May 14, 2010 12:00 AM

Tips For Traveling Solo

After two days in Florence, I had already met some fascinating people. First there was the woman who runs the leather school at the Church of Santa Croce (established by her family and Franciscan monks after World War II to give orphaned boys a trade). Then there was the likeable congressman from Florida whom I met while dodging a horse carriage near a Donatello statue. And while eating alone at one of my favorite restaurants, I chatted up a conductor from Switzerland with "Young Frankenstein" hair. All night we talked about pianos — a passion we both shared.

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