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Casualità, or as they say in Inglese, Randomness...

ITALY | Wednesday, 5 March 2008 | Views [554]

1. Chickens are evil... But roosters with their tails blowing backwards are hilarious!

2. Tuscan sun and snow on the same day - ??? Very cool. Literally!

3. The Flight of the Street Vendors. Will explain in a bit.     ù.ù

4. Cheese is sooo good! Taleggio, Pecarino, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Ricotta - you name it, we likey... *mmm* Nummy cheese...

5. Chickens are EVIL. ....

...................................................................................

78. Did we mention the evil chickens???

So anyways, life on a farm is infinitely more amusing than one would generally think, and with all the arresting scenery this place is definately 'good for the soul'. Still, it's nice to get out and go exploring - as EmJ and I did this weekend. We went to Firenze (Florence) and it was amazing. Firstly, we spent two days and a night there, and the first day (Saturday), a lovely WWOOFer who was on the farm with us, came and we spent the day... ......................

Two guesses - and if you get it right I'll send you some maggot cheese: or Formaggio Marcio, which means 'rotten cheese' and yes, it's really made with maggots. So much so that you have to pick them out. But anyways, that was a side track. I'm sure most of you guessed it anyway, we went shopping! To be sure, this time it was for stuff we actually needed, but I also picked up a crochet hook, a ball of wool and some gorgeous silver jewelry that was so cheap I brought presents for people at home. But you'll havta wait for 'em until your birthdays! Mwhaahahaa *ebil laugh*

Okay, so after a lovely day of meandering through the back streets of Florence, we visited the Pointe Vecchio and ate dinner at this amazing restaurant called, surprise, surprise, The Pointe Vecchio Restaurant(!). I had wild boar in wine and tomato sauce - it was so good. After more walking around and visiting the Piazza Poggi (with a really, really sweet view of Florence and the river Arno) we headed back to the hostel to rest up for tomorrow's sights to be seen. Sunday was filled with museum hopping - we only saw two, but each one required much more time than what we had to give.

First we stoped at the Accademia which had, in their own rights, exquisite statues and paintings. All of these lined the walkways and halls to the monumental pièce de résistance which was, of course, Micheangelo's "David". 0.o ....Wow. 'Nuff said. After that it was off to the Uffizi. Again, wow. Not only where there historical paintings of which I'd actually seen pictures of in books, but there where sculptures I'd heard of and read about, but even above that gob-smacking factor, the actual construction of the Uffizi itself rendered me speechless on more than one occasion. All the rooms had high vaulted ceilings, but more than one of them was inlaid with gold, and if not gold, intricate frescos and paintings.

The marble floors where a study in multicolored stone, vying with the delicate greek marble and strong black onyx that the carvings where crafted from. We where lucky enough (besides seeing all the decidant lushness that permiated the building with its timeless age) to see a display by Salvator Rosa, who is now one of my favourite artists. I love the way he used nature's own compositions of light, shade and color to create delicate detail that creeps over every inch of canvas. I could go on and on about the things we saw, but then I would bore you all as much as EmJ got bored with the endless array of paintings we saw.  So instead I will regale you with the tale of the Flight of the Firenze Street Vendors.

The street vendors are just one of the things a tourist has to take in their stride - much like the hawkers in Hong Kong. To be sure, confessions of love, lust and beauty aimed at the unwary girls who dare to walk the streets by their grubby white squares gets a little old, but the amusment they afford when they take off is well worth it. You'll be strolling down the crowded streets, when a piercing whistle will ring out above the city's clamour. The commotion that ensuses is much like a typical running of the bulls - vendors will snatch up their wares, scattering like mice discovered in the pantry. In two seconds flat, the street will be clear of them. The reason? A poliza car cruising by the allyway, or a causal officer strolling past. Never mind that the cute handbag you had your eye on has now dispeared, a minute or so later the rats will pop their heads around the corner and slowly slink out to rejoin the Florence life. While the cat's away the mice will play.

After a little taste of this warm friendly city, however, I will declare that I love it. After London, Florence has firmly encaptured a spot in my heart. The atmosphere is so much more vibrant and lively compared to Rome. It's cleaner too, and age suits it, just like a second skin. Where I found Rome to be stiff and unwelcoming, Florence opens its arms and invites you to explore it as a city of secrets waiting to be unveiled. Florence, Tuscany - Italy rocks! Ciao, b.

Hey Everyone! Well b. is right - Florence is wonderful. I think Florence is a city of fun. Everywhere you look, from the street vendor's dash, to the VERY cheesy replicas of David (seriously, why would ANYONE want a fluro -multihued, glitter coated, or Diablo David!?!) to the 'David' boxer shorts being sold on every corner (Don't ask!!), the people drawing characatuers, the people 'stautes' (you know, those people who spraypaint themsleves and stand VERY still), we even saw a mime. All the time you are looking there is something to smile at. But Florence is also a, well, grisley city. I love the random statues - but SO MANY of them are speaking of war. There are more 'rape of so-&-so' statues than I care to recall, and as many of 'Mars killing/maiming so-&-so'. I think it's intended to remind the people of Florence of what the city has overcome. (Hence the reason the people of Flornce have the orginial David in a museum and a copy in the Piazza Vecchio, the whole David -v- Goliath).

All in all, I do love Florence though. Its beauty surpasses its grisleyness! Speaking of Daivd, call me stupid, but I never realised David was THE David (as in David and Goliath!). Call me VERY stupid, but I also thought David was more life size. I never realsied that he is life size.... IF he was taller than Goliath!!!

---b. interjects - I won't call her stupid, just blond for all her brunette-ness...---

Moving on.... As b. has noted, today we had snow! The weather here is SO weird at the moment. That's not from us - Thre (one of the girls who live here) told us snow in March is not normal. We didn't get any sticking, just floating down. But snow is the least of our wheather surprises. As it has actually been uncommanly HOT the last week (global warming - we're all gonna die!!) b. and I experienced our first ever - EARTH QUAKE!! The amusing thing is - we didn't even notice it!!! It WAS small, but KT (American, lives in Seattle, lots of earthquakes) recognised it. She wasn't sure so didn't say anything. We didn't know about it until Dna (Stf's wife) told us! We left shortly after for Florence and discovered upon our return that there had been 11 shocks in the area!! Vaglia, however, is built over VERY rocky ground so there wasn't any damage. Well that's all from me at the moment. We are both having a fantastic time and we're looking forward to heading to Scotland next Monday. Friday we head to Fiumicino for 2 nights on the Mediterranean Sea.

Ciao!

Tags: sightseeing

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