Arriving in Florence

I arrived in Florence around 11PM yesterday (Thursday). Lufthansa only allowed a single carry-on per passenger due to the small airplane we traveled on from Frankfurt to Florence. I had to check my duffle at the gate which meant I had to go to baggage claim in Florence. We got off the plane, walked through a door and the baggage claim carousel was immediately to the right. There was no customs procedure and the airport was fairly vacant and every shop was closed.

I walked outside after gathering my belongings and was greeted by the humid Florence night air. It was 77 F at 11 PM! I had to find an ATM eurosbecause the currency exchange was closed and my residual krons would do me no good in Italy. I needed some euros and I needed them fast. It is very embarrassing to take a taxi and not be able to pay because the driver won’t take credit cards and you don’t have the correct currency. This is doubly embarrassing in a foreign country when you don’t speak the language. I found an ATM just outside the airport exit. I selected the English option and inserted my card. I was prompted to scan a barcode to continue. I had no barcodes to scan so I canceled the transaction and went back inside.

After another minute of searching I found a Banco Tuscano ATM and was able to get some money from my checking account. There were no ATM fees but the current exchange rate is about 1.33:1 USD to EUR ($133 will net roughly €100). With cash in pocket, I proceeded to the taxi line up. I was 4th in line and it seemed taxis were arriving every 2-3 minutes by the time I was next.

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