by Melinda Gallo

Cheer up Florentines!

Florence seems stagnant. Maybe because it's still August and nothing starts until next Monday. It is a little more peaceful here; however, the people that I know at the market said that it wasn't that quiet in August as in previous years. They were hoping for a slow month, but people seemed to still be in Florence.

Simone came over this afternoon; we haven't seen each other since before we both went to Corsica. We were supposed to meet up over there, but he ran into too many problems. He never recharged his cell phone before he left and their motorcycle/scooter broke a few days before returning.

He told me how expensive Corsica was, how crowded it was with tourists, and how there wasn't any authentic French food. He went to a pastry shop to buy a sandwich and drink and paid 9 Euros!

I told him that my experience in Corsica was absolutely the opposite. We didn't find the restaurants expensive, didn't see very many tourists, and the food was absolutely fantastic. We realized that maybe because I was in the north and he was in the south (which is well known for being more touristy).

He wasn't happy about Florence either. He was in Piombino until Tuesday. He told me that he didn't want to come back because he finds it too depressing here too. Whew! And here I thought I was the only one who felt what I felt here.

He said that here in Florence everyone "fa il muso" (pouts/looks depressed). He said that by just going outside of Florence everything changes. People are more open, nicer to customers, and just seem happier. He filled me with hope with his words. He also said that everything is much cheaper as well. I guess I don't realize the prices since I compare them to the US and he compares them to before the Euro was adopted (which basically doubled all the prices).

Simone loves Florence nonetheless. He is Florentine and was born and raised here. So, his heart is truly here. But, he sees the change in Florence and dreams of a day when the Florentines cheer up.

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