This gets a post of its own.
For me, the main reason to go to Italy is gelato. Renaissance blah, Pax Romana blah, palio blah, the bottom line is they know how to make damn good ice cream.
In Florence, I went into a shop and ordered a 2-scoop gelato. The lady asked if I wanted small or large. I, predictably, said "large". I guess this was a tourist trap. The woman began piling more and more ice cream onto the cone as I stood and gaped. It ended up about the size of my head.
Out on the street, people were openly laughing at me. It was hot, and the ice cream immediately began to melt. I had streams of the stuff running down to my elbow.
My Arm Hurts
I made a pretty strong effort at eating it, but eventually the last few litres went in the bin. I'm not saying exactly how much the fuckers fleeced me for, but it was in the realm of NZ$50. I'm philosophical about the experience. If I'm going to have my money unscrupulously taken, this is probably better than being stabbed by a skinhead.