“No thanks. No really I don’t want one. Thanks no. I DON’T WANT A PURSE!!!”This was me in the leather market in Florence. Vendors calling from every direction, no personal space AT ALL, and arguments all around. The streets were full of tourists but the locals didn’t cower and curse us under their breath. Instead they reveled in it: shouting and cursing and shoving things in your face. It was chaos but they thrived on it. I had never seen anything like it until I stepped foot in Florence.
The minute our train arrived in the station it was like New York… European version. While way more clean than Rome, it none the less was the Big Apple on another continent. Lines and lines of tourists speaking hundreds of languages, road signs to the nearest monument, even over priced ice cream (though here they called it gelato)!
The people were different though: the Italians lives seemed more put together. They took more time to do everything… From walking to drinking coffee to eating dinner, the Flortians were in no hurry at all.
Another weird thing about Florence? The artwork.
We started in the Uffizi Gallery which housed statues, frescoes, paintings…every type of art you can imagine. Raphael and Da Vinci’s rooms were amazing but for me nothing beat the crazy statues that lined the halls.
Yet my favorite piece of art wasn’t a statue. It’s was a piece called Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artesmesia Gentileshi. It was crazy violent but also insanely beautiful and way more interesting than anything else there.
The people loved their art too. They cared so much about the history of their city. It’s so different from home where everyone moves from place to place without a second thought. I loved it because they loved it!
All in all, I very much preferred Florence to Rome!
(and I did buy a purse!!!)