Tuesday, October 30, 2007

florence when it drizzles

Rain today so no train trip to Lucca or bus trip to San Gimingnani. Maybe tomorrow.

Instead, a day spent at the Palazzo Pitti. Not a bad way to kill a few hours, I must say. We got there about 10 AM and wandered through miles (or what seemed like miles) of incredible treasures. For those of you wishing to send me a little something for Christmas or perhaps my birthday, here are a couple of suggestions. First, Frederico Zandomeneghi's (1841-1917) Sleepiing Girl. I have just the place for it. If that's not to your liking, I could take Ardengo Soffici's Tile Roof Tops. Or Mario Caragleri's Red Interior. Very Matisse-like. Two of the paintings I really wanted to see were Artemesia Gentilleschiàs Judith and Holofernes. I read the novel "The Passion of Artemesia" by Susan Vreeland and there, right in front of me was what the author was describing. But the real reason I wanted to go to the Pitti was to see Caravaggio's "The Sleeping Cupid." I saw it and immediately the tears ran down my cheeks. Hid sepiction of this innocent babe, asleep on his wings, his pink lips slightly open, his hands curled lightly - well, it's just more than I can handle. Would I want this one, too? No, the emotional toll would be too heavy. Weeping 27/7 is just not good for me.

Yesterday's trip to Santa Maria Novello, the central train station, was a success. We bought our tickets for Vicenza, leaving here on Sunday at 11:30 for Padua, transfer there to Vicenza. We also checked out train and bus destinations for later this week.

Last night's dinner at Osteria Santo Spirito was a big disappointment. The food was not very good, the prices (even in euros) out of sight. Cross that one off the list. Today's lunch, after the Pitti, was at Leo's, a place we had been to in 2004 and liked very much. Bustling, lively, good food (the Patient downed roast pork, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, pasta with meat sauce, green salad, 3 or 4 glasses of Chianti and is now sleeping it off), interesting crowd. Talk about your code-switching; the foursome next to us was speaking primarily French, then segued into German, threw in some Italian. I was impressed. Us poor Americans, who expect everyone to speak English, are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to foreign language study. I wish it were not so.

Shopping is part of what this city is all about. I have been poking through various shops looking for nothing in particular except, perhaps, some beautiful stationery. My friend MAS was here in April and managed to buy herself the TWBLJ (World's Best Leather Jacket). I can't imagaine how she made up her mind. I am looking for a wedding gift for our nephew who is to be married in Pittsburgh, PA this coming weekend. Will it ber some bed or table linens? How about a ceramic Della Robbia wreath (saw a beauty)? Some kind of pottery platter (lots of beautiful stuff)? I'll let you know what I decide. I'm favoring the linens or wreath.

Europe went off daylight savings last weekend while you in the US are still enjoying more light in the afternoon. It is now 5 PM in Florence and has been dark for almost an hour. Of course the rainy weather doesn't help. Tomorrow, if it has cleared a bit, we will try Lucca or San Gimingnani, or even a tour bus around the city. There's always something to do. And with the rate the euro is rising we better do it fast! When we got here the duro was 1.4276; today it is 1.4437. Who knows about tomorrow!


At 9:08 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Greetings from Frisco! We had an earthquake yesterday (5.6). I am wanting to return to Florence at once, despite the rain and high prices, after reading your wonderful blog. Your description of the Pitti treasures was glorious...


Post a Comment

<< Home