Cliche's exist, that's why they have become cliche's. One such example is that of the shopping trip. The lady walking around, man in tow, whilst exploring the many interesting clothes and accessory shops in any given location. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Oxford Street, we've all seen it in one form or another, whether it be an advert for piles medicine, or in real life.
I have become a cliche.
I had no gripe with the walking around. Exercise in the video games industry is a rare thing, so any opportunity to have movement other than in an office chair is a welcomed with enthusiasm.
Nor were the occasional excessive wait times, as watching life walk past you is often a beautiful thing to witness.
It was the steps. The steps that one must endure when sat outside a clothes shop. Often they are small, occasionally non-existent. Sitting down is often more trail and error than you would think. A smaller target makes for a larger margin of error. If cliches are so obvious, you would have thought that the shops in question would come to their collective senses and reserved space either inside or outside so that the men that get dragged around can sit it out in comfort.
This does not seem to be the case for Florence or Sienna. I have composed a shortened list of shops that were visited and the amenities they afford the cliche traveller. It is my hope that one day a book will be compiled using this as a base, to serve the rest of humanity, so that each would know the best districts to shop. I don't, however, intend to hold my breath on that one.
Deisel - Good 8" step outside, plenty of room. The proverbial 'thumbs up' of step dwellers. 7/10
Nara Camichie - No step. Obviously too good for the step these guys. Avoid at all costs. 2/10
Miss Trench - Poor 6" step outside. If it is possible, the stool inside was actually smaller. Incredible. They must only cater for Dwarfs. No wonder nothing was bought there. 2/10
Geronica - No step, but a nice leather foot stool inside, for patrons use only, as designated by its own personal sign. These people are serious about stool politics. 5/10
Gucci - A very disappointing step inside, but ample seating within. 6/10
The Bridge - Very poor 4" step. It was difficult to even position oneself upon it. Fortunately the two foot stoolls inside saved their rating like a super hero movie in the summer saves a studio. 5/10
Poncif - If it is possible that one day a 'Worlds worst step' award may be conceived and handed out as the name implies, then surely one day it would rest on the mantle of the Poncif shop. What rapidly filled my vision, like a terrorist's with Jack Bauer's fast approaching fist, was possibly not even an inch from the floor. More a bump than a step. Terrible. The only thing that saved it was the two small stools inside. Although given time they may actually hinder its cause rather than help it. 1/10
Intimissimi - No step, no seating. A cold hard example of how bad hings can be in this 'modern' world. Chilling. 1/10
Massimo Dutti - No step outside. 'They must be saving the seating treats for the indoors.' I hear you think across oceans. You're on the money. A nice large two-seater leather occasion on the inside was my willing host for my visit. 6/10
Guga di Luiginigi - No step. A worrying trend seems to be developing here. One tiny leather stool in a corner so far from anything of interest, it was rather inefficient to occupy. 4/10
Polfini. Great 12" step right outside, great depth and better width. Nothing here needed saving, but the champions at Polfini thought they would put in a 12' leather sofa for good measure. They are surely the favourites for winning this years top gongs. 9/10
Chillipepper - A medium quality 6" step outside with a pleasant slope. Things could be worse. One lone seat inside occupied by some one's bag. 5/10
Max and Co. - No step outside. Travesty. No indoor seating. Blasphemy. One set of three steps inside, directly in everyone's way. It's as if they want to anger the step-tourist. 2/10
Bugaglio - Very poor 4" step outside, a mere 8" deep. Pathetic. One chair inside covered in felt, it's only saving grace. 3/10
So may this serve as a warning to all step-tourists. Avoid Poncif and visit Polfini. The two P's of step dwelling have hereby been decreed!
Or just order online from the comfort of your own choice of seating.