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I studenti rode the train to Florence the other afternoon accompanied by Oracio, the father of one of the insegnante from our school.  He is a lovely and knowledgeable gentleman and speaks no English at all so we really wanted to pay attention when he talked.  We took a bus up to piazzale Michaelangelo and enjoyed the amazing panorama of the city.  On the bus ride up to the piazza, the Transportation cops boarded and started checking tickets.  One of the women in our group had forgotten (italian word for forget…dimenticare) to validate her ticket upon boarding.  The cops were about to write her a ticket when Oracio came to the rescue and though it took him about five minutes of discussion, (lots of hand gestures and head shaking) he talked them down.  It would have been a very expensive mistake but, buona fortuna, it all ended well and gave us a truly Italian experience.  Our next stop was a walk up the hill to Basilica de San Miniato where I sketched this little gargoyle, he is much cuter than his pict’cha!  I just couldn’t get a good photo in the bright sunlight…such a problem!

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September 2010