18 March 2007.
There is an honorary consulate of Finland in Florence, which means that one Saturday morning our group of four Finnish Erasmus students went to rock the vote in the Finnish parliamentary elections. For me choosing a candidate was a matter of a few runs with the vaalikone websites of different Finnish newspapers and TV channels. The honorary consulate is in a Florentine law firm. The Italian gentleman in charge of the operation spoke excellent Finnish, and everything was done in an orderly way. I was expecting there to be some interesting complications or irregularities, not this authentic Finnish discipline! (My Machiavellian cynicism prevents me from commenting the elections in any other way, but it seems that my candidate would have needed ten times as many votes to go through.)
I have not been an absolute vegetarian in a while, but I still try to eat mostly vegetarian food. Strict vegetarianism would not be easy in this city. Even though vegetables are important in Italy in general, Florence in particular is all about meat. But there is a vegetarian restaurant as well, and it is quite close to my apartment. It seems that there is demand for another one, since it was packed when I went to check it out. The food at Il vegetariano is simple but tasty, the prices reasonable and the atmosphere very friendly. I will go there again for sure.
Since Florence is quite centrally located in Italy, it would be possible for me to visit other cities as well. I have been to Rome and Milan before, so Turin would seem the most interesting place, and perhaps Venice. In Tuscany itself there are Siena and Pisa, both of which would be good destinations for a day trip.