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Thursday 1 Sep 2005
Firenze - florence, Italy

Ahh Firenze...

Here's the properly typed-up version of my time in Florence...

Well first let's play a bit of catch up with the night before in Rome...

Myself and Alistair (a guy from San Fran.. yep more yankees!) headed out to get some pizza near the Spanish steps in Rome. The Spanish Steps are basically famous because all the fine young things step out here each night to..er.. basically sit down and chat. Weird.. dunno why its famous, except that Lord Byron used to write poetry here before dying of syphallis.

Anyways... we met a guy from Fresno, California who was trying to get us to join a mad drinking party for 20 euros. I didn't have that sorta cash on me at the time, so we skipped it. Before heading off he gave us a rundown on the side of Roman life you prolly wouldn't see in a short week holiday.. he's been here 10 months so knows a bit more I guess.

He explained how the mafia still run the place. 90% of the police are involved with the mafia, and 1 in 3 men are in the police force in Rome! Most are undercover or off duty that's prolly why you don't see them everywhere to warrant that amount.
Hostels are apparently only allowed to have a max of 3 beds in each room, so essentially every hostel is breaking the law. That's where your friendship with the local polizei comes into force. Pay him off and he'll ignore the fact that you run a place with 12 beds in each room (like the Youth Station hostel I was staying in at Rome)

What else?.. oh yes he explained why the Italian men are always chasing after the foreign women. Basically the Italian women are so 'hard to get', even for locals, that the Italians rarely have any relationships. Might also explain why there are so many flaming gay men around the place... especially in Florence. Artists eh??

Right back to Florence.. or Firenze as it's called. One of those situations where the English name of the place is NOTHING like the actual name...

It's enchanting... really it is. But VERY humid!!!

The Ice cream in Florence is bloody amazing. I've had around 40 scoops in the past 2 days!

I went out Partying with a few lads from the hostel the first night on arrival in florence and this wasn't necessarily a good thing since the next day (when I was supposed to be sober and alert as I toured around the place) I was struggling with dehydration in the humidity. Damn! Ah well some of the experience may linger in my brain after the dead brain cells are exchanged for shiny new ones.

The single most impressive sight in Florence is: the Duomo... I saw it for the first time at night and (as was the case with the Colleseum) it really comes into its own at night with the lights showing off the amazing white-and-green marble architecture. My touring day allowed me to climb to the top of it even though it was an exhausting 450 STEEP steps in a narrow circular staircase.

I had to forget the statue of David unfortunately... there was a massive queue and 8 euros in to see David, so I had to give it a miss and got shots of the copy in Piazza Signoria instead. One thing I notice, though, the hands and feet are totally out of proportion with the rest of the body. hmmmm.. seems to be common with all the marble sculptures in this place.

All the rest...

Went to Galleria degli Uffizi. Saw some fantastic rennaisance art there including Leo Da Vinci.

All in all, I àm well impressed with Florence. Just like out of the movie: Hannibal. Except with less cannibals.

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Roma

Travel blog by peterforan

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A week in Rome. 2000+ years of history to be absorbed in 7 days. I canna bloody wait... Pics and de mad storeez will be put up here as normal, a'ight bud?

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