Street Performers in Florence

Walking through Florence, you’re bound to see a variety of street performers and beggars trying to get a few gold coins out of tourists’ pockets. I’ve seen portrait artists, landscape artists, people playing the guitar, harp, accordion, trumpet, and drums. I’ve even seen people painted white or gold while posing as statues, with only their eyes following you, and people singing. Most of these acts have an authentic Italian feel to them. The music and art are usually always Renaissance style.

One weekend there was a different performance gracing the streets of Florence. Two friends and myself found some spectacular cat masks whilst shopping and were bored so we bought them and wore them around until we decided to go home. However before we could get there, random person after random person was eliciting the most entertaining reactions. People barked at us, meowed, and some men seemed to have the same reaction as normal, “Ciao bella!” Either way, we were getting quite a bit of attention.

Back at the apartment, we wanted to make dinner but didn’t really have enough food in the house to do so. We were going to go food shopping, but nobody had any cash on them. We looked around the apartment and all our eyes stopped on one thing- the cat masks. Not five minutes later we were on our stoop, silver bowl in front of us, accompanied by a stuffed cat. We meowed at passersby, and always got one of the following reactions:

1.  A look suggesting we get admitted to a mental hospital
2.  A huge smile spreading across their face
3. A series of barks, (which we always fought back with a unified hiss)

Looks #2 and #3 often resulted in a few coins dropped into our bowl, while #1 never did.

After about an hour of this, we decided to change our act. We began to sing Christmas songs to the passersby and surprisingly we rarely even got a glance from anyone. We still needed a little money for dinner, so we went back to meowing. Sure enough, the coins started coming again.

Jordyn L. Fahey

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