Living in Florence Living in Florence

Nowhere to park my bike

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not only is it illegal to park my bicicletta (bicycle) around any monumento (monument), but it's also illegal to park it behind or on the side of the rastrelliera (bike rack). It's bad enough that I could get a multa (fine) of up to 200 Euros, but what's worse is that they could tow it away like I saw them do in San Niccolò this weekend. I watched a man cut the catene (chains) with a pair of large shears and place the biciclette on the carro attrezzi (tow truck).
Living in Florence, Italy :: Nowhere to park my bike

I was surprised to see that on a Saturday evening the vigilesse (policewomen) were having biciclette taken away because they were parked behind the rastrelliera. A local man walked up to them and asked them why they were towing away the biciclette and they explained that the biciclette were blocking the marciapiede (sidewalk) and if someone needed to get by, they wouldn't be able to. I agree with this thinking if the building wasn't abandoned as it has been for many years.

I check on my bicicletta multiple times a day to make sure no one has towed it away. While I was looking out my window this morning, I saw a woman talking to a vigile (policeman) near where I used to park my bicicletta. I then heard her talk to her friend as she approached the already full rastrelliera under our apartment building. I had tried to park there numerous times, but it only fits about eight biciclette and there were over 15 on it when she squeezed hers in.

I keep looking out onto the piazza to find a spot to park my bicicletta, but there are few spots. I assume with so many people on vacanza (vacation), many have parked their biciclette and aren't here to move them during the day.

I was surprised after I saw that someone stole the sella (seat) on my bicicletta, but I'm sure I'll be shocked if I go downstairs and find it has been towed away. I won't know for sure unless all the other biciclette are gone too.
In the meantime, I have to keep looking for a legal parking spot for my bicicletta. I hope to find one soon so I don't have to keep looking outside every few hours to check on my bicicletta.

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