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Back in Firenze

PHOTO: The Duomo in last evening's pouring rain (c) Sery Kim

Sadly the cruise has ended and I am now wandering around Firenze for a few days before Tuscany and then home on Tuesday. Unusually for me, or perhaps because I just look "confident," everyone in Firenze seems to think I am Italian! When I got off the high speed train from Venice to Tuscany, the literal first person I talked to was a woman asking me for directions. Hilarious. Even with two suitcases I must look like I belong. Then both at the gelato shop, La Carraia my favorite, as well as at any store or restaurant I go to, the staff always speak to me in Italian. Secretly, I love it and am so proud they seem to think I belong! One day I will have my own Italian villa and then I will truly be an Italian!

PHOTO: Friday afternoon's ice cream at La Carraria (c) Sery Kim

Speaking of La Carraria, I tried two new flavours on this trip: black cherry and yogurt with nutella. I will have to say, this 3,50 euro combination, was much better than anything I have previously had at my favorite gelato shop in Florence. I will have to make sure to get back there again today after my visit to the Uffizi Gallery but I have been so busy trying trattoria's I am too stuff to get gelato. Lame, lame! Thank goodness I still challenge myself to walk almost 8 miles every day. Without the extra effort to push myself to fitness, irrespective of my feet crying "mercy" with my high heels, I would be super fat. Instead, I am still losing weight and hope to be back to my London weight by the end of summer -- yay for fitness goals.

PHOTO: Engagement photo session in Firenze (c) Sery Kim

Lucky for me Firenze is so walkable. Thursday, after I got off the train, I walked around the more residential parts of Firenze, closer to the University of Florence as well as NYC Florence. I don't have too many regrets in life but I always wish I had studied abroad rather than trying to blaze through college in two years. Those extra years in France or Italy would have done me a world-of-good, however, I am sure I wouldn't have ended up the person I currently am. Besides, I did get to travel the world anyway ... and doing it the luxury way is the only way to go. ;-)

I think anytime you are in a new city, it is helpful to go beyond what I call the "tourist grid" and explore the residential areas. I particularly enjoy going to grocery stores. You get such a sense of how people live by exploring how they shop for their everyday life. The residential areas are also quite a bit more quiet than the tourist centers, and I like to dream of what life must be like -- plus Italian babies are so adorably cute in all their fat chubiness! I wish I could say I have a favorite residential area in Firenze, but I just don't. Let yourself get lost in a city and just enjoy it!

So much to write about. I still have four more cruise posts, an extra day in Venice, and all the travel plans to come! Ciao ciao for now. Have a beautiful Saturday!

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