I knew that Florence was going to be very different from Ohio.
That I’m not surprised about. But actually living amongst those differences is going to take some getting used to.
For instance, a large coffee here is the size of a tall at Starbucks. Doorways can be so narrow you have to turn sideways to walk through them. It’s insulting to take a meal to go. And boys wear banana hammocks to the pool.
After exploring the residences of the Medici and Pucci families this morning with my fabulous Italian teacher, Gloria, my roommates and I decided to head to the pool.
Petre, Kent’s wonderful student advisor in Florence, is nonstop with emails about things to do in around the city. Since its been ninety degrees here all week, we took her suggestion to check out a public pool on the edge of town, Le Pavoniere in Cascine Park.
After talking our plans over with Gloria, she insisted we walk instead of taking the tram or bus like Petre suggested. A native Florentine, she thinks everywhere is within walking distance and Americans are lazy driving around everywhere.
Only a mile and a half away from our apartment, we roamed through a part of town we had yet to explore, a place we soon realized we don’t want to be in the dark. We finally reached one of Florence’s few green spaces, basically their version of Central Park.
Le Pavoniere is a beautiful villa-style pool with an attached bar and restaurant. We were clearly the only tourists there, a pale sight for many leather-skinned Italians. Somehow our look just screams “Americans” and were quickly succumbed to many teenage boys splashing and following us with the normal “ciao bella” calls. After a quick shot of the B face, they left us alone.
The first thing we noticed were speedos. SPEEDOS EVERYWHERE. I’ve never seen so many male thighs in my life. And I thought it stopped there, until we started seeing ass, a lot of ass.
For people who are so modest on the streets, they have no problem letting it all hang out at the pool.
Minus the amount of sites being seen, including an elderly man with long silver hair and a cheetah print thong on, we had a very nice afternoon hanging poolside and munching on Caprese salads.
I doubt that I’ll get used to the speedos anytime soon, but I don’t think I want to anyways.