The Italians are very proud people and fiercely defend their origins, culture, village, town and language. They believe that there is no place like home. They revel in their markets and visit markets as a ritual. Italians love their drinks and food. After all, the pizza and pasta are passionately Italian. Italy is also known for its espressos and cappuccinos although it does not grow a single coffee plant.
The Italian life teaches you to live the life to it full. It is highly family oriented. It delves on food so much so that Italians take a leisurely lunch to enjoy their food wholly. In fact, the red wine, fresh fish, fresh vegetables and fruit, olive oil and tomatoes form a major part of their diet that UNESCO considers it as the quintessential Mediterranean diet.
Italians are the ones who made coffee drinking into both an art and science. Their invention of the espresso machine for coffee brewing took the world by storm and coffee drinking became a daily ritual multiple times a day.
The other favorite drink is the wine. You can often see a set of three differently sized wine glasses face down at a restaurant. The three glasses are for consuming wine along with starters followed by a different wine for the main course culminating with yet another wine as an after drink. A very important part of Italian food habits is the playing of music while having lunch or dinner. Music with lyrics is all right for informal dinners but for formal dinners instrumental music is the preferred choice to allow conversation to take place unhindered – after all Italians love to talk and they have the history behind them to really talk their heads off.
You cannot separate Florence and Renaissance just as you can’t separate Florence and Leonardo da Vinci. Besides the profusion of art, Florence is symptomatic of life in Italy with its outdoor cafes, the cathedral’s dome, the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, goldsmiths, monuments and world class museums. The Arno River is turning into a sought after place as both banks boast casual dining places and roof top bars to allow people to enjoy the magnificent views of the river and the city nearby. Florence gives you a trailer of Italy through its stupendous art, tremendous history, magical surroundings with hills and valleys and the river. The Boboli Gardens offer excellent paths on the slopes of the hills. Florence is also an urban center thriving on its jewelley, glass making and shoe-making industries. In fashion, Florence is the headquarters of two iconic fashion brands – Gucci and Ferragamo. Besides art and architecture of the past, Florence is the home of hundreds of artisans perfecting their art in textiles, silk, silver and leather from centuries.
Florence is the city of senses and five senses are not enough to feel the city.