Last evening we made it to Florence. We have a very cozy place right down in the middle of Florence. It is really amazing in oh so many ways. The house is on an alley that leads directly to town center and Chiesa di S. Lorenzo where the street vendors sell leather goods and fake purses to the tourists. Just a 1 minute walk away is the Duomo with a large plaza in front of the Duomo which is an amazing church and battistero. Last evening we had dinner on that square and the temperature, view and ambiance was very nice. We walked around a bit after dinner and took a few shots:
Entering the apartment is interesting. There are very large doors to the alley that require a normal key to open them. Then entering, you have the choice between the elevator or the stairs. All this seems very reasonable. The elevator measures 24 x 36 — yes inches! If JoAnn and I get in the elevator, we cannot press the button for our floor. Forget it if you have groceries. Lets talk about the stairs — since we are on the 3rd floor, there are 7 flights of stairs going up (I cant do the math at all — I tried to figure it out but cannot) Each flight of stairs has doors to apartments so I assume I am on the 7th floor but when I look out the window there are only three levels of windows. once you reach the elevator landing — oh yes — the elevator only has one stop other than ground level — you need to go down two flights of stairs and then back up one flight of stairs to get to our front door. Confusing? Not done yet.
You enter the front door with a normal key (the third so far because the elevator door requires a key) and you enter a room with four doors — one of which is our apartment. The key is an old skeleton key that needs to be rotated 4 full turns to open the door. The mechanism requiring 4 full turns actuates 8 steel bars in the interior of the door to engage with the door jam. I swear an elephant with a battering ram could not open that door once screwed down.
So last evening JoAnn decided to make some tea in a nice pot provided in the apartment. There appear to be only 3 outlets in the entire apartment so we had to steal a power adaptor from the microwave and plug in the teapot on the floor (the cord is only about 18 inches long) The adaptor is required because the teapot has a French plug and the wall outlet appears to be Swiss in nature. After she started the pot the power in the entire building blew out. I had to navigate the 7 flights of stairs in the dark and go to the panel in the lobby to turn it back on.
I thought it was too much information that the apartment manager pointed out where the breakers were during our orientation! Hmmmm.