We flew overnight to London, met the Brooks and then flew on to Pisa where we took a bus to Florence. Trundling our suitcases over the cobbled streets we found our
Florence, "Firenze" to Italians, is a very walkable city, unless a bike race comes to town which closes off streets for blocks. Luckily, this didn't happen until our last day.
The collection in the Uffizi is mind boggling. There are halls and rooms full of statues and busts, acres of paintings just slightly older than Adam and Eve, and so much beauty your eyes eventually glaze over about the time your legs give out.
I called this the "Stayin' alive" room and dedicated it to John Travolta
This perfectly proportioned room was not just ornate, but beautiful, the ceiling decorated with hundreds of abalone shells, the mosaic tiled floor a masterpiece.
In the evening we ate the first of the many l-e-i-s-u-r-e-l-y dinners that we would learn to enjoy. We were outside, and this was the view behind my chair. Dinner is rarely begun before 8pm and we often finished at 11pm, a time when I am usually sound asleep. But there was just something about Italy.
Here is the first of what would be many, many many gelatos that I would voraciously consume during my stay in Italy. My favorite? Nocciola, which I can ask for like an Italian due to constant practice. It is a magical concoction of hazelnuts made by magicians. I'm crying tears of frustration remembering. I ate Nocciola every day and am still not weaned.
As we walked back to our hotel that first night we passed the Basilica of San Lorenzo, where a music school was giving a recital.
There were small string ensembles, piano solos and woodwind numbers that filled the beautiful space. We walked back to our hotel through narrow streets in the cool air under a full moon.