Italy: African and Italian Beauty

I had set my alarm to wake me up pretty early the next morning cause I wanted to avoid the long queue at the Uffizi, so I was up by 6.30 and taking a shower and getting cute. One thing I really loved about Italy were the square toilets. Now to answer my aunt's question, no...I did not have a toilet that was a tiled hole in the floor. lol. My toilet was pretty modern as you can see. Everywhere I went, there was a lovely square toilet. I want a square toilet!

The complimentary breakfast at the hotel was pretty good. I am not a very heavy breakfast person, nor very Trini when it comes to my breakfasts, so I don't typically eat things like sada roti and choka, or hops and sausage. lol. I usually have cereal and soy milk so continental breakfasts are never a problem for me. But this was a lot. I had a pretty merry serving of croissants, Italian bread, muesli, fruit, yogurt, fruit juice and of course cappuccino. The breakfast experience would have been much better if it had not been for the Japanese guest who clearly had no social graces when it came to eating and the way he was shovelling, and smacking his lips, and slurping the coffee, was enough to make me want to leave the dining area. I also had an amusing albeit slightly annoying conversation with one of the hotel staff. He was very sweet and I was not annoyed with him as much as I was annoyed by Italian ignorance which I was being faced with for the 4th time in less than 24 hours. So I am trying to be the polite tourist and say please and thanks and other little things in Italian. He brings me my capuccino.

Me: Grazie
Him: Prego. How do you say "Thank you" in your country.
Me: Thank You.
Him: No no...in Italy, "grazie", in inglese, "thank you". What is it in your country?
Me: (inner eye roll) "Thank you". We speak English in Trinidad.
Him: No African language?
Me: Trinidad is not in Africa. Umm...near Venezuela.
Him: Ahhhhh...si si si....Trinidad.

If I taught one Italian something, my life is richer today. He did manage to tell me I was lovely and he would want to visit my country one day. I forgave his ignorance after that.

I grabbed a peach and my map and trusty travel bag, packed with Clean and Clear oil absorbent sheets (a must-have anywhere), my camera, water and anti bacterial lotion, and headed outside into what was still the cool Florentine morning. The Duomo looked even more beautiful without the bag o' tourists blocking the view, as did the Piazza della Signoria where I stood and gazed at the sculptures for about 30 minutes, with the sun's heat starting to sear into my skin. I walked through the Palazzo Vecchio for a while, admiring the architecture and enjoying the shade, before I was accosted by the already long line at the Uffizi. I muttered to myself "Not me and this shit" and kept walking towards the Arno River. The river is beautiful at 8am and even with the tourist life buzzing around me, it was rather peaceful. I walked towards the Ponte de Vecchio, trying to convince myself that I did not really need to see the fantastic Renaissance works behind the Uffizi walls but failed miserably and walked right back and joined the long queue, with my Firenze fan in hand. As I mentioned before I struck up a brief friendship with a woman originally from Paraguay and we chatted haltingly in Spanish for 2 hours until I got to the head of the line and inside the gallery.

I was in heaven for the next 4 hours, though the hell of standing in that heat for 2 hours really broke me down and just before I entered the room with Michelangelo's masterpieces, I had to run to the expensive ass cafeteria to get some sustenance if I were not to faint in the gallery. That and my hawked peach from breakfast surely saved me. But just as I had enjoyed the Louvre, I enjoyed Uffizi and walked the length and breadth of it until I was tired.

Foolishly, I thought somehow I could have managed to walk along the Ponte de Vecchio without some lunch, with only a cookies and cream gelato in my stomach, but nah...the sun was really doing its worst and I had been walking for what seemed like eons so I stopped at a trattoria and ordered a pizza which was epic, both as a single serving and in taste. I loved sitting there just watching the people and the Vespas pass by, and snickered every time someone walked in and left the door open, causing the owner to curse in Italian as his precious airconditioning was being compromised by the heat coming through the open door. He sat with me for a couple minutes to ask me where I was from because I seemed to be a real oddity. I was not a street person, did not look nashy but rather posh and divaesque and was not with a sugardaddy so I was as rare as the Uffizi art and every Italian man I came into contact with was curious. It was very hilarious.

With my guts overstuffed and my wine palate once again satisfied, I paid for my pizza and decided I would walk to the Boboli Gardens for some rest and nature.

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