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October 05, 2009

Caesar's town in Toscana

The Army Camp. Been here now for a week doing three different projects. I am usually quite happy in Europe no matter what I am working at, even if I am rarely a full-time tourist. But here having to work--at all, at anything--is tantalizing. There is enough of the highest peaks of Western civilization here to put in giddy overdrive your head and heart for days and days--all in a very compact and walkable area that never loses its human scale, and class.

Beginning around 60 BC, Julius Caesar founded the town on both sides of the Arno River as settlement for retired Roman soldiers. The mix of things that happened here after that--politics, trade, money, power, greed, literature, art and architecture--is remarkable given that Florence at heart was, and is, a small town nestled in the country. Only 350,000 people live in this world famous center. A haughty, slightly snobby and wonderfully disassembled lot.


Posted by JD Hull at October 5, 2009 11:39 PM


"slightly snobby"? Dan, it's only the center of the known universe, the cradle of civilization, the birthplace of humanism, and all with great weather in the fall and spring to boot.... on the snobbiness scale, definitely to the right of "slight"... but with no tradition of tipping, hopefully you've left a lesson or two on client service!

Posted by: Mike at October 6, 2009 02:05 AM

That's Italy for you. I live in Fano ( a little town in the Adriatic which is also seeped in history. I suggest you explore as much of Tuscany as you can you'd be surprised what you find in the little towns around Florence...
enjoy your stay

Posted by: Loredana Gatt at October 6, 2009 04:23 AM

Mike--No argument from me. Snobbiness can be earned; here it was, esp. begining in 13th century. So I tip here anyway. Dan

Posted by: Dan Hull at October 6, 2009 05:53 PM

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