by Melinda Gallo

Traveling by motorino

Alessandro's car is in the shop again and so a friend of his loaned him his motorino (scooter). I rode on the back of the motorino to go to the movies at Warner Village on Friday. It's been fairly hot in centro (downtown), but once we were out past Le Cascine, the air seemed to be much cooler. It was refreshing until we had to drive back to town because my teeth were chattering.

The next night we went to dinner to my friend Adriana's house past Piazza Ferrucci. I came prepared this time and brought a jacket with me for the 1AM ride home.

Last night was Festa di San Giovanni (Saint John's day). San Giovanni is Florence's patron saint and there was a big fireworks display along the Arno. To avoid the crowds, we went to the movies instead; I'm not too fond of all the confusione (hubbub). When we left the cinema (movie theatre), we heard the end of the fireworks. When we got to the viale (large avenue), the cars going toward the Arno were stopped. On our side going toward Piazza LibertÓ, there were motorini speeding down alongside and around us. The noise was deafening at times and I held onto Alessandro even tighter. Some people hold onto the seat behind them, but I felt much safer holding onto Alessandro.

It was a freeing experience at times to be on the back of a motorino. I let my body just be led while Alessandro swerved between cars and made his way to the front of the pack of cars. I was mostly afraid of the other motorini. There were times I preferred not to look in front of him, but rather at the people to the left and right of me instead. Sometimes, it's better not to worry too much, but instead to just go with the flow.

Unfortunately, today he had to give the motorino back. We're both thinking of getting one together because it was a lot of fun traveling around town. We didn't go in centro (downtown) at all because it is a ZTL - zona a traffico limitato (limited traffic access area), which means that you need a permit to drive in centro. Because I live downtown, I could get a permit, but it's still no use driving in centro because Florence is still a city in which you can get around much easier on foot or by bike.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!