I just can't seem to keep up with posting here - the days are very busy and the end of the school year is near and there is just so much to do before we take our holidays. Florence seems to teeter back and forth from eerily empty to bursting with tourists - but the consensus seems to be that these are quiet times. There are just more and more empty stores turning up every day - last week it was a small retailer in the heart of town, right next to the Cantinetta Verrazzano. And strolling around in the evening it seems that most restaurants are completely empty.
The good news? It seems that two shops on via dei Neri that have been empty for quite awhile are under contract. The English bookshop is being renovated (for what seems like a reopening - unless it is just the landlord sprucing it up) and the large Claudio Faggi store (I think I have that name right) also has the "For Rent" signs down and appears to be undergoing renovation. It will be nice to have these spots open again.
One newer addition is the Serafina gelateria in Piazza Gaetano Salvemini. They have a €1 cone, and - milk shakes!