Kayla D.

Kayla D.

Recent Activities

Jun 3, 2013
Landmark / Outdoor Activity / Square
Jun 3, 2013

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  • Piazza della Repubblica

    Landmark / Outdoor Activity / Square / Shopping Area
    The historic center of Florence and Piazza della Repubblica during the day.
    Jun 3, 2013 Tre Giorni por i Sensi "While leaving in Firenze, I decided to spend three days at varying times, in Piazza della Repubblica. This is what I discovered. Day 1-While the Piazza della Repubblica is always full of an assortment of different types of people from all walks of life, on this day in particular, the Piazza was, for lack of a better word, insane. I usually walk through the infamous arch to get to my home on a nightly basis, but on this occasion, I was pushing and pulling through strangers’ limbs and strollers to reach my destination. After finally deciding to sit down somewhere to watch the chaos in front of me, I realized there was a market a midst the insanity. Vendors from all over Italy traveled to this temporary market with their honey, wine, or fresh vegetables to sell to locals and tourists alike. The colors from the fruits and vegetables were only slightly as vibrant as the crowd of peoples clothing. Everyone was wearing so many different colors that it made the people look like a living rainbow. Coupled with the lights and colors from the carousel, the moving colors made my eyes hurt and I had to rub them to adjust to the brightness even though the light from the usually radiant sun was fading fast behind the aging buildings around us. Not only were there far too many hues, but there was also an array of languages. Italian, English, Chinese, Russian, and French were just a handful or the dialects I heard and they were all trying to communicate with each other. Where words failed, hand motions would, on occasion, do the trick. It was pleasant after I escaped the madness to watch all these different people from different cultures interact in what would seem to be just a daily task. Day 2-After seeing the Piazza della Repubblica so dynamic and animated on the previous day, it was shocking to see it so empty and desolate today. The market had been dismantled. The locals enjoyed a lazy Sunday far away from the square. The tourists found another Piazza to crowd for the day. The carousel had no children to ride the painted ponies. Even the beggars and street performers that occupy the same corners of the square everyday on time did not show up today. After I got over the initial shock, I realized of course there were some people walking around the seemingly abandoned piazza. It was just so hard to see them after the magnitude of people I had expected based on the previous day. I don’t know if I imagined the stark differences because it was such a different day, but the people who inhabited the piazza on this particular day must have had something very interesting to stare at on the ground, because no one looked up from the path in front of them. They all seemed to wear gray clothes and a tight lipped frown. After seeing nothing of interest for a good hour, I decided it was time to leave before I turned into one of the gloomy people who occupied the depressed piazza today. Day 3- Bicycle bells. All I hear are bicycle bells. I’m watching a man play guitar and sing his heart out for a euro or two from any of the hundreds of pedestrians, but all I can hear are the bicycle bells being viciously plucked by the annoyed Italians who need to get to work, but can’t because of the hundreds of pedestrians. When I decided to close my eyes, in a safe place away from the oncoming bikes, I noticed each bell had a different tone of voice. Some seemed to say, “Excuse me, please, I am in quite a hurry.” Others were silly, like a clown was honking in your face to bring a smile to a crying child. But most were angry and filled with a variety of curse words. With the tourists’ eyes are fixated on the arch of trapped behind the lens of a camera, they don’t see the approaching bicyclists, so the clamorous bells are a necessary evil. The beggar who always sits by Louis Vuitton is back at his post that he had abandoned the day before. I see this same man every day begging money from women who are about to spend 500 euro on a purse and they never even give him a glance. I gave him a smile and 50 cent euro as I walked back to my home to escape the ringing bicycle bells and restore my sanity. " hide

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