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My first impression, walking through this town on the way to our hotel, is that it is at least better organized than Venice… and that has to be a plus. The streets are broad and have a visible length of more than fifty feet, there are cars and Polizia and… uh… army guys on the roads, and there are traffic control devices and open spaces and street signs to help you find your way. It’s a city with an infrastructure I can identify with — a little something that makes me more comfortable than playing “left right left right left right and see where we all end up” in Venice on a Saturday night.

My second impression is that there are an unusual number of Americans around the place. Come to think of it, if you aren’t an old lady and you aren’t wearing a fur coat and you aren’t smoking then you’re probably American. If you’re traveling in a group of more than two, you’re definitely American. You might not know it yet, but you are.

My third impression is… I don’t know. Florence is a beautiful city with some great things going for it: Michelangelo’s David, of course, whom I found to be oddly disproportionate (but hey, whatever, who am I to judge?); Perseus slaying Medusa and a glut of other fancy sculptures depicting great moments in mythological history; the Cathedral of Florence (Il Duomo, the fourth largest cathedral in the world, incredible); and, in a few words: even. more. stuff.

That's all touristy crap, of course, and you’ve heard it all before; which is why I think you’d prefer to see a giant rat paddling down the river Arno like some kind of disfigured sea otter. Seriously, it was two feet long. Shoddy camera work and commentary courtesy of Mike.