4 March 2007.
Many Florentine bars have an aperitivo hour. The idea is that for the price of drinks you get to eat for free. There’s a buffet of food, and you can pick the stuff you like. Some bars only serve small snacks. But the most famous place for aperitivi, Capocaccia, has a buffet of pasta, cheese and a other goodies.
I wonder if something like this would work in Finland. When Finnish people go to bars, would they want to eat something too? Perhaps not. In Finland of course the people tend to drink to get drunk. Here in Florence it seems that the locals may have only a single drink when they go to a bar, and apart from a few American students I have not really seen drunk people yet.
One lesson I have learned here is how it feels to be judged solely by your looks. When I go to get a slice of pizza from a bakery with my Belgian friend, they speak Italian to him but English to me. And not only do they not bother speaking Italian to me, they have to demonstrate the price of my pizza slices by holding up five fingers while saying “five” really slowly. I already wrote about having to endure people talk to me in English, and I had already begun to get used to it. But I still have to get used to being treated like a total idiot.
A friend of mine recommended the Specola museum to me, and it is very cool. There are three collections in the museum: one of stuffed animals, one of skeletons and one of incredibly realistic wax models of the human anatomy. The animals and skeletons are pretty nice too, but the wax models are the highlight. They were originally made for educational purposes, but they are really beautiful (if that’s the right word) as works of art. Apparently they are all very accurate too. One of the few errors resulted from a belief in the homunculus theory: the models in a series illustrating the growth of a fetus are miniature versions of a full-grown baby, and particularly funny are the first tiny ones.