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Winging it “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” - Martin Buber, Philosopher


AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 9 January 2011 | Views [297]

I found it so hard to tear myself away from Rome that I ended up getting to Florence only 1/2 an hour before Paige and Joe arrived, which was lucky because, due to my poor communication skills, they had no idea where I would be. My heart was lightened when I saw them and we had the biggest hug as if we hadn't seen each other for years rather than months. The priority was then to dump our stuff and explore the city. It is only early, maybe 5.30 but dark already and the air is crisp. Our breath mists in front of us as we cut a raucous swathe down the street in search of adventure. Really we are in search of food and wine and, lo! we find a bottle shop! I am much appreciative of the liberal attitude to street drinking and the generosity of the local boozer guy who also opens our bottle and supplies us with some rather classy (but free) plastic cups to swig the best Italian vino biancho €10 will buy. Sitting in the grassy park behind one of the cathedrals, we drink, gossip and listen to Joe sing, his beautiful American country tones resonating through the chill air. Happy with our wine, we go in search of food. Joe finds a lass who recommends an excellent pizza place and despite some cynicism based on the fact she worked there, we go and try it out. I think I have just had the most sensational pizza of my life! A 4-cheese pizza with flavours that truly explode on your tongue and a crust that is thin and chewy whit just a hint of yeast and salt. Apparently I had some icecream this first night as well, but I don't remember it for some strange reason. Must have had a brain freeze (or something!) My faith in Italian food has been restored and thus begins a couple of days of absolutely glutony - think pasta with cheese sauce, delicious seafood, gorgonzola with crusty baguette and antipasto, chianti complete with raffia case, pastries, chocolate croissants, more coffee than I have had in my life, olive bread, gelati  plus the most amazing almond and chocolate biscotti, fresh from the oven, soft and chewy! Forget what you have ever known about biscotti- search some of this divine stuff out and your life will never be the same again!

Oh, Firenze! a moment on the lips, a lifetime in the heart!

Hotel: Hotel Pensione Ferretti. For a 1 star hotel with  3 sharing it worked out to be about €15 per night each. Fantastic location and convenient to the train station, super comfortable (GREAT BEDS!) and clean. Very sweet, helpful and friendly staff. Cons: only one set of keys you had to leave with reception, had 3 doors to unlock and couldnt get out if someone else had the key. Having said that, if you yell loud enough, comeone will come and let you out. Also charged €1 per bag to store for 'insurance' which I thought was a bit cheeky!


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