I first visited Florence 15 years ago with my wife on a week long-vacation. We enjoyed the visit so much that we fell in love with both the town and Tuscany. Consequently, we have returned almost every year and have never been disappointed. There have been three constant fixtures in our vacation week; the friendly face of Florence; the family-run hotel we book into and The Florentine newspaper. I first picked up my copy of The Florentine in 2005 at the BM Bookshop and first realised that it could be downloaded in May 2006 (issue 32). Since then I have downloaded it regularly with growing surprise that it was still available for free.
Well, all good things come to an end! But after downloading over 120 copies of your newspaper for free, I just do not have the cheek to take advantage of your reduced subscription offer! So, please find enclosed 25 euro as a PDF subscription starting with issue TF 155 (January 19) to my email address. If you wish, you can also add the Flood special to soak up the extra euro.
Yours faithfully, M. E.
Editor's Note: The Florentine informs readers that as of this issue, website users will no longer be able to download a free version of the latest issue in PDF format. Readers can subscribe to TF in PDF format and conveniently receive it in their inbox as soon as the issue comes out (24 euro, currently on sale for 18 euro), or they can buy a paper subscription online at www.theflorentinepress.com/category/tf/subscriptions. Keep up-to-date with Florence and Tuscany with a digital or paper subscription to TF. Buy your subscription today!
We recently visited Florence for a week of sightseeing. However, our trip was unfortunately cut short by an accident the day after we arrived: my wife fell and broke her arm.
We arrived Monday 5/12/2011, spent best part of Tuesday 6/12/2011 in the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitario Careggi, and flew back home on Wednesday 7/12/2011.
Regrettably, we didn't really see much of Florence.
However, we did experience the people of Florence and I felt I had to write this letter to express our thanks for the care and assistance offered by so many locals. I did not know how best to do this, or who to write to, but I did find The Florentine via Google and hope that you can find a way of publishing this so that we can convey our thanks to as many people as possible.
From the lady who helped us in L. Medici street and took us to the local Carabineri office; the Carabineri in the Piazza dei Giudici who took us in and telephoned for an ambulance; the Militare Firenze ambulance crew who provided first aid and took us to the hospital; all of the staff in the Pronto Soccorso department at the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitario Careggi; the other patients in the waiting room of the hospital who took care of my wife when she was discharged while I waited outside for a taxi; the staff at our hotel, La Residenza Fiorentino, in the via de' Fossi; and the airport staff at the local Florence airport, in particular the man behind the Air France check-in desk who, as we say in England ‘went the extra mile' to make sure that our progress through the airport went so smoothly; and last, but not least, the Italian cabin crew on flight AF 5280 from Florence to London City airport who did their best to make our flight as comfortable as possible.
The staff at the Pronto Soccorso of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitario Careggi were fantastic and the medical attention was first class. My wife is a biochemist working for the Medical Research Council in the UK and so knew something of what she was going through. When we returned to our local hospital at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge UK, itself a world-class teaching hospital, they were most complimentary at the standard of medical care we had received at the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitario Careggi. Everyone was fantastic, but particular thanks to ‘the girl who checked us in;' ‘the doctor who spoke very good English;' ‘the nurse who wore his white glasses mostly on his forehead!' and the ‘nurse, who I can only identify as the one who ordered the taxi at the end of the visit.'
It is not an easy situation when you find yourself in hospital in a foreign country where we don't speak much of the language and they speak little yours (indeed I wouldn't expect them to). But the kindness, care and attention given by all of these people was heart-warming. Most of those who helped us remain unknown to us, but I hope that if they read this they will recognize themselves.
We came to Florence on a ‘short break' holiday and it was exactly that; short and with a break!
From what little we saw of Florence on the afternoon of the day we arrived, it is clear to us that this is a beautiful city with wonderful people and we shall be visiting again as soon as we are able.
Robert Keith Laidlaw