Florence: I make friends with strangers and then make paper.

I was raised in a family that makes small talk with strangers. Enjoys it even. This terrified me as a child, embarrassed me as a teenager, and delights me as a grown-up.
As it should be.

I should start by saying that it's probably a stretch to consider talking to a shop owner as "talking to strangers." But it began in my broken Italian and lead to maybe the best restaurant recommendation of our trip and to me getting a special -I only had 100 of these printed- membership card to the store and an invitation to a papermaking demonstration and lesson the next day. And my husband was there, so I wasn't even flirting.

So I went to the store the next day:

for a Florentine marbleized paper-making demo

and I got to try too

Il Papiro is a sweet store and well worth a visit for gifts and to spark your desire to write real letters again.  Their paper is beautiful, though it was really the stationary and personal cards that stole my attention.

We're finally unpacking and I have a some wax and a scrolling letter E calling an envelope's name.

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