Florence is the most crowded that it’s been so far. And it’s a Tuesday. It took me at least an extra four minutes to walk to class today as I attempted to navigate around the throngs of tourists.
At the beginning of my time here, I must have had a very confused, touristy look on my face because all of the street vendors called out to me in english, beckoning me to come buy their posters, or their knock-off jackets, or their weird spinny light-up things that they shoot into the air. Now, however, they know that I am not one of the confused, wandering tourists. I walk with an air of purpose, the navigation system on my phone far, far away in my back pocket.
I know that I’ve said this before, but I love feeling as though I’m not one of the tourists. It makes me feel as though I belong here. However, I am happy to be somewhere in the middle of the forever-Florentine, and the dazed and confused tourist. One of my friends recently went on a date with an Italian guy. He took her out to dinner and then to the Michelangelo steps. When he asked her what she would be interested in doing for a second date, the only thing she could think of was the Boboli Gardens. She told me that he had looked at her incredulously and gone, “The Boboli Gardens? Perfect! I have never been there before!”
This guy has lived in Florence his entire life, and has never been to the Boboli Gardens. Sure, I haven’t been (yet) either, but it is way way up there on my list of things to do before I leave. It got me to thinking about what a tourist would do in my hometown and about whether or not I had done all those things. After a short little brainstorm, I realized that I had done most of the “touristy” things of my little hometown, but not for a good five to ten years at least–usually I had visited for school field trips back in elementary school or because my parents had dragged me.
It’s sad to think that I’ve missed out on any great opportunities because I think that they’ll just be there waiting for me my entire life.