Today a trek across the Arno to the Oltrarno ("Across the Arno") then back to the Parco delle Cascine, somewhat of a disappointment as much of it is closed for repair of roads, still that's a good sign I suppose, as often Italian parks seem undermaintained compared to UK and Spain. Very green, lots of trees, not a lot of open grass to play on, though I only walked the eastern-half, then up past miles and miles of riding schools and horse vans, then back up the north side of the park to Porta al Prato, scoping it out in case it's a good place to live (seemed a bit dingy, though many places do on an Italian Sunday with all the shops boarded up).
From the closed Stazione Leopolda (now some sort of Wine experience attraction). I got a bus out of town to Scandicci, as we've seen plenty of adverts for rentals there, thought it might be a good commuter location to get better value for money. There's a tram line being built, and though it's not due for completion until 2007, that has to be a good sign that it's a vibrant area.
But first impressions of Scandicci are disappointing, boring streets, some nice municipal artworks, noone around. Then I realize I was walking the wrong way, and head back to the centre of town, where there's an unspectacular, but livelier pedestrian shopping street, walking that way, you pass a handful of cafes and ice-cream parlours, bursting with the crowd of Italians of all ages doing the late afternoon passeggiata. I considered trying to walk to the higher Medieval part, Scandicci Alta, but I don't know if it's doable on foot, the buses that serve the hill towns don't have a timetable "Call this number, because we can't be bothered to print any" and it's beginning to get a bit dark, in any case, that's probably a tourist destination rather than a workable commute for us. I've been taking pictures along this journey, though as Scandicci isn't really a tourist honeytrap like Florence I'm a bit worried people will get the wrong idea.
In any case, it's a nice town, about a half hour from Florence, small but bustling, probably a good place to really get to know Italians rather than expats, and fairly regular buses into the city (frequent in day, hourly until "24:35").
On downloading my photos, I notice that, as I set it to the "Take lots of photos when holding down button" mode at the park, that it's helpfully set it to a quality that my phone would be ashamed of, but hey ho. Even so, managed to take 50Mb of photos. As I've already exceeded storage limit on free Flickr account, seriously thinking about getting the paid version, as it's been pretty handy for househunting communications so far.