We were fortunate to have a friend in Florence who put us up and fed us in style while we were there, not to mention showing us this elegant town in which she is lucky enough to live. She lives not far from the Arno River, which sported lots of poppies on its bank in May, and as an architecture buff, I was in heaven. Pasadena has a bit of sgrafitto work on one of its buildings (done by an Italian craftsman, of course), but you see sgraffito everywhere. It’s done by applying several very thin layers of different colors of plaster and then scratching through to reveal the layer you want to make up the decoration or scene. It’s very labor intensive, of course, and pretty much a dying (if not dead) art. Amazing buildings with remarkable detail abound, along with the odd carousel.