by Melinda Gallo

Quick trip to Fiesole

Today, we only had a few hours together. Unfortunately, Dave was still not feeling well, so I went with Massimo and our French friends alone. They picked me up in front of the Biblioteca nazionale which is along the lungarno. I saw crowds of tourists walking toward me and I was surprised that there were so many.

We decided to go into Chianti today, but because our friends didn't want to be late for their plane, we couldn't go far. I told Massimo that we could go to Fiesole because we could see some of the near countryside, hopefully encounter fewer tourists, and enjoy the spectacular view.

After all of our walking yesterday, we were a little tired to walk up another hill in Fiesole to the terrazza (terrace) where we can see all of Florence. When we were at the top, we also looked at the little chiesa (church) and monastero (monastery). It felt much cooler up in Fiesole than it did down in Florence, which was nice too.

We wanted to visit the anfiteatro (amphitheater), but we would've had to buy a ticket for the museum as well. We decided to skip it and went to a small bar with a terrazza to have drinks. At exactly noon, we went to the restaurant next door for lunch. Our friends were afraid that we'd be late in getting them to the airport, so we had to eat earlier than we normally would have. Yesterday, we didn't have lunch until 2PM.

At lunch we talked about the differences between Massimo's Italian and mine. I knew there were many differences, mostly in words that we commonly use every day.

When I was in Milan, I saw the word polipo on the menu. When I asked Massimo, he explained to me what it was. When I said, "Vuoi dire 'polpo'." (You mean "octopus"), he laughed and said they don't say "polpo" in Milan. While we were in Florence, we kept seeing "polpo" on the menus. Still not fully believing me, he asked the cameriera (waitress) and she said, "A Firenze, si dice 'polpo'." (In Florence, we say 'polpo'.")

We have many differences in our language. In Florence, for example, we say "figliolo" for "figlio", "babbo" for "padre", and "hai voglia (te)" for "certo". Although he also had words that I haven't heard much in Florence, like "cuccare" for "imbroccare/rimorchiare," which both mean to pick up a girl/guy. Of course, there is also a difference between our accents although Massimo has told me that he doesn't have one. However, in every restaurant we went to, he would talk to the camerieri (waiters) and they would tell him that they knew he was from Milan.

We enjoyed our lunch on the terrace looking out over Florence. It was a great way to end my friends' short trip to Florence. They'd like to come back to Italy and travel around Tuscany and Umbria. I hope they do so because they will definitely see a lot more than what we could show them in a day and a half.

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