When Dr. P, Future Dr. H (FDH, who will officially graduate from med school on Monday - congrats! - and thus hereafter be known as Dr. H), and I arrived in Florence in the afternoon May 8, we walked through the market around San Lorenzo. While 98% of the items for sale we utter junk, such as aprons with the David statue's crotch (complete with a little tuft of carved pubes) where the apron's wearer's crotch should be (I should have bought one for Husband because I know he would wear it and it would be funny, but I didn't), it also sold a lot of nice leather coats. (There were also many booths with scary leather pants and skirts, but that is another story.) Anyway, we were walking by and an extremely cute leather coat caught my eye. I knew that I would be sorry if I looked closer, and I was right. It turns out that thte woman in the booth was from Colorado and she pitched me perfectly on the benefits of the store whose leather I was handling.

Friday morning, Dr. P and FDH agreed to help me bargain for a nice leather coat. We went to Massimo Leather, which I described in an earlier post, and I dropped 170 euros (about $212) on a lovely coat with detachable hood. Massimo threw in some alterations for free. Here is the result:

Cute, isn't it?

While we waited for the alterations to be done, Dr. P, FDH, and I did some sightseeing. We walked over to Santa Maria Novella, a very interesting church, and in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, I took a picture of this obelisk:There are a lot of obelisks all over Florence and Rome. I happened to like the little turtles that support this one.

I think that buying a leather jacket first thing in the morning set the theme for the day, because we seem to have encountered a lot of dead animals on our first full day in Florence. As we were walking back to the shop to get my jacket, we went down a little side street and passed by an osteria. At first glance, nothing seems unusual,but then I noticed the little scene in the bottom right corner. A closer lookrevealed four pigs feasting at a table. An even closer look reveals that they seem to be real dead pigs.I wasn't quite sure until I took a good look. How odd and creepy, yet amusing, is that?

Now would be a good time to point out that FDH is a vegetarian for religious reasons. The pigs at the table should have served as a warning to us that Italy is not quite like the US when it comes to hanging out with your food. Personally, I prefer it the way they do it in Italy, as I think it garners more respect and understanding of where food comes from and how it is produced. Plus, it is seriously disgusting to look at, and I really like gross stuff along these lines. Therefore, I had a great time at the food market, Centro Mercado, which we also stopped at before we picked up my leather jacket. We saw skinned rabbits that still had eyeballs, teeth, and tongues hanging out of their lifeless mouths, but I didn't get a picture of any of those. (Too bad - I could use it to remind Tycho how lucky he is.) Some of the rabbits were split open, so you could see the high quality of their innards, like the liver. Dr. P and I found it very interesting. We also saw

chickens with heads and feet,


lamb head (I think)

pig heads suspended from the ceiling on hooks, and


Let's just say that FDH was not very happy at Centro Mercado, although there was a booth selling spices and pastas at which both she and Dr. P bought many things. At any rate, after the market we picked up my jacket at Massimo's, and went off for lunch and an afternoon of more adventure. Stay tuned for more pictures and tales, of which none will involve dead animals. (Dead humans and their body parts yes, but dead animals, no!)