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Current Affairs

No more San Lorenzo market?

Published on January 30, 2014 8:28 PM | Comments

Picked this story up via the Florentine that the city apparently is shutting down the vendors - at least the ones right around the church and piazza of San Lorenzo. Not sure where I come down on that but the attitude of the mayor is crappy:

"We have freed as promised the San Lorenzo area, one of the most beautiful places in the world. We made a promise, and we've kept it."

Freed it from the vendors, but promised to who? A little strange to me - I guess the vendors didn't contribute to Renzi's campaigns.

It sounds like the market will still be around the rest of the Mercato Centrale so I don't think this is an all out terrible decision, but it will be strange not to see this any more:

San Lorenzo Market

I’m Staying in Rome

Published on August 16, 2012 10:38 PM | Comments

When Italians don't go to the beach in August - something is seriously wrong with the world.

At least they are maintaining their sense of humor:

Florence Update

Published on April 22, 2012 1:22 PM | Comments

It is hard to keep a track of all the things going on around town this time of year - and the changes that constantly occur in this ancient town. Today is the last day of the free museum week, or Settimana della Cultura where all state museums are free for everyone, residents and tourists alike.

This weekend also starts the The International Handicrafts Trade Fair or Mostra Internazionale dell'Artigianato at the Fortezza da Basso, which goes on all week and next weekend and is open until 11 PM (except on the last night). This is a huge trade show/fair with handicrafts from not only Italy but all over the world - furniture, fabrics, art, jewelry, etc.


And this weekend there was a Slow Food market in Piazza Santa Maria Novella (above), as well as the organic market (I think the is called "Il Mercatale" and is the same as this one which used to be in Santa Croce) in Piazza della Repubblica (this one will probably happen once a month from now until the winter).

Berlusconi Gets Slapped by Italy’s Voters

Published on June 14, 2011 12:16 AM | Comments

This says a lot:

“I followed the run-up and the projections on Twitter and it was fascinating to see how that changed my perspective,” said Costanza Maddama, 26, an interpreter from Rome who said she voted to overturn the laws. “Politics in Italy is no longer just on TV, and this might not be good for Berlusconi. He based his consensus on that.”

And also here in Florence there was a palpable and festive mood to vote these things down - concerts, street demonstrations of the most peaceful and festive manner. It was really very civilized. Below is a picture of a demonstration on Friday night from Piazza San Pier Maggiore:


L'Unità d'Italia

Published on March 17, 2011 5:52 PM | Comments

Unità d'Italia

I wanted to post something about today but my friend Todd beat me to it: Happy Birthday Italy!

Berlusconi gets the Daily Show treatment

Published on February 18, 2011 10:41 PM | Comments


Just how bad was the snow?

Published on December 19, 2010 9:59 AM | Comments

It was pretty bad - and this city is obviously (and rightly) not really equipped for it, since it is so rare. So when it really started to come down, lots of people just abandoned their cars. Those who had chains for their tires put them on. But there was no plowing, salting, etc. (not in the center anyway), and the bridges especially became almost un-passable very quickly.


This is a car carrier on the Ponte Amerigo Vespucci. It was stuck for quite a time as the driver went about putting chains on the tires and the traffic just piled up behind it.


This flatbed came off the Ponte Santa Trinita (why he was even driving around the center at this point seems insane) and just slowly slid across the intersection right into a whole row of motorinos. A real disaster. The next morning the truck and all the crunched bikes were still there.


And here is a couple of ATAF buses abandoned near the Ponte Alla Carraia. There were buses left all over town, both small and large.

Florence Christmas Tree

Published on December 9, 2010 6:39 PM | Comments

The Christmas Tree is up and lit - this year it is in Piazza Duomo (the usual place had been Piazza Repubblica). I guess this is possible now since the area is pedestrian only. It looks great, and makes for a nice photo in front of the Duomo. I wonder how many tens or hundreds of thousands of photos will be taken of this tree in the next few weeks?


Chinese Remake the ‘Made in Italy’ Fashion Label

Published on September 13, 2010 1:02 PM | Comments

Pretty good article in the NY Times Chinese Remake the ‘Made in Italy’ Fashion Label, mostly about the situation in Prato. Some of the reporting seems a little too cute to be believable and the quotes too perfect - but who knows. The gist of it is that there is no plan - I don't think the situation is much different anywhere else in the world. The Italians let the Chinese in, took their money, and now that times are tough, the Italians are pissed. It's an old story unfortunately.

Here is a slideshow that goes along with the article.

Florence has new buses

Published on September 4, 2010 11:44 AM | Comments

ATAF unveiled some new buses recently that are not orange - I saw them outside the train station a few weeks ago at some unveiling ceremony. Here is one in action:


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