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The Florence Chronicles -- Part I


As you can see, I made it to Florence safe and sound. And yes, I lugged the laptop all the way up here. (Not that I'll spend inordinate amounts of time with it, but hey, girl gotta check email and post stuff on LJ!)

The flight was uneventful as far as travel goes, which is as much as one can wish for. My moment of zen came mid-flight, in the middle of the Atlantic, between DC and Paris.

So there I was, contentedly watching Indiana Jones 4, after giving up on sleep. All of a sudden, we get interrupted by a message from the captain. He says something in French, to which I pay no attention, assuming that it is something like "Fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy ride." And then half the plane starts cheering.


And then he repeats the announcement, this time in English, and says "This is your Captain. News is, apparently Barack Obama is the new President of the United States."

And the crowd went wild.

As I join the cheering crowd, the passenger next to me, a retired Navy Captain, beams up and starts applauding too. Then he tells me "Well, at least I know now that my vote counted."

It was an unreal moment. Even for someone like me, for whom warming up to Barack Obama took quite a while.

No, I don't think that he's "The One," and I don't buy into any silly Messiah crap. But I think that he will do well. Or so I hope.

And hey, if he manages the country with the same efficiency as he managed his campaign, I think that we may be okay after all.

Here's to hope.

On other news, I did go to the Uffizi Galleries, where I got yelled at for taking pictures. Who knew that they don't allow any photography there? Especially since they don't tell you and there are no signs of "No Photos" anywhere.

At any rate, I profusely apologized, and continue my meanderings, only too happy that I had not been tossed out, which was great.

And now, I need to leave since the conference is about to start.

Thoughts of the day: You can have a meal in Florence, from street vendors, for 6 euros, which includes water, panini sandwich, and gelatto.


Oh, and these people don't sleep. Who would have thunk that you would have live music and a carousel at the Piazza of the Republic on a Tuesday evening?

More later.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
That is either a change in the rules or an over zealous guard. When I was there (granted, it was 1997), flash photography was not permitted, but photography without a flash was. I had a guard try to yell at me for taking a photograph. I could actually read and speak some Italian at the time, so I politely pointed out to the guard that photography without a flash was NOT banned by the museum, and that I was not using a flash. The guard grudingly let me take my one or two photos. Some of those guards are as militant as the ones at the MET in New York - sheesh!
Nov. 6th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
Actually, I looked up the rules on a webiste online re: photography in Italian museums, and the policy HAS changed since 2000. Here is what I found:

"....in general italian museums don't allow to take photos inside. Director can allow that but you need to ask before by mail. Churches are different from museums, afoten you can take photos without problems. Anyway for keep more information about National Museums in Florence (Palazzo Pitti, Galleria dell'Accademia, Uffizi, Bargello, Museo di San Marco, etc.) please write to this address: uffpermessi@polomuseale.firenze.it best regards toscanamusei@regione.toscana.it"

"....in the Uffizi Gallery and in all statal museum (Palazzo Pitti included) is possible to take photo only on monday when the museum is closed. This policy has been in force from 2000. I send you attached the form to fill to ask permission to photograph . Best regards

Ufficio Permessi"
Nov. 8th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Photography in most museums in Florence is a no-no these days. Oh, well. Sigh.

BTW, your suggestion on the banana gelato is a great Litmus test on the gelatterias. Thanks!

Gelatto . . . yum . . .
Nov. 6th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
I told you it was a mortal sin to serve bad food in Italy. The cheapest, most out-of-the-way, casual food vendors you go to - the food's still good. They'd be lynched, otherwise, by their offended fellow Italians.
Nov. 8th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Food good. Yum!
Dec. 5th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
On other news, I did go to the Uffizi Galleries, where I got yelled at for taking pictures. Who knew that they don't allow any photography there? Especially since they don't tell you and there are no signs of "No Photos" anywhere.

The most amusing part about that is that too large bags MUST be deposited after the security check.

BUT you're not allowed to leave your camera (and other valuables) in there.

BUT it's not allowed to take photos in the museum.

So... they're forcing people to bring their camera, they don't have too many "no photos" signs - but they'll still freak out if you take photos. Am I the only one being amused by this? Hahaha. (I was in Florence just a few days before the Costume Colloquium started, and I was très jealous of everyone who announced they were going... But I'm glad you had a wonderful time!)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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