The Firenze of the Florentines

"The Firenze of the Florentines", by Jennifer Walker, Collana Centopelli n. 9, Neri Editore, Firenze 1994, 96 pages, Price U.S. $ 10

Being a visitor in Firenze can be a bit trying sometimes. You have to live and learn because there are so many American habits and Italian habits that clash. Who knew that you were to only exit a bus by using the central door? Now there is a book, written by a former Saci student, that tells it all. "The Firenze of the Florentines", written by Jennifer Walker, is a ninety-six page book targeted to help foreigners acclimate themselves to Firenze, as well as a tangible memory for those who have already been to Firenze. It is divided into four chapters contaning also pictures and small dictionaries. The chapter entitled "Surviving in Firenze" contains practical information such as how to use a public phone, the services offered by the post offices, and what the differences are between the Polizia and the Carabinieri. Tips on when to say "buongiorno" and not to say "ciao", and why some numbers are red and some are black are also explained. The chapter "Cultural Firenze" emphasizes more on what it is like to be a Florentine. It begins with the origins of the city and its traditions and ends with the slang and superstitions found today. Here, also, you will find out what Florentines think about Pisani, Romani, and Americani. You will also find out what the sterotypes are among Florentines, and how they see themselves. Of course with the subject being Italian one must include food. The third chapter "Eating in Firenze" not only gives the history of the pizza but will also explain why you are a sure give away as a foreigner when you drink a cappuccino after lunch or dinner. The mysteries of what bread is eaten with are solved, and highlighted are typical Florentine dishes like ribollita and schiacciata. The final chapter is "Traveling around Firenze". The pleasures of riding on a bus in Firenze are included here, as well as the ins and outs of using the State Railroad system. Moped rentals and tipping taxi drivers are also among the information found here. One day trips outside of Firenze are explained with how to arrive and what not to miss once there. The information is useful to those just beginning a visit in Firenze, but most of all it is a way to take Firenze home in a book. Firenze is as full with personality and confusion as it is with art. The books on art are easy to find. "The Firenze of the Florentines" is one of a kind.

Book index

Surviving in Firenze; Friendly faces in Firenze; Youth hostels and camping; Please and thank you; Emergencies and other unhealthy problems; A small emergency dictionary; How many via Cavour 1's are there?; How to make a phone call; Dear John his name is Guido; What do I do with this piombino?; Shipping books and art work home; But Officer everyone else was doing it; Important telephone numbers; Where to go when you've got to go; Keep your whites bright; English movie theaters and bookstores; Souvenirs and antiques; If the shoe fits; Cultural Firenze; The origins of Firenze; The symbol of Firenze; The Florentine and everyone else; Firenze and the rest of Tuscany; Va' 'ia bischero!; Life as a Florentine; Far too much traffic; Poor thing now your life is doomed; Calendar of events: Shoot that burning bird; Every cricket has its day; Ona ona ona la mi' bella rificolona; Take the day off; Sorry we're closed; O-lay o-hoo o-lay o-hoo; Calcio in costume; Firenze and the flood; Museums & galleries in Firenze; Main churches in Firenze; Non Catholic churches; Embassies & Consulates in Firenze; Eating in Firenze; To tip or not to tip; A dictionary of food stores; A five course Italian meal; Please pass the bread; The difference between peperoni and pepperoni; Margherita the queen of the pizzas; Mouth watering information; Una pasta e un caffè; Please no cappuccinos in the evening; Where is the vanilla?; Shake me a frappé; A quick note on milk; The freshest food around; Pack a lunch; Choosing a good wine; The history of the black rooster; What is really Florentine?; Finally real food; Traveling around Firenze; To Rome in just three hours; Un biglietto per l'autobus; Must you stand so close?; Get me out of here; Let me out of here; Are you kidding me?; Where are all the gardens?; Where to jog in Firenze; What a view; One day trips outside Firenze.

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