The other day I drove Thomas and the two big kids to Florence, leaving the little two home to play with Thomas's parents. I know Florence well having lived in Perugia back in '86 and visited it since so figured knee-deep in tourists at 35 degrees wasn't the best day trip for the two little ones.
I wasn't sure how Marcel and Lots would take it. When I touched down in Florence at 18 I was blown away. It was the first time I left home to study at a foreign uni, I was 18 and interrailing alone across Europe. I had found my raison d'être. Would my kids love it, or were they still too young?
We parked under the main market and came up just one street back from Santa Maria dei fiori. I walked round the corner explaining Florence's history and art to the kids. I told him about the banking history, about Dante and Boccaccio, Michelangelo and Da Vinci. They were at least feigning interest. We walked round the duomo and up to the Palazzo Vecchio. Marcel was very positive, excited. Muttering over and over how wonderful Florence was and how he'd never been anywhere like it. I was proudly feeling like I had indeed raised a cultured individual but of course when I pressed him on his favourite statue, painting or piece of architecture he looked at me as if I was mad and started waxing lyrical about the Armani shop, the Ferrari shop, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci... here we go again with that stupid child's obsession with designer labels.
He has now decided he's going to move to Florence 'when he becomes a millionaire' so he can 'go shopping'!