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When It’s Time to Say Good-Bye, It’s Time to Buy

Why is it that we leave souvenirs to the last moment? There are street vendors everywhere selling their wares. Trinkets, sunglasses, umbrellas, little squishy balls that have a face on them and light gizmos that fly in the air sellers abound on every street and then there are the big markets. One stretches along the River Arno from the Ponte Vecchio Bridge (the one in all the pictures of Florence that has shops selling mostly gold jewelry built into it) all the way to where the Uffizi Gallery connects to the river, about four blocks long, that sells mainly paintings and children’s wooden toys and t-shirts. The big leather market is in the arcades around the Uffize Gallery–anything made of leather is here and the merchants are really good at drawing you in–how they know we are from America without hearing us speak is amazing–as they ask, “which state are you from” in English, hoping to get us to stop. The market around San Lorenzo Church and the Medici Chapel is huge and varied in products–leather, silk, cashmere and jewelry predominating. The sellers here are in stalls in front of stores. Once you stop to look, they quickly try to whisk you into the store where everyone inside is trained on how to get you to buy something. You can easily be tag-teamed with workers telling you which looks best and bringing all the colors out to view and giving you “deals.” Did someone say, “Deal?” Hooked Kathy every time! WEG

The light gizmos light up Piazza della Signoria.

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As our departure looms, the Tuscan Moon is still shining over Palazzo Vecchio tower.

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And chicken legs is still on her perch.

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