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How Things Work–2

Kathy and I went for a brisk and long walk along the River Arno today. The weather was outstanding–clear and cool with a warm sun–exactly what I like. Here are a few more tidbits about how things work in Italy, at least Florence.

–Waste disposal. There is no trash pick up. You take your trash to an area disposal site. Thankfully, ours is just steps away from our apartment entrance. The site has several large receptacles that have a foot pedal. They are marked for plastic, glass etc. You push the foot pedal and the receptacle opens–you put the trash in and it gulps it down into a huge container below. Starting next year, residents will be given a magnetic key that has your personal information on it and you will wave it at the receptacle and it will open and measure how much you put in and meter that amount and you will pay tax on the amount you put in monthly.

–Tobacco Shop. They are plentiful and this is where you buy tickets, especially for the bus system.

–Water Closets. Yes, you pay to use public ones. They are clean and constantly disinfected, so that is a plus. The cost is between 1 and 2E. You do not use one in a store or restaurant unless you are buying something. They watch closely.

–Pedestrian only. Florence has large pedestrian only streets. They are clearly marked with a sign with a red light. Drive past the light without a permit (taxi or delivery truck) and the camera takes your photo and the fine is an automatic 150E.

–Cobblestone. Kathy brought one of those four wheeler spinner bags. I thought that the two wheeler was better. I was right. The four wheeler will not go over the cobblestone easily and cobblestone is everywhere. The two wheeler is a trooper. Guess who has to lug the four wheeler. That’s right–Kathy. I said, “You wanted it, you have it.” Actually, I grit my teeth and do it. What makes it worse is that it is purple. WEG


  1. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    Hey guys I am sure that you have seen all of the statues around the large square next to the large church. Have you seen the white fig leaves on the statues? Everyone in our group was laughing. Someone said that some years ago someone complained about the nude men and that is why the white fig leaves. We were wondering if they are still there and are still white. Facing the statue of the person holding the head with snakes, the building with the statues are the front door is just to the left.

  2. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    Sorry I just looked at my photos in Florence and it was a black fig leave on a white statue.

  3. Linda Schaefer says:

    Purple for LWML or lent. So enjoy reading what you two are doing. So very interesting. keep Bob in your prayers he is going to have shots in his back for a pinched nerve.

    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing: it is the gift of God. Eph 2:8

  4. alg60 says:

    Wayne, here is few statues that had a black fig leave.

    Al Gerhardt ALGPHOTOS http://www.algphotos.com al@algphotos.com 713-410-6542

  5. alg60 says:

    Wayne here are the photos from Florence…Please let me know if you get them. it shows the fig leaves. I have removed all links to my web site.

    wgraumann posted: “Kathy and I went for a brisk and long walk along the River Arno today. The weather was outstanding–clear and cool with a warm sun–exactly what I like. Here are a few more tidbits about how things work in Italy, at least Florence. –Waste disposal. The”

  6. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    well ok just the black fig leaf and a white statue got our attention. So I guess they have removed the fig leaves.

  7. Debbie Linfield says:

    I am loving your blog and laughing right now at Wayne with the purple 4-wheel bag. A Kodak moment!!!

    • wgraumann says:

      Yeah-sure–ask Harold to pull a faux alligator skin bright purple bag with matching purse/bag attached through crowds of raised eyebrow people in a foreign country and see how thrilled he would be. Then add a silk scarf tied around the purse, because your wife is afraid of pickpockets and for good measure have your wife trail behind you 50 feet because she is taking her jolly good time, so it really looks like your bag!

  8. Jr & Ola Mae says:

    Poor Kathy, be nice! LOL!

  9. Elaine says:

    Too much togetherness in early retirement? Hehehe

  10. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    Wayne when you went into the mountain north of venice did you drive through a place call San Boldo Pass. It has 5 single lane tunnels one about the other. We saw it this morning on our face book of spectacular places. it the road north of the town of Tovena. North of Venice.

  11. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    Maybe for future trip. E35 North to Bologna. A13 north to Padova. E70 to mestre (just north of Venice). ss13 to Conegliano. Northwest to Lago. West to Tovena. North to Tortal. San Boldo Pass with the the five tunnel in layers on the mountain side one above the other on the road to Tortal. Probably too far, but thought when you were in the mountains north of venice that you might have been nearby. I have been following your travels using google maps. It has been very exciting for me to see where you are going. I see such a beautiful trip through you and Kathy’s eyes.

    • wgraumann says:

      Thanks Al. We did not drive that road, but we may when we go to the Dolomites in late April. We did drive a wonderful road from Lucca to Pisa, the scenic route. On one side of the mountain the flora and fauna is one way and after the tunnel it is completely different–kind of like going from the mountains to the sea, which is pretty much what we did.

  12. Al & Eva Gerhardt says:

    I will look forward to the photos. It just looks like such wonderful scenery. Thanks so much for sharing.

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