Here are some photos from one of my favorite places in Florence: Piazza San Marco & Piazza della Santissima Annunziata. The last two photos are Piazza San Marco and the others Santissima Annuziata.
I went here during my first week in Florence and saw some of the locals hanging out. There was a man teaching another man to draw, with the learning man's son creeping over his shoulder and watching his pencil strokes very carefully.
An older man, probably grandfather, was teaching a young boy to ride his bike. When the boy fell over the man comforted the boy, who was clearly trying as hard as he could to hide his pain. It was neat to see how different they both reacted in this situation I have seen replayed a thousand times back home. They were very quiet but very intimate. There was no yelling to "walk it off"! Nor did the boy burst into a tearful rampage. Perhaps it all depends on how different people react differently, but I still found it touching to watch these two.
Lastly on my way leaving the Piazza I caught a glimpse of a young couple, maybe 15 or 16, the girl crying and the boy with his arm around her and wiping her tears. It looked so sweet coming from such young people.
The pre-teens here always seem older than they really are. For the first few weeks of my class there was one Italian girl who could not speak any English. Since I can only speak minimal Italian, there was such a language barrier in the classroom. I watched her come and go every day and I assumed she was nearly my age. However on one of the last days, with our professor translating, I learned that she was only 15! The age of my younger sister! I could hardly believe how she was this young. As I have learned since then, the youths here are permitted to dress a little older style for their age compared to Americans. Also, the drinking age here is 16... something to think about.