Tourists, Tourists Everywhere
Florence is a photographer’s dream. Incredibly unique and beautiful architecture, sculptures, fountains, and people of all shapes, sizes, and cultures, all waiting for that special moment to be captured.
Realizing the scope of the adventure, Carrie booked a photo walk tour through Airbnb’s experience feature. The experience is basically a half day event that started at 4:30pm and ending at 7:30pm. But, we only planned to go into Florence for one day. We realized that we couldn’t do the city justice in only 3 hours, so we
decided to arrive early morning and spend the day doing a photo walk before our photo walk, giving absolutely no consideration to the physical requirements demanded of traipsing through a large city all day and all evening long.
Getting from our sleepy little village of Diacceto was a breeze (getting back on the other hand: click here for details). The train station was centrally located and dumped us into the maelstrom immediately. Huge tour groups were herded like sheep by their guide – who was identified by a colored cloth at the top of a pole – but, as all good sheep do, some would still stray from the flock, blocking walkways
and generally making a nuisance of themselves before being shepherded back into the flock.
The Pre-Photo Walk
But we were not to be deterred, as we ground our way into photo op positions, snap-snap-snapping away. By noon our feet were killing us and we were starved. Carrie, the encyclopedia of world food, informed me that she knew the location of a food cart reputed to have the best tripe sandwiches in all of Florence. “It’s only about a kilometer from here and the
sandwiches are called Lampredotto. You’re going to love it.” she shouted enthusiastically. Geez! I can see the damn McDonald’s sign from here and the place is air conditioned. I hope I only thought that and didn’t say it aloud. She had the Google Bitch locked in and they were on the move, so I’m safe.
We wound our way through the narrow picturesque streets, stopping frequently for photo ops and to calm the Google Bitch down, which made the walk appear to disappear in no time. Ah, who am I kidding?
The Tripe Was No Trifle
By the time we arrived at the sandwich cart, my feet felt like they were the size of snowshoes. But, as usual, she was right. The Lampredottos were delicious and we found a great spot to sit down on some church steps to people watch and take photos of. “But what did you have to drink with those sandwiches?” you ask. Wine of course, hauled from Diacceto in our handy dandy collapsible travel flask (for details see: travel flask).
Somewhat renewed, with my feet down to the manageable size of a pair of LeBron James’ sneakers, we were off for the second half of our pre-photo walk photo walk. But, by around 3:30 even the Google Bitch was tired, and the feet are back to snowshoe size, so we found a nice little piazza to sit down for a spell.
A few minutes into our R&R, Carrie was approached by a group of young people wanting her to take a group picture for them. “Sure, I’d love to!” she said. I figured that they didn’t ask me to take the picture because I looked like a huge over producing sweat gland. Couldn’t blame them.
The Real Thing
4:30 finally rolled around and it was time to hook up with our photo walk group. Davide Mandolini, our guide, did a great job of herding the 6 of us around, showing us some out the way corners of Florence for some special photo ops. You can also find him on facebook. Included as part of the photo walk was an apres walk stop at a wine bar for some medicinal adult beverages. Great fun.
Although we may have overdid it a bit, Florence made the pain worthwhile. And doing a photo walk with a local is truly a great way to experience the city’s inner charm. Highly recommended.
And now it was time for the infamous return to Diacceto! More photos below.
Hike Drink Live Laugh (Apero Time)
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