Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Italian Getaway - Day 3 (part 1)

We woke up and paid for the hotel room. We also went up and checked out the balcony during the daylight. Just to see what it was like. Absolutely beautiful.Then, we asked if we could store our luggage there at the hotel while we went to see something D.Rough had only dreamed about, AFTER we got a hangover Nutella waffle sandwich...

D.Rough did some pre-travel research on Florence and since she’s a fashion-conscious rock star, she knows all of the scoop on all of the famous designers. She found out there is the Ferragamo Museum in Florence – where they’re based. She asked if I minded going. Of course I didn’t. I like looking at unusual stuff like that. And that’s pretty unusual, in my life-style of jeans and black band shirt-fashion. Hell, I didn’t even know what a ferragamo was. Apparently, Salvatore Ferragamo is a famous fancy shoe, purse, and clothing designer of epic proportions. REALLY fancy. The company has shoed many famous celebrities.
The family-run company operates a museum in the basement of its flagship store in Florence and it is absolutely awesome. It is super interactive with fancy touch screen tables you can move pictures around on like giant iPads. There’s a huge electronic screen topped table where you put things (shoes and purses) on the table and it recognizes what is on it and pulls up all sorts of information about it. There is a room filled with multi-language screen showing movies about the operations of the company. And another room with video interviews of everyone from the CEO to the founder's children, and factory workers. The whole place is covered with black and white photos of smiling workers and pretty ladies – all the photos are taken from this famous photography studio nearby. Then, there's a room with three projectors showing on the walls and one more showing on the floor. It's called concerto for four hands -there's a piano player playing a seriously difficult but expressive piece and also a guy building a red leather pump to the music. All four screen trade off who they show, so you're forced to watch music and shoes and keep switching where you're looking. Very awesome. There were other rooms with very cool projectors showing down onto things that weren’t screens, but more 3D concepts – like books and drawing boards. I'd recommend this museum tons, even if you’ve never heard of Ferragamo (or can’t afford his products). I have raved about it to a couple people who are either fashion people or museum-design people. It really is one of the best museums I’ve been to.

We headed back to the street market we saw the first day to buy some gifts for people. Well, D.Rough did – I’m on vacation, I’m not buying things for people who I’m not traveling with. Hahaha. Then, we went back to the hotel for our things, and then the long walk to the train station. We rolled in with less than five minutes until our train left for Riomaggiore. I bought our tickets in the machine and then we took off running. And then the strap on my bag broke. It was in slow motion. (D.Rough laughing at me the entire time). It tumbled and tumbled behind me – but sadly, I went back and grabbed it hug-style and kept running to the train.

We sat across the aisle from the most amazing man. He was dressed in orange and was the smiley-est man I’ve ever seen. I snapped a couple photos because D.Rough’s roller derby team color is orange and we thought they’d all appreciate a random fancy boy sporting team colors in Italy. He had an orange neckerchief (yes, I said neckerchief) on, and had orange ribbons in his fringy moccasin boots. He was reading books on the wild west (in Italian) and listening to the new Johnny Cash cds he had purchased. When he got up to leave he grabbed his orange man-purse, put on a puffy orange down jacket, and donned his fancy orange lady-hat. It was amazing and we still smile when we talk about him.
We were going to be late to our room in Riomaggiore and they have explicit directions on their website that they don’t wait around past 5 to let people in, especially in the off season. My phone wasn’t working yet, despite having sent Verizon a number of messages through the hotel internet in Florence. We had to change trains in La Spezia, and just then, my phone starting working. Downloading hundreds of emails and missed messages and txts (all the while I had dollar signs chinging in my head… yikes). I called the Mar Mar rooms and talked to Amy and she assured me they’d still be there when we arrived. Which thankfully, she was.

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