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Florence without a plan is indeed the best plan!

By Guest
Posts: 1

Posted on: October 07, 2008 at 11:39AM

With only 6 hours to enjoy Florence, I intended to make a plan. Helpful travel guides recommended reserving Uffizi tickets ahead of time, so naturally, I took heed and booked them online. Despite completing the form, entering my credit card information and viewing the ticket confirmation page, I never actually received a confirmation email. I forgot about it until we arrived at our scheduled Uffizi time and they had no record of our booking. I had no confirmation number to give them and they could not look up my reservation by name. As we were leaving, I heard another travel guide make same day reservations with her cell phone for a couple of hopeful travelers. So, while I had good intentions to book ahead of time, they were ultimately ineffective. Meanwhile, last minute same-day reservations proved to be successful. Mostly, I do feel its a good idea to plan ahead, yet this experience reminded me that sometimes its better to just "see what happens." We weren't disappointed about not seeing the gallery, because after all we were in Florence!! We wandered the streets, enjoying the architecture and flair of the city. We stumbled into Il Papiro (Via Cavour, 50129), a quaint, old fashioned stationery house. Magnificent! Owners, Gianni and Francesco, were lively and welcoming and demonstrated the centuries old paper marbling technique. Both the process and the men were intriguing as they were friendly, playful as they were experts. We easily spent 2 hours exploring all of the papers, designs and embellishments. One owner whisked off on his bike to another location to get a journal I wanted, while the other ducked across the street and brought us back cappuccinos and cookies. A precious Italian experience brought about because of an online booking goof. After, our wanderings brought us to the beautiful and timeless ristorante, Gilli. The 1733 decor at Piazza della Repubblica was a marvel indeed. Exquisite, rich and granita-decadent. Friendly waiters eagerly chatted and posed for pictures (yes, we were tourists after all!) Florence would’ve not been complete without a sampling of the famous Italian gelato. Indeed, Gilli did not disappoint! Our feet meandered towards the world famous Ponte Veccio- steeped in historical significance and displaying distinctive old world charm. Monks weaved through camera-clad tourists on their way to the other side. Arno front, we discovered another hidden treasure: Arti & Mestieri (Piazza di Santa Maria Soprarno, 50125). A tiny store with a dungeonesque feel displaying an array of leather bound journals, tarot cards and embossed notes. The young and pretty artist continued creating as we perused. Impossible to decide, I chose many handmade goodies to remind me of the experience that was so accidentally pleasurable. The best tip: Florence without a plan, is indeed the best plan! report a problem

Posted on: October 09, 2008 at 9:17AM

With limited time aslo, Florence need the Uffizzi Galary had a wonderful open market, with purses,scarfs, plus folding leather wastebaskets with beautiful details. But we headed up to the open market by the railroad station. Our friends bought leather jackets made to order, leather lipstick cases, of course there leather gloves. We walk up the main area, with plenty of side streets, write down some price and area markings so if you want to go back you remember what area. I brought some shopping bags and now the recyclable groceries bags are wonderful. I love the little corner pannie sandwich makers, there is one by St. Maria and sit on the stone benches in this open area facing the church and just enjoy.

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