Our last full day in Florence and the last day of 6 without a bike underneath my behind. I'm looking forward to starting to ride but will really miss Florence. I'd love to live in a city like this one day. Tiny or no car, street-lined housing, people drawn outside, food and drink everywhere and best of all, walking. We probably walked 6-7 miles today just getting around. So cool.
So what did we do today you asked? Ok, but only because you asked…we slept in. Dang blackout shutters! European breakfast which can feel a lot like a lunch. Stroll to the Pitti Medici (basically the founding family of Florence and the curators of a boatload of phenomenal art palace), the upward to what we thought would be the Piazza Michaelangelo. As a sidebar, Michaelangelo would be disappointed to know his name was associated what to us looked like a mix between an Interstate rest stop and Myrtle Beach. The good news is we got lost walking one lane roads in the hillside and wound up at the Chiesa di San Miniato al Monte, maybe the coolest church we have yet seen. It had the best view of Florence, almost 1000 years of historical relevance and gregorian chanting. The road was a one lane, road with high walls on both sides. So cool. Want to see for yourself? Check out these pictures.
After a hike back down to town we stopped at what we thought would be a great neighborhood restaurant only to find it didn't have pesto or Gorgonzola cheese dishes so after a mis-order of crostini that ended up having liver pâté on it (very popular in Italy), and some wine we decided to move onward. Our next restaurant was recommended by one of Tracy's friends and lived up to the billing. Bruschetta, Gorganzola gnocchi were the highlights. Afterwards we needed a long slow walk back to the hotel and some downtime.
After nap time, we met for dinner at another recommended restaurant that I cannot pronounce nor spell but the food was excellent! Oddly we are finding that Italians really do eat Italian and pretty much love their meat pasta and cheese. In addition, their breads are surprisingly bland. More for soaking than eating alone. Tonight we had decadent desserts at a different restaurant than dinner (La Osteria Di Giovanni) and some unbelievably good biscotti and Cappachino drinks. Who knew biscotti could be soft and slightly chewy?
Sadly we also found out that Ben, Alex and Tracy's boy, was stung by a bunch of yellow jackets yesterday. He's fine but is on steroids and cortisone to help the swelling. The news rightly scared Tracy and Alex pretty good. A parents worst fear while traveling for sure. Cindy's Dad Jim was apparently the house hero when he delivered a surprise gift of his favorite foods and candy this afternoon. He's a good man that Grandpa Jim is…
Highlights and Observations – Day 3:
- The Italians need to lobby for a new Olympic sport: Parallel Parking. Everyone else would be competing for silver…
- Gregorian chanting will make any church more awesome
- Sometimes fire trucks in Italy can barely fit through roads to get to the fire (we saw a minor fire in a museum today)
- No matter how hard you try to by still “naturale” water in the stores, there is still a greater than 80% chance you will screw up and end up with sparkling (gasse) water.
- Electric mopeds are much quieter than gas versions.
- Mini Coopers look like big cars here
- Some roads in Italy are made for romantic kissing (a la Bachelorette so I'm told)