a community serious about adventuring
Florence (Firenze) gets an estimated 1.3 million tourists each year and is known as being one of the most sought after destination places for travel. I guess we shouldn’t be at all surprised then with the number of visitors each year that we would happen upon our first case of bed bugs here. We would have expected this from the garbage heap that was Napoli, but not from Florence, the city of glitz and glam. Apprently even New York has seen the creepy crawlers make their way into some five star hotel beds. From pine beetles to bed bugs, have we missed the unsuspecting blitzkrieg of insects.
Checking into our hostel (7 Santi) and bedding down, I happened to look down and see a tiny, red bug mozy across my crisp, white bed sheet. Then another, and another. Hmmm. I’ve never experienced bed bugs before, that I’ve noticed, and my first reaction was the squish the suckers, but Morgan rushed over with a piece of paper and tried to scoop one up to show the front desk. They quicky handed us a key to room 54, only two doors over from the bugs. And not far enough.
Good thing we’d picked up some Om Naturale Bug Be Gone (made in BC) from a Farmer’s Market in Kelowna before our trip. The girl insisted it was a must for our stint in India, but Florence, Italy? It seemed all too funny spraying down the beds in the city that was home to the David and charges 10 euros to visit a garden. Even showering down couldn’t cure us of the constant feeling of microscopic bugs invading our skin. It’s a disgusting feeling and it took us forever to get comfortable enough to sleep without constantly inspecting our sheets every few seconds. Before we fell asleep I told Morgan I hoped to wake up alive and relatively uneaten. Morning came and we quickly examined ourselves for bites. Safe! Not quite. We found one lone bug crawling out of Morgan’s sheets. Swearing we would check out of 7 Santi if we found another bug, we again told the front desk about our discovery. We asked the lady if anyone else had mentioned bugs, but she said no. She simply said that they had called the guys to come and get the bugs, but no one had come yet. So just to confirm, no one said anything about bugs? As weirded out and completely jaded as we were about the place, we decided to stick around and see what was behind door number 21.
Check out if your next trip will see bed bugs. This site has been in opreation stince 2006 and is a collection of several accomations that have had bed bug sightings in North America and the United Kingdom. http://www.bedbugregistry.com/
We hung around Florence for the day. Thankfully the weather held up and we took a tour to the Piazzle di Michaelangelo where you have a great view of the city. The
A quick stop over into the central train station to check out our closest escape route (Venice), we were lucky enough to witness some good old Italian culture at work. And in our minds, this little transaction more than made up for our bought of bugs.
The ticket line for local, international and eurail trains was all melded into one with only two attendants working and about 15 people in line. I guess one of the ladies being helped had been overstayed her welcome and was being heckled by the elderly folk at the front of the line. The disapproving bunch were obviously looking to catch a train that was about to leave a platform and was trying to hurry the lady up. A coupld of the gentlemen even went up to the woman and began yelling at her and the attendant. And if you know anything about Italian’s and their way of talking, the whole body gets into it. It’s actually proably where the term body language actually derives from. Anyway, the group in line were even clapping the woman on. She would occasionally turn around and yell something to them in return, but it only egged the haters on. It’s no wonder Italians run red lights as they do, they are quite humourously the most impatient people we’ve encountered. I should really look into whether my Jack Rebny is any strain of Italiano.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDQQfBrSUs0&feature=related
The line began to move and that’s about the time when a lady infront of us stumbled backwards and fell over into a sign while standing in line. At first we were sure she’d fainted, but her prompt relocation to the upwards postion suggested she had just miss stepped. All the while, we’re still in tears laughing so hard, with our whole Italian bodies.
PS – In 2010, Florence held it’s first Gelato Festival. I’ve heard stories of people rearranging their travel itineraries to fit this delicious event in. Check out the website for more info http://www.firenzegelatofestival.it/site/home.asp