Destination: Italy: Florence
A note about Florence’s addresses: since Italy’s unification, in the mid-19th-century, the city has had two numbering systems: because of a surge in businesses, it came up with a way to distinguish between commercial and residential addresses by adding a red letter (R for rosso) to the former and a black letter (N for nero) to the latter. This means that a street number doesn’t immediately indicate how far apart places are. To add to the confusion, some businesses that have moved into formerly residential spaces don’t have the expected R. Luckily, many of Florence’s streets are relatively short, especially those with the shops, so if you miss your goal, just backtrack, and if all else fails, duck into a caffè, have a machiatto, and ask a local for assistance.
Florence’s small size—about forty square miles—is both a blessing and a curse. It’s easy to run into tour-group gridlock in the centro storico (the historic center, a World Heritage Site), but at the same time, you can get almost everywhere on foot. The center is mostly pedestrian, so don’t bother with a taxi: Florence is all about walking.
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