Subject: Firenze after twenty years
Hi Ziners

I've been in Florence, for the first time after twenty years, for a few days around New Year's Eve. While I was pleased to see again the wonderful churches and museums, I was very disappointed seeing very little has been done to keep car traffic out of the core of the town. Pedestrian areas are very limited and are violated by every sort of service vehicle, from speeding taxis to delivery vans, police cars etc. It's really a nonsense for such a beautiful city. But now some of the informations you like: hotel and restaurants. Hotel Orto de' Medici is newly refurbished on a quiet street just a short walk north of Piazza San Giovanni and around the corner from San Marco Museum. Large rooms, tiny bathrooms but impressive public areas. Buffet breakfast within standards, very helping multilingual staff. I paid 217 EUR for a 4-bedded room per night, a bit expensive but Florence isn't cheap. Trattoria Antellesi, via Faenza 9 rosso, located in a backstreet near the Medici Chapels, has few tables but great traditional Tuscan food. The door shows stickers from important gourmet guides and tour books, but it's a family place very fairly priced. Trattoria Angiolino, via S. Spirito 36/r, across the Arno river, is a place you need to stop by. A long room under stone arches with full view and smell of the kitchen at the rear, full of tables and busy waiters. Traditional cooking with specialties like fried assorted vegetables and a tempting day menu. We had to wait a bit, but both the food and the wine were outstanding. Prices were ok too. Ristorante Giannino in San Lorenzo is another story. Very famous, between San Giovanni and San Lorenzo, offers gourmet cuisine at a medium-high place. We had the New Year's Eve dinner there, expensive but with large portions and fine food. It has a lot of rooms, with some tables even on a small area between two flight of stairs and a deli shop counter at the door. Bye everybody Paolo Trieste, Italy