Gorgeous isn’t it!
This image of Tiffany Dryburgh’s surely epitomises the Florence that the Deluxe-14-Day-Europe-by-Coach-Tour that tourists don’t see.
The Florence I saw followed this whistle-stop formula and while it’s a great introduction to visiting Europe (or Australia, or USA), it can sometimes leave you wanting for more.
The Florence these tours encourage you to see is the Florence that sells gold jewellery and leather goods. So my memories Florence, other than seeing DAVID, would be of trawling gold and leather shops and watching potential pickpockets at work. Not a positive memory but obviously for the tour operator a lucrative one as the more we bought the more commission they made.
Tiffany’s Florence is the everyday Florence.
I can smell the pasta sauces being made, the prosciutto being sliced;
I can hear the discussions over lunch as to what should be prepared for dinner, the latest gossip being exchanged;
I can see the Florentines buying their daily supplies at their local mercato, then in the afternoon the Florentines going on their passeggiata;
I can feel the warmth and frienliness of the locals as they encourage me to taste their home-made wine, and their desire to show us their city that isn’t all about gold and leather handbags and jackets.
And after all these years, do i wear that leather jacket – NO WAY, you’re joking, it is sooo ’80’s!
Would I visit Florence again – after viewing Tiffany’s image – I’m saving already!