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Europe: Italy Florence Walking Tour - March 20

It's the day of a proper walking tour of Florence. Of my muddy understanding of it, there's quite a bit of violence, backstabbing, assassination, and backstabbing assasination. Also vengeance, petty rivalry, toxically large egos. Outside of outright in full daylight attempts on lives, current politics hasn't changed drastically. This is the land of "The Prince", that gave us the term Machiavellian. 

Our guide is Elisabetha, a guide who speaks at fifteen thousand miles an hour but the stories and tidbits of fact are so interesting that it's forgivable. I do feel sorry for the folks from other countries who select an "English" guide since the there is no guide in their first language. I can only hope understanding snatches of phrases from context helped them out here.
We weave through the narrow streets of Florence paste the stalls selling, invariably, leather to the Palazza Vecchio (Old Palace), where Florence was ruled from for hundreds of years. One dynasty, the Medicis. 
Very broadly, and very quickly: rose to power through trading, then banking, then bankrolling the Vatican. Backstabbing, overthrows, religious revolt, armed retaking of the city, etc. Establishment of an Office (The Uffizi, where the world famous art gallery is (admittedly I knew nothing of this gallery until a few weeks ago (and also, admittedly, it's not like I'm the sort of person who would know about this))). 

Somewhere the narrative lands on one of the Medici's making his wife his upset, his wife buying a house across the city (as one does), and the Medici making a hall that ran above the and through the city for 1km so his wife and his children could make it from the new house to the Uffizi, the place where the business was done, without being, say, openly assassinated.
House #2

It was a long twisted and engaging story. The movements of the 1%, the 1% of the 1%. The line of the Medici ends in, approximately, lots of malaria and syphilis. The amount of pettiness and self-aggrandizing is echoed in today's billionaires of course, humanity doesn't progress as terribly far as we'd like to imagine. 

We've walked our feet to reasonable nubs. Not entirely devastated, hopefully enough for the 8 flights of stairs to our VRBO. 

As I've said, the entire 'eating most of a cow, lightly warmed', is not the greatest for my health, the planet's health, my wallet, or.. really, if we are being honest, the cow. But Owl Jr, ever the carnivore, asks if he can share one with me, and I'm powerless to say no. Giving The Children An Experience is a quick way for me to shell out money, only beaten by Give My Children, Somehow, A Better Education. Predictably middle-class sentiments, I know. 

So anyways we had the bifteca. It was great, of course. Tomorrow, the Italian coast (that makes me sound like a Bond villain doesn't it, or a henchmen.. maybe an office worker processing Bond's expense paperwork).


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