Last weekend our group made our trip to Florence for a day of exploring and sightseeing. I was excited to see Florence as so many of my friends had told me I would love it, and I wanted to get a new purse at the leather market I heard so much about. One of the first things I noticed about Florence was so many tourists! I could never imagine living in a city where there are so many beautiful things but they are so crowded so you can never enjoy them. One cultural thing I first noticed was the gypsies. Even though there were gypsies in Rome they seemed much worse in Italy. I felt like after being in Italy for a while I have gotten better at ignoring them, but these gypsies were much more in my face. Most of them were girls and I was surprised at how young some of them seemed. In Italy it seems that people have just accepted that beggars are part of their lives in the city and have just learned how to ignore them. I think in Italy there is just less personal space. Another example of this was when we went to the leather market. I had been to china town in New York City so I had dealt with haggling and being slightly harassed, but in Florence it was so much worse! Every stand we went by made a comment or tried to get us to go there. Plus they were very offended if we didn’t go to their stands. I am a horrible haggler. They could take off only five dollars and I would be satisfied. However I was shopping in group with Tabitha and I had no idea she was an amazing bargainer! We both wanted these purses priced at 75 dollars that were way out of our budget, but Tabitha was on it. She played the shop buyer so well, and got our price down to 30 dollars. I was so amazed! I learned that day that bargaining is definitely an art form that I do not yet possess.
One of my favorite parts of the Florence trip was getting to go to the Uffizi museum. My mother was an art history major in college and both my parents love art, so my childhood was filled with going to art museums. So I have always loved getting to go to museums and appreciating different types of art. I know my parents would be freaking out if they go to go to the Uffizi. One of my favorite pieces there was the painting of the Birth of Venus. I had seen pictures of this painting before, but I had no idea it was at the Uffizi. I was so surprised when I walked into one of the rooms and saw it! It was definitely much more beautiful and person, and it felt so special to be able to see a painting I had grown up learning about but never thought I would get to see in person. I love the little details in the architecture all over Italy, especially the ceilings. In America I feel like most of our ceilings are pretty plain, but it feels like in Italy most ceilings I see are so intricate and beautiful. The one in the Uffizi was definitely amazing. It went throughout the hallways of the whole museum and each section looked similar from far away, but each were actually different. Over the course of my trip I have taken so many pictures of ceilings because I love how each one is so different but all so beautiful. I look forward to getting to take even more pictures of ceilings in Italy and I know I will be sad when I go back home and there are no more pretty ceilings to take pictures of.