Passaggio Segreto, the book is nearly done.   In the meantime, here’s Chapter 2 ‘Florence’.

If you’re an art history major – make a point to see Florence. Everyone else – it’s probably worth a day trip, but I recommend finding accommodations outside of the town center.  If I had to do it over again, I’d stay at an agriturismo out in the country and make small trips into town.

Architecturally, Florence is amazing. The Uffizi museum showcases great works of art. Even the clouds in the sky are just right. But town center is teeming with large groups of day-tripping tourists… and where there are that many day tripping tourists, it just feels icky. Charming cafes with locals are non-existent. Pick-pockets are everywhere, and prices for bottled water or basic sandwiches are astronomical.  ‘Locals’ are in the business of extracting as much money from the tourists as possible.  It lessens Florence’s charm.

Florence is how I imagine Disney would do Italy. The prices are about the same.

At the Uffizi rooftop cafe: