Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Free Morning in Firenze

I have a bit of free time in Florence this morning - the ISNIE conference begins later this afternoon. If you haven't been here before in season, it's a wonderful place to come to see humans; but not so great to view the admittedly magnificent architecture and art. The winter is a much better for viewing art and architecture.  Even then, it's usually crowded enough to put off people (like me) who hate crowds.

The other great thing about coming to Florence in late June, aside from joining a hundred thousand other tourists, is the heat. By noon, temps are climbing into the mid-80s, on their way to the mid-90s later in the afternoon. The heat serves to amplify the odors of this always malodorous city, where the density of building and tightness of streets obstructs even the stiffest wind  from clearing the air at street level.

This morning, I walked my wife and son over to the Uffizi Gallery, so they could stand in long lines - not the longest lines but the slightly shorter long lines for those already possessing ticket vouchers - and enjoy partial views of magnificent works of art obstructed by thousands of other visitors. After leaving them, I found myself a nice air-conditioned internet cafe on the Dei Servei, where I'm sipping on an espresso, while catching up on emails.

I should add that, regardless of heat and tourists, eating in Florence is always a pleasure. We had a wonderful dinner last night at a small place in a non-fashionable neighborhood not frequented by tourists, the Trattoria Acquacotta on the Via del Pilastri. It's a small, family owned and operated place with truly excellent food and house wine. High recommended.

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