Thursday, August 13, 2009

This Is Where I Live

This is my front door. I live on a prestigious Florentine street (pictured below) called "Borgo degli Albizi", which was named after the noble 14th century Albizi family who were rivals of the Medici and Alberti families. The family still owns many of the palaces on this street. In fact, most of my street consists of palaces, my building being one of the few exceptions. Although the Albizi family owned most of this street in the 14th century, the street has existed since ancient times.

Next door to me is an antique shop and a jewelry shop. The whole block is laced with stylish boutiques as well as the typical alimentari, macellerie, pasticerrie e pizzerie.

This photo on the left is a view of my street. I'm not sure when the drainage system was added to the streets of Florence, but I suspect that given the many times that the Arno river has flooded the city over the centuries, that the drainage system is probably pretty ancient too.

If you look at the top photo, you can see the sewer drain below the curb directly beneath my door. A few nights ago while unlocking my front door, my keys slipped out of my hands. I could not believe when I looked down, that the keys went right into the sewer. I didn't have my phone with me. I was so shocked, that I sat on the curb and started crying. People came from all over the street to try to help. Finally, Giuseppe, a neighbor from across the street, came out of his apartment with a large iron tool and he wrestled with the sewer grate until it came off!! Another neighbor came with a rubber glove. Then Giuseppe started fishing in the sewer until finally........he pulled my keys out! I don't know what I would have otherwise done. Since then, I've permanently attached my keys to my handbag, so that it will never happen again!