Leather goods abound in Florence, although not
all bags that say “Made in Italy” are made by
Italian craftsmen.  The Chinese have set up huge
mass production factories in Italy.  Caveat emptor.
The woman with the laurel wreath (as opposed to
a mortar board) is a recent college graduate,

posing here with her friends. Celebrations are
 subdued, due to Italy’s worsening economic woes.  
Youth unemployment is at a record 42%.  
Total unemployment of 12.7% is at a 37 year high.  

Born out of wedlock to a Florentine
notary, Leonardo da Vinci is known as
the quintessential Rennaisance man.  Painter,
sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician,
inventor and live sculpture poser.  He
spent his last years in Florence.

Mike demonstrating the latest in garbage collection.
Each of these operate by foot pedal.  One for
trash, glass and plastic.  They are easily picked
up and emptied by a high tech truck. 
Italians are known to eat all parts of the animal.
These are not meatballs.
Spinach pasta spins off stainless steel at the
farmer’s market… so much faster than the old
rolling pin method.

Live music in the church plaza.
The Godfather, or il Padrino as he
is known in Italy.  Just last month

it was reported that the Italian mafia
earned more money in one year 
than McDonalds worldwide.
Plates of the day in Italian
Old palaces in Florence have been
repurposed into swanky apartment
buildings.  Note the iron horse
hitches on either side of the door.
Dinner at Buca Mario:  grilled polenta,
grilled veggies and asparagus with lemon.
Mike is digging into his steak “bistecca alla
Florentine” which comes from the
famous white Tuscan Chianina oxen.
Street art, which is washed away
with water and scrub brushes at
the end of the day.