Wednesday, June 24th:
After checking into my wonderful B&B and unpacking, I headed out to explore Florence. My first stop was GROM for some gelato. I wandered around a little bit and then headed back to catch the parade of men in tights and a few cute little boys also with flags and drums as part of the Festa di San Giovanni (Festival of Saint John the Baptist). Every year, on 24 June, Florence celebrates the feast of its patron, San San Giovanni. A huge crowd lined the parade route in Piazza Signoria. I managed to work my way in to get a few shots.
After the parade, jet lag really started to set in. I wanted to find a place that served dinner early. I was given the suggestion of Boccadama, which is located in Piazza Santa Croce. I asked if I would be able to get to it since the famous Calcio Storico Fiorentino soccer match was taking place in that area. She assured me that it was not in the blocked off area. After wandering around the area of Piazza Santa Croce, I gave up and headed to find the other suggestion given to me, Yellow Bar. This restaurant was recommended for good pizza. I found the spot marked on my map, but it was on block too far towards the Duomo. I headed back to my B&B, searched Yellow Bar on my maps app on my iPod Touch and realized that it was located just around the corner from my B&B and was so easy to find. When I got there, it was packed and there were a lot of people waiting for a table.
I knew I would never last, so I went inside and ordered a pizza to go. After all that, the pizza was not very good. It was cold and the edges were very burnt.
The evening event of the Festa di San Giovanni was fireworks at 10 pm. I heard them from my bed but was much too tired to head back out to see them in person. It was a good thing I knew about the fireworks. Otherwise, I probably would have thought Florence was being bombed. I watched USA upset Spain in the semi-finals and then fell asleep.
A note about editing photos - picnik was easy to use (although all in Italian so it took a few tries to find the correct editing tools I needed) but this computer takes forever to save each photo, so I probably won't be posting many more photos (at least from this computer). I also tried pixlr express (which was faster) but it saved the photo in a way that does not open after being saved. I am not sure what I did wrong but it is much to late to figure it out right now.
More later... Ciao!!