Monday, July 7, 2008

Saldi glorious saldi!

This morning Jason and I went to our usual cafe for colazione (breakfast) which consists of a panini (bread roll) and a freshly squeezed orange juice. We love going there not only for the amazing pastries (is it wrong to have a nutella filled croissant for breakfast?) but also as we have realised that the Italians get more and more friendly the more familiar they become with you. Read: good customer service, which is not so common in most places here. We especially like the staff at this cafe because they make us order in Italian and refuse to serve us in English. It has become our Saturday morning joke with them.

After we paid for our food, they asked us whether we were on our way to the famous Florence saldi (sales) which happen twice a year, in July and February. "No we didn't know about them and weren't planning on going, but I suspect we now are. Why oh why did you have to say anything?!" husband joked to the lady.

As we got into town my heart fluttered as I saw all the signs that were displaying my new favourite Italian word: Saldi. Possibly the most beautiful word in the vocabulary, no matter what language you speak. I was sad initially to see a red top I bought last week for fifty euro's down to thirty five. But I was happy with my husban'd suggestion of buying the same top in a baby pink colour - well it would be wrong to pass up a bargain, right? There was 50% off signs all over the place and I plan on going back there on Monday, oh I am counting the hours already!

During the week, one of our favourite things to do after dinner is to walk into the heart of Florence, just as soon as our tummies settle the pasta I seem to be cooking every night. Our rule of only having pasta once a week is clearly not working and needs to be addressed. Last week on such a walk, we stopped near the Ponte Vecchio to see what the local artists were drawing that night. I was speechless when I saw this picture as it was so amazingly perfect.

I was sad to think that by the morning, this beautiful artwork would be washed away by the street cleaners at night as the artists draw directly on the concrete. What also made me sad was a sign that was next to them. It read 'We are collecting donations to help pay our council fees that have been increased from 300 to over 2000 euro's per year. I didn't realise that they had to pay a fee and I wondered if the illegal sellers of fake Gucci handbags are getting charged a fee this year for clogging up the roads and walkways every day.

We also saw this and could not help laughing. A cooked pasta vending machine! Only in Italy...

While out on our nightly walks we almost always stop at the famous bronze boar of Florence.

Locals say that if you roll a coin down his nose then you will have buona fortuna (good luck) and you will one day return to Florence. There were so many tourists in line waiting to have a picture with him that I didn't want to take up time with a coin. But I figure I have nine more months to visit him to ensure that some day we return to this beautiful city. And being able to walk around Florence every night makes me realise I already have my fair share of buona fortuna. But it's also good to know the boar is only a five minute walk away if I feel I need a top up.


Anonymous said...

So jealous of you shopping in this beautuful city during these fabulous sales AND enjoying the italian summer, while we are shivering away here in Perth!
Love Rhonda

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That was a very enjoyable post! I am not even sure how I found your blog (but I have had a tab with it opened for a few days - just getting around to checking it out!). Florence looks so beautiful and the vending machine is hilarious!

Wills said...

Hi, we'll be in Italy (Rome) for a few days in January and I read that the Italians have their biggest sale season in that time. As someone who has lived there for a while do you know how big a discount (in % or even price range) we can expect for Gucci bags? Thanks.