Just like at home, it is nice to have a day every now and then, while on holiday, to sit back and don’t do much of anything. And just like at home, rain can feed and substantiate that urge. This being my settimo day, and Domenica, I declare today a day of rest.
I slept as late as I wanted, disregarding the clip-clop of horse’s hooves down Borgo Santi Apostoli. I know there are carriages passing by weighted down with tourist on their way past the Ferragamo building (a Medieval palace originally built in 1289. From 1860-1870, when Florence was the capital of Italy,i it became the seat of the City Council. In 1938, Salvatore Ferragamo purchased the palace making it the headquarters of his company. During my last stay in Florence, I walked through the store…can you even call it that…and visited the Ferragamo museo below. The exhibit at the time, highlighted his life and career. It was truly one of my favorite experiences. I am told there is a new exhibit detailing the history of this beautiful structure.) and into Piazza di Santa Trinita, but I ignore the call to tourism. I’m not touring, I’m living.
There is a window that I have been watching be transformed day by day. Today was the day it was up and running. To really appreciate, you need to see the video.
I am not sure if you can tell or not, but there are fancy, rhinestoned My Little Ponies. I even spotted an elefante in the mix.
I may have mentioned this, but this coming week is Fashion Week in Florence. Merchants are really stepping up their game. The people I pass seem to be even more chic than usual. Case in point…
After passing this type of street scene, I was reminded of another. In a window of a local gallery, they were showing photos of the Calcio Fiorentino.Crazy looking, no? If you remember, I could not get tickets and the way they were setting up the Santa Croce area, I’m pretty sure I cannot get a glimpse, but I decide to walk in that direction anyway. Maybe the rain deterred some fans.Nope. All gated off. And these guys don’t look like they are in a negotiating mood. So I walk around in a different direction. At one point, I pass more polizia and then see these guys…I’m kinda frightened at first, remembering what I was told about the players being from prison, but I decide to backtrack a bit and ask them for a photo….mak’n amici everywhere! Roaming has given me an appetite and several of the places I considered are closed on Sunday. I am meeting Paola, Elisa, Angela and a few of Paola’s friends later tonight for a glass of wine, but I still have plenty of time to spare. I decided to go with what I know.
I wind my way back Oltrarno to La Volpe e l’Uva for a glass of wine and one of my favorite crostinis from the other night. I asked for the same wine, showing a photo I took to be clear, and cuz I’m living right, they had 1 bicchiere left. Perfetto!
I bring along a book to read but strike up a conversation with a couple from Australia instead. (Way better making my own story than reading someone else’s.) They had just arrived in Florence and were told if they went to one enoteca, it needed to be this one. They said they were forever indebted to that friend. We shared some traveling notes and suggestions. I’m wanting to check out one of their recommendations, Osteria Santo Spirito, and I told them Al Pozzo was a MUST while they were in Cinque Terre. Some of the nicest tourist I met last visit were from Australia and Mark and Kate fit nicely in that category.
When I looked at the time, I realized it was time to run by the appartamento, ditch my book (that I have yet to crack), and head over to Via dei Neri where I am meeting le ragazze.As I have mentioned many times, I LOVE, LOVE the way life spills into the streets of Firenze. After my last visit, I swore I would entertain more and drag our furniture to the street just for the fun of it. Someone hold me to that this year!
When I walk up, Angela and Elisa are waiting. Kiss/Kiss, Kiss/Kiss then Paola arrives, Kiss/Kiss. We chat just for a moment, then Paola tells us her two other friends are waiting at an appartamento just down the street. Andiamo!
But when we arrive, it is worth it! This was the greatest space! I kept thinking all I could do with it. Paola2, Paola1’s friend, is currently living here but is moving out within the week. hhhmmm……
Paola2 works for a university, (the university?) here finding appartamentos and rooms for exchange students. What a great gal to know. I think Dalton should head over soon!As if the view from the huge, open windows are not enough, walk up some more steps and you have a terrazzo. Again…Oh What I Could Do With This…and if I got stumped, I’m sure Costanza’s mum could lend a hand.The girls have prepared a wonderful, fresh summer dinner. We toast to meeting new people and the kindness of strangers.
As has been the norm, table conversation is lively. We all talk about our where we are from, traditions, cultures, popular cocktails and foods. When I talked about Margaritas they said, “Oh, Boom Boom something or another…” I wish I could remember, I think Avery would get a kick out of that. At one point, they were naming some of the dishes we were enjoying and I asked if there were fennel in one, “Mmmaayybee-a” Paola2 slowly answered. This cracked me up. It was like, sure whatever you say lady. She laughed too. It is a good response to have handy…it fits just about anywhere.
When it was time to say Buonanotte, Elisa and Paola1 presented me with a gift. A gift for me…after all they have done. When I opened it, I found the greatest, little coffee table book illustrating and defining common italian sign language. This had been a fun table topic with Luigi, Elisa’s father. I had noticed he often put his finger to his eye when he spoke. Later in the evening I asked what that meant. At first he seemed to not even realize he was doing this gesture (along with others), then he laughed and explain-a to me-a. It is the italian sign language for “clever”, although sometimes I think Luigi used it in a sarcastic way.
I found this gift so touching. It is THE PERFECT gift. It is SO ME and the girls have only known me for a breve, breve time. Am I so very fortunate. How is it some people just click.During the evening, we discussed this adventure I am on- how I found Elisa and what all she has shared with me. They said, for them, I do not fit the American stereotype, their idea is American woman need things planned out and just so. They said they thought I was very brave. I asked, “Brave or stupido?” After laughing quite a bit, they agreed- Brave.