Some cities scream at you. Others whisper.
Florence is a city of understatement. Its distinctive design is barely noticeable. But you can’t help feeling the seduction of the soft buttery soft colors of each building, that is quietly projecting a powerful presence.
It’s a place of old money. And old Italian guys sitting in the park talking about politics.
A storm was rolling in right when we arrived, which means we need to buy an umbrella from one of the Ethiopian dudes that materialize in your face when the first few drops start falling. They’re masters of umbrella hustling. The guys selling cheesy paper art reproductions on the street aren’t too bright. If this was their career choice, they might be better off selling water bottles.
The first day in Florence is trying to figure out the maze of skinny circular streets that all seem to lead to an enormous church or a gelato shop. In the rain, we were hunting down the Dan Lorenzo Market where they sell everything on the planet from squid to leather bags. So far, after a week in Italy with no particular agenda, I’m realizing that I’m guided more by vacation gods than maps.
After circling I don’t know how many churches and gelato stands and umbrella hustlers, We finally found the central market with only 15 minutes left till closing time. One thing Ill say about Europeans, is that they live a much healthier lifestyle than us workaholic Americans.
Every day, everything closes down from 2:00 to 4:30 pm. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had a 2 1-2 hour lunch break? Most people have 30 minutes to inhale a sandwich at their desk. No wonder American have digestive problems that range from heartburn, to weight issues to fatigue and depression. All of that originates with having not enough time to eat and digest. Trust me, I’m an expert in the field.
At the Central Market, we bought an eggplant parmesan take out order from the deli…and OMIGOD…it was the smoothest most flavorful eggplant parm I ever tasted. Like the city itself, textures, flavors, colors, fabrics, sound and smells are soft and whispering, yet penetrating to the core.Every time you take a taste or.a bite pf something, you have to pause, and really experience it.
No inhaling, rushing or harshness here. I’m sold on 2 1/2 hour mid day breaks. When I get home, I’ll try setting up my work schedule like that to see what happens. Sometimes you can’t a left shoe on a right foot. But if the USA really needs change, the real change has to be created
by business owners and the people themselves.
if you’re shoe obsessed like I am..or even just fascinated by a guy who can get away with selling a pair of shoes for $700, then you’ll want to wander through the Salvatorre Faragamo museum, created inside the EMPIRE that’s inside a 12th century castle by the Arno River.
Note: The Salvatorre Faragamo Castle is a place of worship. It’s where you go to worship SHOES. So I got down on my knees and prayed to some amazing shoe styles. Some of the famous ones designed for celebrities them are pictures here in this blog!
Next we go on a road trip to Chianti to taste wine and get lost on squiggly windy country roads in Tuscany. One more time, I pray to the shoe gods for a magic pair of hiking boots!