Traveling alone offers a simplicity of schedule. Follow your bliss. This morning I set out about 8. First stop, as always: cappuccino and today a pastry. Good thing because I was on my way and needed sustenance to last the morning. Next stop, photo op of the Ponte Vecchio in the early morning before the goldsmith shops opened and before crowds gathered to soak up all that golden sun and well-being.
Early morning on the Ponte Vecchio
And then, I found myself walking by the entrance to the Uffizi. No lines although I have an Amichi degli Uffizi pass that lets me by-pass the cues. In I went, settling into the 13th, 14th and 15th century rooms displaying Tuscan, Sienese and Florentine paintings--my favorites, without exception. No photographing allowed, which is a good thing: JUST LOOK AT THE PAINTINGS.
The Uffizi has a recently constructed outside café on the roof of the Loggia de Lanzi. As is the way in Italy, if you sit down to drink your coffee, you play more; stand at the bar, you pay less. Fine. I know that. But today there was a twist. Since I chose to stand, my coffee was served in a Styrofoam cup; those sitting drank from the usual white porcelain. I figure this was the way for the attendants be sure we were all following the rules. But this was the first paper/Styrofoam cup I have seen in Italy. No Starbucks, no Dunkin’ Donuts advertisements thrown on the streets, because those companies don’t exist here. No coffee on the run for Italians; it’s all consumed at the local bars.