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April 22, 2007 / missallaneous

Firenze!

I’ve been doing a lot more wandering and a lot less writing in the last two weeks! Rest assured I have many stories and even more photographs… it’s been both exhausting and exhilarating (more the latter, though… definitely).

We spent last weekend in the gorgeous Tuscan town, Firenze!


Florence is lovely, lovely with so much art, culture, Tuscan cuisine, and leather all in one little town. Some of my favourite highlights were the San Lorenzo market, which was teeming with all the Florence must-haves: leather (bags, gloves, wallets, belts, shoes!), jewelry, and pretty marbled stationary! Bargainers swell around street-side stalls, comically crossing cultures and languages in a single transaction. I love markets! I have to admit that I was thiiiiiis close to buying a beautiful leather bag, but I was good! I refrained (and it must have taken every ounce of self control within me :P). Instead, I opted for some gifts and little trinkets :)

Florence is home to some of the best museums in the world, and we spent all day at Galleria degli Uffizi and Galleria dell’ Accademia. It was… amazing! I realize I’ve been using this word a lot, but I’m really unsure how else I could describe it. I got to see Michelangelo’s David (which was, magnificent, of course… I have an illegal shot of David on my Flickr!) but I was totally and absolutely taken by his Incompletes. Sculpted for Pope Julius II’s tomb, they are powerful displays of Michelangelo’s neo-platonic ideas of the artwork struggling to be freed from within the marble. I could see it. I could feel it. And it was nothing shy of breath-taking.

The treat of all treats was the full (apperitivo, appetizers, primi, secondi, dessert! Yes, you should be envious!) Tuscan experience we were taken to for dinner! We got all dressed up, and walked to Teatro del Sale, an exclusive, members-only dinner club where we were served course upon course of an extensive Tuscan dinner. From appetizers galore (so many different kinds, so delicious, and so abundantly provided that I couldn’t stop eating it all ! I was incredibly stuffed from the appetizers alone!) to pasta, meat, with free flowing wine, and then delicate desserts! Mama mia! Bellisimma! :) Then we all grabbed our chairs and gathered around a stage for the night’s entertainment: a saxophone quintet! The music was, heh, a little more wishy washy contemporary than I’d prefer, but it was still such a great ending to a lovely evening :)

I also, that night, got to experience my first Italian discoteca! Heh, it was a whole lotta fun, and definitely an interesting experience with some very forward Italian guys. As we walked around town and into the club, our presence was followed by countless catcalls, numerous head- turns, and even one hilarious “God bless America!”. Of course, the group consists of at least a half-dozen gorgeously tall, blonde, American girls, so yeah… can’t take the credit there :P It definitely gets old, though, so I’ve stopped giving out the withering stare and have now progressed to utter ambivalence (demonstrated in full-throttle, purposeful walking right by them).

The rest of my time in Florence was spent walking all over, over and across its many bridges, and around the central Duomo. I love that it’s big enough so there’s plenty to see in a weekend, but small enough that one could wander everywhere on foot. I spent a lovely morning sitting in a café in Piazza della Signoria with some lovely girls, sipping cappuccinos and thick, molten hot chocolates under large white umbrellas. Wonderful :)

More updates were intended, especially on my *ahem* interesting experiences at the Vatican and specifically, in the Sistine Chapel, but I’m afraid it’ll have to wait. It’s getting late, and this tummy is getting growly :D I’m off to Venice and Padova (more Northern Italy, hurray!) for the week, and then to gorgeous Cinque Terre for the weekend, but pictures will be up when I get back :) Ciao ciao!

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2 Comments

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  1. shadycasino / Apr 23 2007 12:45 am

    the Cinque Terre was my favorite!!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did

  2. tsub / Apr 24 2007 9:22 pm

    i finally figured out how to comment!! i love your stories and was slightly drooling while reading a specific paragraph above… i’m jealous! i’ll eat all the pho and cedars for you here if you continue to describe every savory bite of divine goodness over there! love you! check the phrasebook for something to retort back at the cat calls if you need it!

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