itialians are good little eaters. i have no idea why i didn't see one obese italian. their food is just a celebration of gastronomy.this is your typical sandwich shop, of which there is one every 10 paces or so. i loved that for a quick meal, one walks right up and stands at the counter ,coat on, nosh away at a pile of pasta while having a quick glass of wine before getting back to work. chinese or italian tonight? how about italian chinese. or let's just call it a night and hit mcdonalds fer crying out loud. how cute is this. 9 o'clock at night, i round the corner to find this gentleman (total mr. hooper from sesame street circa 1974) and his market. doesn't it look like a set from a stage production? pretty much everything looked this way in venice. like the back lot at sony. beautiful, organic produce. this guy loads up his boat and cruises up and down the canals. sort of like von's home delivery but with a better asthetic. check out that italian endive (lower left) . looks like weird hands. another thing venezians are fond of are their masks. lots of masks and lots of pinocchio. i think if you buy a mask in venice, it's akin to having your hair cornrowed in cabo. we got lost a lot. which is easy. the place is one big maze. which is what i loved about it. can we stop for a moment and marvel at my fashion digression? we were walking 8-9 hours a day on cobble stone. at around day 6, and to the great amusement of my new husband, i broke out with the running shoes. the hat was another 'need'. it was bone chillingly wet. and i just know i'll wear this hat often in my little beach world. i look a little annoyed here. not so. just taking it all in. i loved this palette of pigments found in an art store window. and this bowl of beautiful hand made books. gondola gangstas if you go to venice, go off the beaten tourist path and head over to the area where the actual people who live their hang. (speaking of hanging, i took so many shots of clothes hanging between buildings-loved this look. i half expected to see children running down the street to the shouts of 'chef boyardee! mama's making chef boyardee!) vivaldi's house then it was off to florence for the day where we visited david. of all the sites, this was by far the most surreal and beautiful for me. it's really simply stunning. absolute perfection. you know what's weird about the italians and their museums. they say no photos. but they don't enforce it. i once got kicked out of the van gogh museum in amsterdam for taking a picture of some interesting tourists. but here, they just sort of look at you with a bored expression when you pull out the camera. the tuscan country side is really, just exactly as you would imagine. so, so stunning. i have a feeling these cookies are prettier than they taste (almond cookies don't do it for me) i had to get a shot of this corner in florence... made famous in this photo by ruth orkin, 'american girl in italy' i wish this shot had come out a little better. i'm so bad at stealth photography. the guy in the back with his mohawk against these dear little women, was such a great juxtapose. and finally, lest you thought that i was deterred by the lousy american dollar exchange rate, fear not. i searched and found a relative bargain on handmade, leather, florentine boots.
seek and you shall find. this is a little shop on a street called santo di spirito (it's a bit hard to find) 'francesco di firenze'.
from the outside, it's nothing fancy just a little cobbler's shop. even inside, at first you're not entirely wowed. but once you're in, and the fluorescent light settles, beautiful creations start to come into focus.there were so many simple, strappy sandals. and in the back was francesco himself, just cobbling his little soles away. if they don't have your size, they'll take your measurement and make a pair, custom, in about 2 days. it's worth it i tell you. i ended up, after much, hemming and hawing on just one pair of boots: and i love them.