The Standly’s left for Rome to have a whirlwind day of sightseeing, ending in standing in St. Peter’s Square watching for the smoke that would indicate an election or non-election of a new Pope. They would then head home to Tomball. Kathy and I thought we were going to the large Tuesday market held in a park in Florence. It was raining when the Standly’s train pulled out at 7:38 am. It was cold. Kathy and I looked at each other and knew we were not going to the outdoor market. Next Tuesday would be just fine. We headed to the big indoor market by St. Lorenzo Church not far from out apartment. We picked up food items for our day at the apartment–fresh focaccia bread, fresh chicken breast, risotto–when in Italy, eat like the Italians. It is fun wading through all the food stalls and making decisions about what to buy and then figuring out how to get it. Sometimes you take a ticket and sometimes you don’t; sometimes you can touch the produce and sometimes you can’t. We watch natives to figure out the procedure. The chicken is in the case with the head on (so that no one can accuse you of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off); the rabbit is totally skinned and stretched out as if running; the beef and pork are cut by the butcher to your specification and you can buy portions of large loaves of bread–the baker will cut it for you (most Italian bread has no salt–they say this is so that the bread cannot steal from the flavor of the food with which it is being consumed.
I went out for a walk around the apartment as night fell and found some lost American tourists. I asked if I could help and felt like such a native knowing everything they asked and getting them to the right street. That felt good. Kathy and I ate our Italian home cooking and listened to Italian opera in the background. Tomorrow we walk neighborhood streets to window shop and get exercise. Gucci and similar stores are on our street. An Italian fashion store with an entire window that is a video screen is just across from us. I am sure this marketing instrument is coming to Houston soon. WEG