Last night Florence totally pwned us! After dinner we spent hours after hours walking in circles trying to find something to do other than standing like jackasses in front of the Duomo, getting rained on and generally hating life… and freedom.
A true low point hit when we finally gave in and decided to take a flier from someone on the street directing us to “The Fish Pub – Hip Hop Non Stop!” We were then paraded through the streets while the locals all took turns laughing at the idiot tourists being dragged to what was obviously going to be the worst place to be in the whole of Florence.
After about 10 seconds in the place we knew that we were going to regret ever coming but we ordered a couple of drinks and decided to give this shite pub full of bubbly tourists, Italian creepers and the old school hip hop stylings of Justin Timberlake a shot.
Lowest point of the night for me? The “free shot” coupons. I was mortified when Robbie pulled them out because I knew that the moment those pieces of fancily painted cardstock passed from our hands into theirs our place in dumbass tourist history would be firmly cemented. The bartender handed us a couple of pre-mixed juice shots (probably actually just juice) and we handed over our dignity in kind.
The first thing we did when we got back was busted out our travel books and made a list of the things were going to do when we woke up because we knew that there was something about this city that we must have been missing.
Our first stop was the Bargello â€“ weâ€™re boys and the prospect of visiting an old prison that was the site of public executions and untold horrors was at least mildly exciting. Our bloodlust was unsatisfied as very little about the history of the building is on display and it has largely been converted to a museum of art which was fine because it displayed a lot of really beautiful work.
Next stop was the Uffizi Gallery – more of the same, but beautiful work none the less.
At this point we made our way back across the Ponte Vecchio to pick up some art from local painters and then back across town to the hostel for a little siesta.
Once back at the hostel we decided to take the bikes out for a spin and head out to the local Velodrome. Not that I expect that we’d have been able to have snuck on anyway but I was a little bummed to get there and find a local footie match going on right in the center of the Velodrome. We sat down anyway and enjoyed the game – complete with diving, red cards and a face slapping Smurf with a Napoleon complex. Come on, brah, you’re 3 apples high!
It’s funny how this photo makes the walls of the Velodrome look almost completely flat but they were pretty damn steep in person. Weird.
We set out again in search of the Piazzale Michelangelo that we couldn’t find the other day and discovered that it was pretty much right where we were – only up! We did the little hill climb and found our way to, as it had been described, a truly spectacular view of the city. I can only imagine how it would have looked at sunset… and without 300 tourists… and without the all fake Gucci bag salesmen…
We then shot across town to Il Sedano Allegro, a vegetarian restaurant that had received pretty good reviews – not the best food we ate on this trip but most certainly not the worst, either.
Sparkles loves Greg Benedetto
Back at the hostel we made friends with a lovely gal named Courtney from Chicago (via New York) who is traveling Europe by herself so after we assured her that we were ill intentioned creeps we invited her out for a better attempt at a night on the town than we’d had the night before.
The travel book my parents got for me made mention of a gelato spot in Florence that “we’d be talking about for the next 50 years” so after watching Robbie get hosed on a 9 Euro cone the day before we figured that we’d give it a shot. It was amazing, well priced and fortunately for me they had a dairy free double chocolate fudge gelato that had The Rennick’s Fat Belly written aaaallllllll over it.
We also had what what supposed to be a pretty sweet little bar called Mayday on our list buuuuuuuut it was closed so we settled for a fancy bottle of wine at a 4 star hotel instead.
Now, this photo reminds me of an amazing story from earlier on in the trip – Sparkles is reenacting the story for our American friend here… I was about to write about it but I realized that it’s really not funny without the reenactment so be sure to ask me about getting yelled at by an Italian woman behind a glass wall next time you see me.
Gradisco la tartarughes.