While Firenze deserves far more than one post, I don’t have any pictures of it, having stupidly forgotten my flip. Still, I’ll try to give you a feel for some of what we did and saw, and I’ll keep the posts as short as possible.
First, though, a quick dissertation on traveling versus touring. Our group doesn’t even want to be tourists, as they’d love to blend in as much as possible, and groan whenever I break out my map (every two seconds or so, but only as I absolutely need it). Still, the differences between being a traveler and a tourist are interesting ones to contemplate, and something we’ve looked at in an effort to better understand the borders we’re crossing.
Our group is starting to worry about this distinction, and be proud of interesting things. For instance, at the Duomo…
…we ran into a lovely retired math professor (a friend of Danilo, which is not a shock) who thought that our group was English. Now, I’m proud to be an American with our rich tradition of kicking kings out of our country, but when I told the group this, they were proud of themselves and recounted several stories of being thought to be Danish or German or from some other European country. The difference, methinks, is that the young European traveler tends to be savvier, more willing to try new languages and to understand how to be a good guest, and our group is starting to move in those directions. It’s lovely to see.
This blog post by someone who has contemplated the difference makes some compelling arguments. Her points are definitely worth taking as we consider all the various means by which we acquaint ourselves with the world around us.