As soon as the train pulled into Florence, Kathy and I felt comfortable and relaxed. We had spent over six weeks here a few years ago, mostly in an apartment in the old town. It is a place we love.
We walked the city old town and shopped the San Lorenzo market. We noticed that it was remarkably clean. Later, we saw the new electric vacuums on wheels that one person operates by walking with the nozzle followed by the large electric bag machine that is manipulated by the electronic handle in the other hand. Several streets are overtaken by the market, selling leather goods, wood products, scarves, and souvenir items. We entered the new central market that sells fresh food products of every kind, fish, foul, pork, beef and the wonderful cheese and bread vendors, along side spice shops and organic food products. A new high end Italian food area has been added to the second floor, and we will eat a lunch there.
Everything was great until Rhonda took a spill. Too much to see and many hidden steps. After she recovered and realized that her “bad knee” did not take a direct hit, we resumed the day. Rhonda and Allen went to the hotel for Rhonda to check everything out. She is fine. This is Rhonda’s second spill–the first one was in Bologna. We ran upon a bronze statue of a lady in a hammock, and I suggested that Rhonda lay down on the pedestal under the lady and imitate the statue. For those of you who know Rhonda–she is up to anything fun. Allen and Kathy were not encouraging at all. Unfortunately, as I snapped away, Rhonda’s lace sweater got caught in the bronze hammock and as she tried to undo it, she simply rolled off the pedestal and onto the ground…only a foot drop, but scary, none the less. I have some good pictures, but Rhonda has threatened harm if I publish them, but they are on sale to the highest bidder.
We spent a relaxing afternoon walking the Ponte Vecchio, the famous gold sellers’ bridge, and going into the Cathedral with is magnificent dome–both inside and out. Designed and engineered by Brunelleschi, it was and still is a masterpiece of architecture. The interior dome, painted by Vasari, is resplendent.
All of us went to a favorite Florence restaurant of Kathy & me for a delightful evening laughing and visiting in a brick and plaster-vaulted bit of Italian heaven.
WEG – September 1, 2015