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Window Shopping in Empoli 08/04/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1905

Empoli seemed a hiving, unaired place after that empty mountain town. Its one long street Empoli in the was thronged with Sunday passengers, and every window had its elbowcushion, and pair, or two pair, of shoulders thrust out. There you have a pastime of which the Tuscan woman never tires. When she has passed the age of being looked at, she will look – from a window. Men go to the cafe: the woman’s cafe is the street, and the window-sill her little table. As for the promenade, it is a solemn ritual in which the following points are observed. The girls walk together in mid street, the young men on either side of them. The girls go one way, the young men meet them going the other; meet and pass; but there are no recognitions, greetings, salutations, sidelong looks. Conversation is in undertones, no one laughs, and no one stops walking. You never saw such a mummery, so devoutly done… But no! The drift of fashion has left this spacious theatre bare; the Empolitani shuffle in procession up and down that very street where they are slaves every day of the week; and Nunziata, who will trundle a mop here to-morrow, must be unknown to Olinto, to whom to-morrow she may laugh her ‘buon di’. Such are the Sunday diversions of a town which once held the fate of Florence within its walls.

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