Piazza San Marco

I spent the fall of 1998 in the small Tuscan town of Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. It was ideally located about an hour south of Florence and two hours north of the Eternal City of Rome. When I wasn't riding the rails, being asked for cash or waiting for a late Italian train, I lived and worked out of the 16th century convent of Santa Chiara.

We spent a few nights drinking and eating in the Piazza San Marco, and since it was October, the square was wonderfully crowd free. That's a real rarity in Venice. Several Orchestras had set up around the Piazza and they took turns playing for their café patrons. If you were so bold as to want a seat, you had to pay a fee and order something. The three of us had two cappuccinos and a chocolate mousse apiece and the total came out to ninety dollars. Ack! That can kill a college student's budget quick, but it was by far the best money I spent in Italy.