to the tower. It was amazing. After I had studied it, taken pictures, and looked at souvenirs, I went in search of food, but all the restorantis were closed. So then I left.

I still don't like this painting.
When I returned to Firenze I decided to go to the Uffizi, but then I saw the line and the price. I hate that Birth of Venus painting anyway, and I wasn't going to pay $15 to see it. I looked at the statues of all the famous Florentines outside the museum, Michelangelo, Dante, Donatello, Amerigo Vespucci (the real discoverer of America) Well, aside from the Vikings and Chinese and possibly the Polynesians who came before him, not to mention the people who were already living there! Then I saw Kristine and Colleen and avoided them just because I didn't want to see any Americans. As it is right now there are some rude inconsiderate loud ones (what, Americans loud?) next door. I hope they shut up because I want to go to bed in the next couple hours. Anyway, then I searched the city for food for two hours. The restaurants with the good pasta were either too expensive or closed until 7 or 8pm. I finally stopped and got some pizza and Coke at two different snack bars and came back to the hotel. I really want to come back and visit the Tuscan coast someday. The train ride to Pisa was beautiful. The mountains were spectacular. This region is Italy. This region I love. Tomorrow I go to Venice. I hope it's half as good as this.

I never did call Sarah. I hope she didn't expect me to call. As I was writing this, I heard a bunch of guys chanting outside. It actually sounded like a karate class. In Rome I saw Italian communist party signs, and there have been a bunch of army/navy/airforce guys all over both Roma and Firenze, and Pisa as well. I wonder if they're planning a coup. This was a joke.

I have never been in the Uffizi. I have never been back to Florence. This is a problem that must be rectified soon. Anyone want to help me out with that? 

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