Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 2: Lions, Tigers, Panino con Bolito, Oh my!

First things first, something to make you smile:

Though completely irrelevant to anything Italy, I thought this image was so adorable (sent to me of course by Dennis). Today was so busy, but it finally started to give me an idea of what the city is like. Which I seem to be falling more and more in love with.  It feels like a puzzle that I keep seeing different pieces to, and that are finally starting to look like a picture. We woke up around 8:30 this morning, and had breakfast at the hotel with Colleen and the roomies. After we ate, we went downstairs for another Safety- like seminar, which actually proved to be quite useful.

Some things that I learned: Italians aren't really into lines (which I'll talk about later), the amount of personal space people expect here is nothing like it is in the US, and the plumbing system in italy is very finicky, (Which I also will unfortunately talk about later).

We then took it upon ourselves to check out the city, after being recommended a location for great sandwiches in one of the markets that Firenze has. Some of the markets are weekly, other less frequent, but this one featured indoor vendors, as well as outside stalls. Kelli needed to find the ATM, so we got the chance to expose ourselves to the sights. Like....
A Nifty car that  can fit in this teeny tiny space...

All these mopeds


The Bank, which isnt so interesting but something good to know  for the future

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (pretty sure that's what its called) Which is so amazing 
We actually ended up back at the hotel before figuring out where the market was, which we eventually found. After weaving through the stalls, filled with tons of leather goods like these belts:
Jackets, shoes, jewelry, bags, scarves souvenirs like these:
Fun right?! These stalls lead up to the indoor market, that had all types of fresh produce and small resturaunts. As directed, we ended up at a small sandwich shop called "Nerbone"
After entering the market and taking a quick left, we arrived at this small gem. Two of us got the famous "Panino con bolito", which is a boiled beef sandwich, which is dipped in its own juices. They scoop out the bottom of the bread, stack on the beef and then smear on a bright red chili sauce, and a green sauce which has garlic, basil and onion. I'm not a major red meat person to begin with, and the beef was definitely fattier than I was accustomed to, but as a whole I absolutely loved it.

However, it was definitely a reality check actually trying to acquire the sandwich. I began waiting patiently at the counter where a clearly italian only speaking man was slapping together sandwiches....for the guy who came around to the other side of the counter....and the woman who cut me in line....and the other guy who showed up after me. He turned to the man next to me, ready to take his order, but fortunately he informed him that I was drowning quickly, and he reluctantly made my sandwich. Hello! Cant you see I'm a cute American girl?! But I guess if I want the authentic food, I need to get it the authentic way.
panino con bolito ( you can see the red and green sauces a little in this photo)

Casual Pig foot

Fresh Limoncello
There was also tons and tons of fresh produce, flours and meats, which I got a fabulous picture of but it won't upload.

After lunch, we grabbed a quick bite at "the tea room"
how cutie pie is this little sandwich?!
As we continued to wander Florence, we happened to stumble upon our apartment! It was awesome to see our digs, even from the outside. 

After lunch, we returned to the hotel for a few, graband waited for our guided walking tour of the city. The first stop was the train station, which we discovered can take you pretty much anywhere in Italy for fairly cheap. This was followed by a stop by the Basillica of Santa Maria Novella. Quick history: it was designed by Lione Battista, and is the primary Dominican church in florence.
We also saw:
The Rape of the Sabine woman by Giambologna
Cellini's Persus, which is a bronze sculpture, outside the Bargello museum,  which shows Persus beheading medusa
A copy of the david

and my favorite...the Ponte Vecchio
Taaaaaaa DA!
We eventually made our way back to the hotel, slept until 10 o'clock by accident (jet lag induced), and then looked to get dinner. Pretty much nothing was open so we ended up buying pizza at a counter.

We met up with a few of Kelli's friends, went to "The Red Garter",and hung out with the DJ :) listened to some good music, and had a fun time before moving along to "Twice" which definitely had the european club vibe. Though I've heard Florence is a relatively safe city, we ended up having our first really scary incident. When all four of us were walking home, a clearly intoxicated man started to harass Kelli. He grabbed the map she was holding out of her hands, presumably thinking it was money or something valuable. Luckily we pulled her away and he didn't end up following us, but it really shows that not everyone is trying to help you. Like papou always says "trust but verify".

When we returned to shower, the tub ended up being almost full to the brim. We removed the drain, and the entire floor drained with toilet water, ruining all our fresh new hotel towels. If that's the worst that happens to me this weekend, I'll be okay.

1 comment :

  1. It looks like you are having an amazing time Jac! I can't wait to visit you and the city of Florence. I love the pictures :) I hope you continue to have a blast. Stay safe <3