Humor / Italy / People

The Florentine Sense of Humor

IMG_2614 - Version 2

The people of Florence have a kindness and gentleness to them that is remarkable. In a city so inundated with tourists, you would think that patience would be hard to find. But I’ve seen fruit sellers help clueless sightseers find the Duomo, police women hug and joke with school children, and bicyclists stoically steer around rubberneckers who step directly in front of them.

Most of all, the Florentines have a sense of humor … both subtle and overt!

I first realized this when we were taking a shortcut through an ancient alley. I happened to glance up and there was an alcove with an elegant bust holding her nose – a droll commentary on what used to go on here.

Next came the tiny electric cars that can be parked almost anywhere – so sensible in a congested city like Florence and designed with a signature Italian flare and sense of fun.


Florence is known worldwide for its stunning light fixtures and chandeliers, but this one made of bike wheels may be my fave.


And anyone knows that Italy is renowned for high-end fashion. As we were walking down a street lined with Gucci and Armani I spied this dress made entirely of newspaper and magazine pages. Love it!


Even Louis Vuitton’s classic bags took a whimsical turn!

IMG_2735 - Version 2


15 thoughts on “The Florentine Sense of Humor

  1. Love the humorous pics. You must definitely be in the right spots to find these! My favorite: the paper dress! If it were in NYC, it would be a fashion statement at a high price! Thanks for sharing!

    • Rusha, the dress was displayed in the same store that had the bicycle wheel chandelier, so I think a wonderful sense of whimsy pervaded the entire place. There was no price tag, but as the old saying goes, “If you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it.” 🙂 ~Terri

  2. I can’t think of a trait that I admire more than a sense of humor, Terri. I found it often in European shop windows. If people know how to laugh at themselves and their situations, they are usually good folks. –Curt

  3. I will look forward to more Florentine Fridays! We were on a bus tour off a cruise ship to see Florence and it was a Sunday so the churches were in use. It was beautiful, but I felt like I was part of a migrating wildebeest herd. I will learn more from your post than I did from our visit last year, I think. – Mike

    • Great description Mike. I think is saw some of those migrations! 🙂 We got an apartment in a simple neighborhood across the river and adapted to the rhythm of Florentine life. I think that’s why we enjoyed it so much more the second time. ~Terri

    • Aren’t those feet great, Liana? The display in the next window featured giant, cracked ostrich eggs (painted gold inside) that were hatching shoes! Hilarious … and I loved it. So glad you stopped by. All the best, Terri

      • Oh how quirky and fun. Definitely not what I’d expect in Florence, where I’d think to see more classic art. Cool of you to show this other side!

  4. This gave me a great glimpse of Florence. We’re planning to visit Italy next summer and I’m trying to figure out an itinerary that might actually work. It needs to include Florence, I see…

    • Hi Juliann, We really enjoyed this second trip to Florence – I think because we had the right attitude. And Florence has made some wonderful improvements with more pedestrian areas, etc. We also really enjoyed the beauty of Sienna, Sorrento and Lake Como. The folks over at Doublewhirler just did a wonderful series on Puglia that makes me want to go there … bad! 🙂 Oh, and I forgot Venice! Have fun planning your itinerary because Italy has so much to offer. ~Terri

What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s