Location: Florence, Italy
Today was Florence’s Tuesday market day. The hostel Aunty took me, another girl studying in France and the newlywed couple to the market which was just a walk away. (I wouldn’t really call it a short walk but it’s not too long neither.)
It turns out, most weekly markets are quite the same with lines of vendor selling things on makeshift tables.
What’s different about this market and the one back home is that people bring their dogs out. Vendors here that sell porchetta display a WHOLE ROAST PIG. There are also carts selling delicious coffee, serving the dark elixir in double layered plastic cups to prevent customers from burning their fingers.
The road for the market was very long. I managed to buy only a pair of 5 euro shoes and a bracelet which I thought was a necklace.
Aunty and us were separated on our way back from the other end of the market. We decided to feast on the local delicacies while waiting for her.
I bought a porchetta which was served in a jaw-breaking piece of bread. Some parts of the meat wasn’t seasoned well but when I hit the well-seasoned parts, it was heavenly. There were even bits of liver-like parts in my bread. Yum.
Our next stop was a gelatto place across the river.
We passed the US embassy along the way. The building was guarded by Italian officers in a brown-green uniform. They glared at us when we stood outside for too long to admire the river.
Finally we reached the gelato place and had a cheap two-scoop gelato for only 1.50 euro. The previous organic gelato I had in Pisa was 2.50 euro.
The Aunty took us down the road and pointed out to interesting places. We passed the Medici bridge and the Ufizzi (where there was a horrible queue).
We took time to admire the fake David’s naked body (there are plenty of naked bodies around, keep your pearls out for lots of clutching).
Then we were at a cafe at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The latte macchiato was so tasty! The cup was a larger serving than a cappuccino and was well worth the 1.60 euro. I heard that the desserts are to die for too.
While at the cafe, we used its toilet. The washroom was guarded by a lady and there was a entry fee box where everyone had to drop money before going in. This didn’t stop the line from hold at least 4 persons at any time.
After oohing and aahing at the beautiful exterior of the basilica, we stopped at Bifolli Shop which was packed with gorgeous toiletries. Since I did not have any luggage space, I was torn between a lavendar (my all time favorite plant) or a spice and patchouli (smells great on my skin) perfume.
In the end, spice won out. I am now a proud owner of a 19 euro perfume which I hope can mask my backpacker scent (not that I know if I have any).
On our own
Aunty brought the student back to the hostel, leaving me with the Taiwanese newly wed. They are a very great couple, allowing me to tag along with their shopping.
We checked out many candy shops, leather shops, souvenir shops. We walked from one end of the sights to the other and walked more.
The highlight of all this walking was the Plaza Michealangelo (and the Rose Garden along the way). The lowlight of all the walking was the slope to the plaza.
From the plaza, you can see beautiful Florence. It looks more like a medieval town than the present. I did wish that I could ride on a dragon back to town.
We walked back to the hostel. According to Google Maps, the journey would take us 40 minutes.
We did manage to drag ourselves back, stopping by a supermarket along the way.
At night, we had dumplings for dinner. I’ve been having Chinese food these few days because of where I am staying at.