Fare da cicerone

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dave wasn't feeling well this morning, so I met up with Massimo and our French friends, L. and A. by myself. I didn't have an exact plan of what to show them becuase there's so much to see and we only had one day. I decided to take them to the Piazza della Signoria to start the tour after meeting them along the lungarno.

After they took a few pictures of the David statue, I took them down to the Ponte Vecchio where they wanted to return because it was so beautiful at night. The weather was spectacular and we enjoyed standing on the Ponte Vecchio, looking out at the Arno.

We walked down Borgo San Jacopo and then up via de' Tournabuoni. We went to Piazza Repubblica and had drinks on the fifth floor of La Rinascente. I showed them the different monuments in Florence from above and we decided to go to the Duomo to go up the Campanile di Giotto.

When we arrived under the Campanile, we were lucky that there was no line. We walked up the dark and narrow staircase of the Campanile and took photos on each of the levels because the view was so beautiful. We got to the top of the Campanile where the view was amazing. A. and L. commented on how colorful the city was: the green Tuscan hills, the orange-tiled rooftops, and the pastel-colored buildings. I had to admit that it was breathtaking. It was the first time I had finally gone up the Campanile di Giotto and was so happy to have gone up with my friends.

We entered into the Duomo because again we were lucky enough that there was no line of people outside. Afterwards, we went to the San Lorenzo area, where I rarely go, to eat at Trattoria Z-Z. We waited a few minutes to get a table on their second terrace outside. The weather was so nice that we really wanted to enjoy it as much as we could.

Our cameriere (waiter) arrived not paying much attention to us. Massimo talked to him and commented on how antipatico (unpleasant) he was. He tried to engage the cameriere, but could barely get him to smile. Massimo asked me, "I fiorentini sono tutti cos antipatici?" (All the Florentines are so unpleasant?) I thought that maybe they were just like that with non-Italians, but maybe they're like that with non-Florentines.

After lunch, we walked through the mercato di San Lorenzo where A. was looking at sunglasses. The guy at the bancarella (stand) was dark-skinned and had an accent. I would've guessed that he was Asian of some sort. While I was talking to A. in French about the glasses she was trying, Massimo talked to me in Italian. The guy said, "Lui italiano?" (Is he Italian?). I think he meant to use the formal you, but since that is feminine ("lei"), he just replaced it with "lui". Massimo asked the guy for a sconto (discount) because I told him that they usually treat the fiorentini (Florentines) much better. "Per i fiorentini, i prezzi sono pi alti." (For the Florentines, the prices are even higher.) I couldn't help, but interject. "Cosa ci stai dicendo? Non mica vero. Di solito i prezzi per i fiorentini sono pi bassi." (What are you telling us? It's not true. Normally, the prices for Florentines are much lower.) He kept arguing with me and told me that it wasn't true. I just stopped talking and let Massimo take over.

He wouldn't give A. a sconto and Massimo said, "Volevamo comprare qualche altro paio di occhiali ma ora niente." (We wanted to buy a few more pairs of sunglasses, but now nothing.) Massimo said that he'd never had a straniero (foreigner) ask him if he was Italian in Italy. I told him that maybe it's just a Florentine characteristic.

Afterwards, we went back through town in via Calzaioli to look at more shops and then crossed the Ponte Vecchio again.

Later at dinner, we went to Osteria Santo Spirito. I tried to get reservations, but couldn't. We weren't the only ones who wanted to eat outside on the terrace. Luckily, we only waited a few minutes for a table outside. Massimo found the cameriere was nice, so he asked him, "Perch i fiorentini sono antipatici?" (Why are the Florentines unpleasant?) The cameriere responded that those who work where there are lots of tourists aren't as pleasant, but that at this osteria they have a lot of fun.

My day facendo da cicerone (being a tour guide) ended well although I was exhausted when I got home. All the walking, eating, shopping, and translating wore me out.

If you have any comments, please share them on the Living in Florence's FaceBook page. Grazie!

June 2006


December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

Travel Blogs