Saturday, November 03, 2007

arrivederci Florence

It has been a lovely ten days, much too fast, of course, but lovely nonetheless. We have been blessed by mostly mild, clear weather, a bit nippy at times, especially in the wind from the river, but easy to live with. I will be glad to be shut of this apartment, partly because I know what's ahead for us in Vicenza. I have taken pictures of it, however, and will include a fuller description when I can make it an illustrated story. Here's the final wrap up of the last 24 hours here.

Osso Buco bene
We walken down the street last night for dinner at a tiny hole-in-the-wall that we had passed by a couple of days ago. I noticed at that time that it had osso buco on the menu, one of my favorite dishes. It did not disappoint. (I left all the information about this place up in the apartment; I'll fill you in later.)

last day's adventures
This being Saturday, and the weather being downright balmy, all Florence was outside, walking around, eating, shopping, sightseeing. When in France, if the sun even looks like it is going to come out, every restaurant near a sidewalk hauls out tables and chairs and within minutes the place is jammed. So it is here. The streets were almost impassable no matter where we were. We took care of banking, shopping and generally mingling, then headed for lunch at La Spada again. It was delicious, made more charming by a young Japanese couple who sat at the table next to us. They muttered over the menu, written in three languages not their own. But they had a Japanese/Italian illustrated food guide that they kept referring to, plus a calculator they used to tote up the damages and finally made their selections. When my salad came the woman gasped and smiled. I pointed to it on the menu and they ordered one. I felt I had done my good-neighbor-hands-across-the-sea duty for the day. And no words in any language any of us could speak were exchanged.

After lunch we walked over to the train station and caught a bus to Fiesole, a suburb of Florence up in the hills. Gorgeous ride along wide (and narrow) streets of the city totally unfamiliar to us. Gradually we began climbing up into the green, wooded hills. We could look down on the city, the Duomo being the most familiar landmark. Florence, like all European cities, is built cheek by jowel, with stores and businesses downstairs and apartments upstairs. Every person gets about 3 sq. meters, or so it seems. The higher you climb, the more meters you get, until up in Fiesole, everyone has about 3 hectares! Unlike a place like Rio, where the poor and dispossessed cling to the hillsides, the multo rico dwell in the clear, clean air in big, beautiful villas. I could live there! Actually, I could if I had a car that could drive me right into my living room. Streets are very steep and it's a zillion stairs to anywhere. But beautiful and I am glad we did it. I had my first gelato there; I've been holding off but finally gave way to a delicious caffe in a tiny little cup. It was worth the wait.

back down on the ground
Our taxi is ordered for 10:30 tomorrow morning to take us to the train station for an 11.15 train to Vicenza, via Padua. Before then we have to do another load of laundry (about a 4 hour process that includes washing and drying in the same machine without stopping), get packed, fix a lunch for the train, and generally tidy up. I did do a tiny bit of shopping so someone is going to have to sit on my suitcase to get it shut. We'll write the last of the Florence postcards and mail them next door at the Tabac in the morning. That ought to take care of Florence for at least two weeks. We will be coming back here for one night before we take off for Pisa and home, just enough time for one more splendid dinner at someplace, probably Garga's, up the street from our fav, La Spada. It's time to try something new.

I have already begun my list of things not-to-be-missed on our next trip.


At 5:52 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Four hour laundry duty ~ we are so spoiled here, aren't we? The average citizen doesn't have a clothes dryer in Florence. Loved hearing about your trip to Fisole and look forward to your next adventure. It is HOT here, in November!


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