I wasn't actually 'fond' of this memory at the time. I had barely seven hours to explore the city, but I spent almost half of my time getting lost! My sense of direction is usually impeccable, but my map reading skills weren't up to par. My attempts at getting my bearings paid off somewhat as I got a chance to see the nooks and crannies of Florence's streets. Plus, it was somewhat comforting when, towards the end of it all, an Italian man started asking ME for directions!
Don't forget your receipt, Signor!
Italy probably leads Europe in the uniform distribution of receipts for every museum you see, every castle you visit and every other possible fee attraction. As often as not, the receipts are designed to be as counterfeit-proof as Italian currency, perhaps even more so.
Look for these on piazza walls and above street corners (above eye-level too). Some of them are very old (and a remarkable number seem to have been restored courtesy of the Lions club!), and many are rather beautiful. Some have plaques which give details of artist/date, but not all.
During the hot evenings in Florence Cafè Cabiria is a nice place to stay for a while, eating and drinking with some friends. Very simple and confortable. Go there as you want, no problem about dressing!
A must for those who like bacon more than veal
If you're into surprises--especially UNPLEASANT ones- by all means visit this charming "jazz" restaurant, where your breakfast bacon comes in early in place of the veal you'd planned for dinner, '04 wine tries to masquerade as '99 wine, the bill looks more like a mortgage on your house and the live music is no doubt "live" and the lady of the night sings through a plastic cup (after she's done hitting the bottom of it, for mysterious reasons known only to her). "Serenade" is a strong word. If you can hear your dining companion above the "jazz", give yourself a pat on the back. And don't forget to clap when they finish a number. Quote of the night from the pretty waitress: "I -would- make a cappuccino for you but the machine makes too much noise and might disturb the others."
Oh, Italian food at its best. The veal-- no, sorry, I meant bacon, surely.
The espresso was impressive in its graininess too-- think you can't get bad coffee in Italy? Be surprised. Be very surprised.