Florence. What a magical city with so much history and romance. It is arguably responsible for the Renaissance era and intellectual inspiration. To this day, it is a still a place of commerce and trade along with so many culinary offerings; from Florentine steaks to Tuscan wines.
It is no surprise that so many colleges and universities offer study abroad programs situated right here in Firenze (Italian for Florence). And this is what brought my humble self to this glorious city. I had come to explore the European countryside with my sister once she finished her foreign studies. Essentially I had a week all to myself to get into trouble.
Who knew that I would be learning new things as well?
Discovering the Awesome Wonder that is Wine
Before landing in Florence wine was kind of a mystery to me. I knew it was alcohol and I knew it came in a bottle and that there were reds and whites. Here, wine was a mainstay of the culture that adored the matured grape juice. It being my first experience to see such displays of wine everywhere I found myself more curious than ever before.
With time on my hands and Euros burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to explore the complexities that was wine. It didn’t hurt that at most places, excellent red Chianti could be had for far cheaper than bottled water. Who knew that such things existed?
I spent several days trying this wine and that wine. Drinking it with meals and by itself. Wine was available everywhere and it was glorious. This drink of the Gods was so very tasty. And the local stuff was so cheap. It was both very cheap and tasty. What a great combination for a super hangover?
Alcohol Induced Perspective
Mind you I had been drinking all day so by the time we hit the bar, I was not at my peak, if you could imagine. For whatever reason, I told them all to enjoy the rest of the night and that I’d head back to my hotel room. And off into the night I headed into the Italian unknown. I knew eventually one of these roads would get me back to my hotel bed.
I must have taken a wrong corner and was accosted by a bunch of Florentine prepubescents. In their broken English they asked, ‘What is up, my knee’gar?’ They all laughed and then ran away. I didn’t mind them and continued my search for my hotel. As I looked around I saw my sister a few of her friends trailing behind me several blocks behind.
F8T Tip Drink a glass of water between drinks… It helps with the hangover.
I waved them off and turned around and ran off. I finally got my bearings and reached the hotel… to find the door wouldn’t open. This happens often enough.
I couldn’t think of what to do next. As I stood there I noticed that I was really thirsty. Low and behold there was a fountain next to the hotel entrance. Not like a water fountain that you press a button and bend over to sip or the more customary decorative affair. This fountain had water constantly pouring out of a cherub face out of the side of the wall.
I don’t know how long I stood there, but I seemed to recall pedestrians taking mouthfuls earlier that day. When in Rome, erm Florence… so I cupped my hands and gathered some of that cold water for myself. I sipped that deliciously refreshing water from that amazing Roman invention and sat on the bench to hazily think of what to do next.
Sister to the Rescue
A few minutes later my sister and her friends finally caught up. She looked at me staring in disbelief, ‘You run fast when you’re drunk!’ I shrugged my shoulders and stared into the sky. Cathy sat down next to me and asked, ‘Why are we sitting outside?’ I explained to her that the door was locked. ‘You only had to ding dong.’ Apparently some of the smaller boutique hotels lock up their lobby doors after certain hours making a late night outing some what awkward. Suffice to say, the hotel staff didn’t enjoy my patronage for the rest of my stay.
Sunrise, its such a wonderful thing to wake up to. It’s a sign of yet another beautiful day in God’s country.
And it’s a sign of yet another night of drinking… erm, wine tasting.
What are your thoughts about Florence?