Florence is compact and easy to get around on foot, and walking is definitely the best way to see the city.
In the central (oldest) part of town, the narrow streets are closed to cars (except police, taxis, and buses in some of them ).
It is delightful wandering around and being surprised by so many historic buildings.
In one of these streets ( I don't remember which one ) I found a mark showing the peak the waters reached in 1966, when the banks of the River Arno burst, flooding the city with her muddied waters and devastating homes and artwork.
A nice cafe, the Cafe Ricci,...
A nice cafe, the Cafe Ricci, is across the river from the Uffizi. Passing all the shops that line the Ponte Vecchio and peering into the windows to see trinkets like these without buying was no easy task. Florence is known for its gold and leather goods.
Watch your step. I think space is at a real premium in Florence, so some storeowners make use of every inch by colorfully displaying their merchandise. These lovely terracotta tiles were just lying on the steps of their store and added some much-needed color to the gray streets.
Florence (& Dougal) go raving
Central Park is a massive nightclub a short walk from Florence city centre. I've never seen a club like this before - and you especially won't in England.
Basically 5 dance floors, each with their own DJ, some indoor, some outdoor and a load of bars in between. It reminded me of being at a mini festival like Creamfields. Anyway, as usual for Italy, you pay an extortionate entrance fee (20 euros each I think) to get in, they give you a small piece of card, then each drink purchased is marked on the card, and you pay again on the way out.
The biggest surprise here was that out of a club of 2000 people, we were the only clubbers drinking alcohol. We virtually had a private bar, and the barman couldn't believe we kept going back... After chatting to the promoter, it seems the club makes their money on the door, then purposely overcharges for drinks to avoid any hassle that a club full of pissed up punters causes. Music ranged from RnB (which seemed popular), house (less so), through to the simply bizarre - at one point the DJ in the Main Room played Will Young - Relight My Fire, and the place exploded.
Cue people dancin' on podiums, the works. God these people need to get out more...
Not really a place to go to get drunk - each drink is 8 euros.
UPDATE - web link is now dead... I presume the club has changed names / hands. I doubt it has fully closed. WHO KNOWS ?
Although there is a strange fashion among young Italian men to tie the arms of a white (any pastel shade will suffice) jumper neatly over their shoulders, then strut around thinking they look cool.
Memo to any young Italian men who are visiting the UK in the coming years... dont go out dressed like this. You are likely to end up in hospital after some serious GBH. Harsh I know, but some might say fair.
You may suffer a similar fate if you ask an English club DJ for Will Young's latest single.
Ari's Diner moved
Just went to Ari's Diner in Florence and it was amazing it moved dowen the street and we almost did not find it but its now on via del acqua number 2. best burger and french toast ever a must go true american good home cooking. The guys are from dc and really nice