Monday, June 25, 2001

06/25/01: Hey, I am in Florence. Crazy quick. Got the Eurostar and arrived in 1.5 hours. Only L7000 more for a better faster train, yay.

So I got here and found the nearby hostel I wanted to stay at, and it was full, of course. Since I was short on patience and all sweaty and hot, I decided to spring for a hotel room. It's small, but it has a great view, surprisingly! It will be nice to have a room to myself and a decent bed, not to mention a real shower. The hostel in Rome was fine, but subpar to my 'standards of excellence,' ha ha. Tomorrow in the Early Morning Hours I shall try to find a cheaper place, be it hostel or hotel. I figure, why not treat myself? But I do want to meet new people.

Speaking of meeting new people, oh my god Kristin, I have to talk to you! Oh boy.

For some reason I have the fabulous luck to be in European cities when the local teams win football champions. Last Sunday, meaning EIGHT DAYS AGO, the Roma team won the championship (I think of Italy but I'm not sure). This Sunday, meaning yesterday, a full SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE EVENT, not only had there been continual chaos and general running-amok, not to mention lots of car-horn-honking this whole week, there was a huge gathering in the Circo Massimo, presumably to cap off the excitement. Thousands and thousands of people were there, to celebrate and yell, sing, cheer and otherwise make general noise for the players. It was MADNESS, I tell you. Remind me to never be a football fan, because then I will never be crazed like these Europeans.

Oh, so yesterday I was still in Rome, obviously, and looking forward to being in a new place. However, I realized that I was used to being there, that even though I was bored I had gotten to know my way around, not to mention see all the sights. Well, most of them. Did I tell y'all about my piazza tour? Did y'all know that there are a GOOD LOT of piazzas in Rome? Like, almost every other corner has a fountain or a big statue or obelisk of some sort? It's crazy. Very enjoyable and pretty, but nearly overkill.

I joined a walking tour of the Jewish ghetto and the Trastevere area yesterday afternoon. It was interesting and certainly educational; I am not very familiar with the history of Rome or any part of Italy, other than the obvious things like the Roman Empire and stuff. Duh. We went over the oldest bridge in Rome, which leads to Tiber Island. It was built in 63 BC and has not had to be rebuilt. A two thousand year old bridge! Imagine! In the square where the French Embassy is now (in a former Renaissance palazzo), there are giant bathtubs disguised as fountains. The rich family that lived there took the tubs from the nearby Baths of Caracalla, and had seats installed, and then mounted in the square so that the family people could sit there and be important and see all the goings-on. In a BATHTUB. Does this not strike you as terribly silly?

So yeah, I've got however long to be here in Florence, and so that I don't get bored, I decided to relax and spread things out. I haven't decided if I shall do something this afternoon and evening. I'd like to just sit around, but that gets boring pretty quick. Plus, the other day I got these nasty blisters on my toes that obviously make walking rather unpleasant. But maybe I'll go see the Ponte Vecchio, that's old, famous, and free. Oh, I need food. I think I'm getting malnourished or something. I haven't had much more than pears, yogurt, crackers and the occasional ice cream for the past five days and I think that's why I'm headachy and lethargic. I am drinking lots of water, though, which is nice.

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