Not that it is surprising, but tourism here is definitely hurting. The prices are high to begin with for Americans, even with the recent improvement in the dollar - but the GBP has absolutely crashed, and the Russians are in trouble too. There was a recent NY Times article that focused on Rome but could as easily have been about Florence: All Roads May Lead Here, but They Aren’t Bringing Big Spenders Even the local English language newspaper here just ran an article wondering if this is the bottom:
"There is little doubt that we are in the midst of an important moment in Florence. The city is changing by the day-decreasing tourism, increasing rents, more rules, less money. Have we hit rock bottom?"It will definitely be an interesting and challenging 2009.