Subject: Florence & Rome
Dear Covadonga, Sounds like a short but sweet trip! Regarding your questions, shopping in Florence is great, but not cheap. I had good luck finding nice handbags at shops along the Lungarno west of the Ponte Vecchio. There are lots of shops all over the old center. Check out the main Ferragamo store just to see the old palazzo in which it is located. There are a couple of cheap tourist markets, but mostly souvenirs or junk. We do alot of deli and pizza a taglio in Italy, but we do spurge La Brussola on Via Porta Rosa, between Via Dei' Tornabuoni and Via Pellicceria. Good food, great pizza! It's been around for years.

It sounds like you have a lot planned in a short time. Maybe you could take a bus to Fiesole for a morning &lunch trip and see the view, ruins, and small town instead of renting a car for only one day. There is so much to see in Florence itself, and you don't want to plan to see too much. A drive in the country is wonderful, but distances take longer than you think, and you might plan another trip to rent an apartment in the country for a week or two and really do justice to Tuscany. Just a thought...

As for Rome, (our favorite big city!) check out the Blue Ice gelaterias - several locations - near Pza. Navona, Campo dei Fiori, and a few other places I can't remember. Great gelato and alot of it! I always fail to write down the names of the restaurants we like, but I know where they are....little help to others! Vecchio Roma, next to Santa Maria in Campitelli, a short walk from the Capitoline Hill, is a great place, from all I've heard, but we always manage to miss it. We ate a a nice little place last summer in Trastevere called Vincenzo alla Lungarette on Via della Lungaretta 170/173, cross the Ponte Garibaldi (in line with Via Arenula, from Largo Agrentina) and go left on Via Lungaretta, restaurant just before the Pza. Piscinula. Have a great trip! Kristy S.F.