My friends took the bus to Lucca today and I decided to take a day to wander around more of Florence.
The Galileo Museum has been closed for renovations and is supposed to re-open this spring. May is spring, so I walked over to the museum. It turns out, that in Florence, June 10th is spring. While technically that is correct, it is not helpful for those of us here in May. There is a very large sun dial outside the museum and so I knew I was there at 11am. That didn't matter, but it was helpful to know how long I'd already been wandering around.
I also stopped by a post office to change some more money. Invariable, no matter when or where I travel, I need just a few more dollars (or shekels or euros) to make it through the last few days. The other good thing about the post office is that there are seats, and it is cool, and maybe even air conditioned. There are no actual indications at the post office that you can change money there - I'd read about it, but there's all sorts of bad information on the internet, so really, I had no idea.
The other interesting thing we've discovered is that not so many Italians speak English. I'm not one of those people who thinks that the rest of the world should all learn "our" language, but given that I don't know Italian, I have been seeking out those people who do have some English facility. I did not find any of those people at the post office.
But I watched what everyone else was doing, took a number and waited to be called. The clerk behind the counter also didn't speak English, but she did speak the universal language of money, which was helpful enough.
While I was waiting to be called, I noticed that you can do more at the Italian Post Offices than just buy stamps and change money. You can also buy music CDs, exercize videos, books (ficton and non-fiction) and office supplies.
We're leaving Florence tomorrow. There are simply too many tourists. Groups with the leader wearing a funny hat, carrying a bright yellow umbrella or in sad cases, a stick with a bright rag on the end. It doesn't matter whether I'm in DC, Chicago, or Florence, I'm not a fan of groups of tourists.
Sadly, we will be missing the Firenze Gelato Festival. That might be for the best, but I can't see how. There is also a Terra Futura conference that was scheduled to coincide with the gelato festival. I guess they're thinking that gelato is part of an environmentally sustainable world. I agree.