On Thursday morning the alarm sounded before 6 am. Still half-asleep, we walked in a crisp weather to the railway station and took a train towards Firenze (Florence). During the one and half hour ride some of us slept, while others tried to wake up. Before 9 am we were already in Firenze, soon ready to discover the old and inspiring city, but first we had to sit down and drink some cappuccinos.
Our first meeting wasn’t until 11 am, so we had some time to walk around in the beautiful city. We wandered around its narrow streets, stopped in front of every pasticceria and gelateria just to glance at all of the delicious looking pastries and ice creams, and walked thorough Ponte Vecchio, where small jewellery shops were opening their windows.
The main reason for us to come to Firenze was the meeting with Guardia di Finanza “Fiamme Gialle”, the Italian special police force in areas of economy and finance. From the part of Guardia di Finanza we met a general of the department of Firenze and two capitani from the field. We got some general information of their work and organization, but the main part was devoted to the situation in Prato, a town near Firenze, where Guardia di Finanza had a big operation few years ago, which revealed a huge money smuggling business connected to the Chinese textile factories producing pirate products. In the peak of this money smuggling 1,5 millions of euros were transferred from Prato to China, every day, through a money transfer firm. During the meeting we got to hear some almost unbelievable stories and afterwards we all were kind of amazed of what is and has been happening in Italy, and also in other parts of the Europe.
After the meeting everyone started to feel little bit hungry and Laura knew exactly were she wanted to take us for lunch: to a restaurant serving authentic Napoli-style pizza il Pizzaiuolo. The difference between traditional pizza napoletana and pizza romana is the thickness of the base: in Napoli the base is thicker.
With our stomachs full we headed up towards David and its home Galleria Dell’Accademia. But for our misfortune they were closing in 15 minutes. They had changed the opening hours just for this day, so David has to wait for the next time.
Swallowing our disappointment we took a bus outside Firenze, on a hill where you could see the whole city. Sun had already gone, when we sat on the terrace of a fine restaurant with the most beautiful view of the city enjoying some prosecco. That felt like a perfect moment in Italy!
For dinner we went to osteria il’Giuggiolo, where we might have gotten the best food of the whole trip (and some inspiration for an Italian night back in Lund).
After a long day in Firenze we took the train back to Rome with smiles on our faces, happy of having visited this famous Italian city.