May 24, 2011

The watch from above

One of my girlfriends is visiting from America this month, so I am staying at my boyfriends loft in Santa Croce. It has been interesting to see how different the dynamic is from this apartment compared to my silent, humble abode (servants quarters) in the "palazzo". He lives on a busy street that connects Piazza Signoria & Santa Croce Cathedral together, so there are always swarms of tourists.  Unfortunately, this is also the pass through for many of the local bars & nightclubs in the areas, so in the middle of the night I am normally woken up with laughing students. I would also like to point out that American students get a bad rap for being loud, but from my experience living here, the Italians are just as bad. I can hear Italian and often times Arabic being yelled at high pitches at 3 o'clock in the morning.

At any rate, this entry is not about the problems with living here, its about how much I love it. He lives on the 5th floor (yes, thats right, no lift), so my backside is getting its work out this month. I work from home normally, so I have made friends with the old Italian woman across the street who also spies on the passer by's. When I get crazy headed from  looking at the computer screen too long, I can always count on her to be peeping her head out her shutters at all the madness below us.

One day I looked down, and I counted 90 tourists from Asia waiting outside the restaurant below. I figured out that this restaurant specializes in large groups, so when you have one group of 50 Germans trying to exit the restaurant, and 90 Asians trying to get - it is quite the site. It was so interesting to watch the taxi's and bike riders attempt to get through ::  nearly impossible. I was so entertained by this, I almost forgot to snap a photo.

 In the apartment I have lived in for over a year, I am nestled on the interior of the building, so I never see people, nor hear them. So this is quite the change. I love it during the day, have difficulties with it at night. The typical story of living in Italy, the underlying them of love hate relationship with your daily life here. 

I have no idea why I think this is so fascinating, but it is . I have always enjoyed people watching. I am curious what other people see, feel and love (this also goes for my new friend hiding under the shutters). It is especially interesting to watch people love Florence so much. As much as the tourists can frustrate me, I do like the reminder that there is a reason why Florence is so special. 


Italian Postcards said...

Really great post :) I love the picture of your neighbor.

I live on a busy street too, in Torino, and on Sunday the gay pride parade went by. That was so much fun and also the noisiest.

Jen said...

Dear Christy I LOVE your blog thank you for the inspiration! I live in South Africa and have just sold my successful cafe after 8 years of hard work. I want to embark on a trip to Italy in July to learn the cuisine. Would love to visit Florence...where is the best food in Florence to be found ? any help would really be appreciated :) Jen

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Great post, love the image of the girl on a bicycle :)

Murissa Maurice said...

I love to people watch. I am writer and often am inspired by people interacting or just acting in general when they think someone is watching them.
I just wrote a post about my own personal experiences of public spaces and how I incorporate that into my Travel Poetry.

Insightful post. Thanks for sharing!
The Wanderfull Traveler

s.212 said...

That story about your old neighbor is so cute! I'm an exchange student here in Milan and the Americans at my school also get a bad rap :P

Murissa Maurice said...

Jen! - I went there last year and although I cannot give you as in depth of an answer as Christy I can tell you that Il Latini was amazing and really reasonably priced. We had full 3 courses with an endless supply of wine and apertifs for 4 people for 150 euros!
I had the ravioli and the Florentine steak (too big for just one person) , then I had an amazing dessert - Tiramisu. Congrats on selling your cafe and getting to travel!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Jen said...

Thanks so much Murissa! appreciated!! my first job is in Fano on the Adriatic Coast in a family run restaurant specialising in excited ! :)

Christy said...

Hey gals! Thanks for reading! I am excited to read more about your adventures Jen!

Here is my favorite list for eats in Florence:

La Giostra - Borgo Pinti (Santa Croce)

Brac (Santa Croce), cool artsy, very small vegetarian place. Great atmosphere, They change the decor monthly, need reservations normally

Sabatino – Via Pisana (San Frediano)

Olio e Convivium Via Santo Spirito (Santo Spirito)

Quatro Leoni - Via Toscanella (Santo Spirito)

Osteria Santo Spirito (Santo Spirito)

Il Santo Bevitore (Santo Spirito)

Il Porcellino (Piazza Repubblica)

Trattoria Nerone (San Lorenzo)

Rocco – Sant Ambrogio (Lunch) (very italian, inside the market, an experience!!!!)

il Ghibellini - Piazza San Pier Maggiore (Santa Croce) *THE BEST Melanzane pizza in the city, period!

Bondi - across from Mercato Centrale (San Lorenzo)

Gusto - Panini (Piazza Santo Spirito)

Jen said...

now that is a LIST ! :) brilliant I am def going to visit as many as I can thanks so much! I leave for Fano on 7 July....

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