There is something very comforting about being recognized. I went into the bakery that makes the frittelle today. Each place I go to has their specialty that I love. One makes great schiacciata (Florentine flat bread), another makes tasty cenci (the baked cookies with powdered sugar on top), and this one makes frittelle (deep-fried rice dumplings).
The young woman who helped me the last time, smiled and said, "Ciao...dimmi." (Hi, tell me what you want.) Because she said it in the familiar "tu" form of you, which is more common here in Florence than in other cities, like Milan, I already felt welcomed. Besides, the last time I came, she said, "Mi dica," which is the formal form of you in Italian.
I told the girl how much I love the frittelle and she said, "Fa piacere" (That's nice) and told me that they will be making them until "San Giuseppe, il 19 marzo." (Saint Joseph's day on March 19th).
As I left, she said, "Grazie a te...ciao!" I replied happily with "Buona sera" and walked out. Slowly, I feel like I am integrating into Florentine life. I go to the same merchants and they recognize me. We exhange pleasantries and I feel less invisible.
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