Today I met with Dinneen, an American who came to study Italian for a month, for a drink this afternoon. We sat in the Piazza della Signoria at Rivoire facing the Palazzo Vecchio. We enjoyed our drinks and sat for a few hours talking, watching people walk by, and trying not to get attacked by the pigeons.
She was going to meet another girl, Alessia, at Capocaccia along the Arno at Ponte Santa Trinità at around 8PM and asked me if I wanted to join her. I hadn't been there yet for an aperitivo, but that was the next place I wanted to go.
When we arrived, the entire sidewalk in front of Capocaccia as well as the one across the street along the Arno was packed with people. There was a DJ set up at the outside terrace and the music was blaring inside and out. We walked through the bar and found the buffet table. I asked a cameriere (waiter) who was walking by if "fa il servizio a tavolo" (he take orders at the tables).
When he said yes, we sat down at a quiet, internal table and looked at the drink menus. The cameriere came back to our table, "Ciao ragazze, cosa vi porto?" (Hi girls, what can I bring you?). I can't remember the last time someone, other than friends, called me a ragazza. After he walked away, I went to the buffet table and served myself some pasta, finocchiona (Tuscan salami with fennel), and bread.
The food was delicious and there was no extra charge for the aperitivo like at the last place we went to. There was also a lot more food too; a few waitresses were even walking around the crowds serving fresh pizza on platters.
We met Dinneen's friend Alessia who is a Florentine woman whom I found out lives alone. Alessia told us that on Sundays "tutta Firenze viene qui" (all of Florence comes here). And, she added, "anche tanti fighetti" (even lots of "in" people). From the crowds, it looked like people went to the beach for the weekend and would then come to Capocaccia to be seen and show off their tans. Almost everyone was dressed impeccably. I wasn't expecting to go and was dressed casually and certainly not nice enough to feel comfortable at Capocaccia.
Dinneen and I both commented on how it felt like a discoteca: all the people looking at each other, drinks, and loud music. If it weren't for the early hour (only about 10PM), well-lit areas, and the cars that passed by on the street, it probably could've been a discoteca.
There were quite a few Americans there as well; I could overhear them speaking English. Alessia said, "Le americane sono spesso in cinque o sei e portano sempre le flip-flop" (The American girls are often in groups of five or six and always wear flip flop sandals). It's something I noticed as well.
After a few hours of talking, standing outside among the crowds, nibbling on food and sipping our drinks, we decided to call it a night. I took one picture as we were leaving from the Ponte Santa Trinità and there seemed to be more people than when we arrived. The locale (place) is where the white umbrellas are, but people were all over the place even in the street.
I hope to go back another night when it's not as busy. Dinneen said that she went there last night and there weren't quite as many people. I've been told that they have brunch as well, so maybe we'll try that too some day.
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