Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday, Firenze DRAFT

 DRAFTIt's Saturday and this morning I got an early start out, around 9. Leo is teaching today and we planned to meet around 11am. I checked Piazza Santo Spirito and found the normal early morning mercato. I thought I might go to Piazza San Marco to visit Fra Angelico's angels.
But, as I headed through Piazza della Republica where the merry-go-round is located, a food fair was taking place. I had plenty of time to visit each stand. The fair was setup in the shape of a large rectangle. Instead of strolling up and down aisles, one could just walk uninterrupted in one direction and not miss any of the vendors.
I am so sorry my bags are already at their weight limits with my books and DVDs. I would have bought little of everything: biscotti with dried fig or apricot pieces in their centers, chocolate biscotti speckled with bright green pistachios, freshly pressed olive oil, cheeses, dried meats, fresh black and white truffles. All the vendors had free samples. I ate my way around the entire food fair.
The truffle table was really interesting. I used to not care for the taste of truffles, but that has changed. The vendor had pictures of his two truffle hunting dogs. He also had a canvas sack the size of a large grocery bag, filled with black truffles. He opened the bag and urged me to enjoy the fragrance. The smell is earthy but not a dirty odor. I bought a tiny jar of truffle condiment for our Christmas brunch. Cost 5€. I also bought a jar for my friend Debbie, who gifted me with my first Truffle (Oil) many years ago.
I reluctantly left the market and walked toward Piazza della SS Annunziata. The university's computer science classroom and faculty offices, are located nearby.
As I passed by the Museo degli Innocenti (old orphanage) I took a brochure for the Ghirlandaio Exhibition, now taking place. I'll go see it tomorrow.
Leo drove up around 11.15 still not feeling well. He has a lot of new pain in his back. Luckily after a short hour together yesterday, he was able to sleep better last night.
Once he got into the classroom today, he was in his element. He stood for 90 minutes, drawing on the white board, lecturing, and interacting with the students.
Afterwards, we went into the faculty offices, where he visited with a colleague. As we left the building, I told him, 'You really have three things you need to take care of: your body, your mind and your heart. Getting out of the house may be difficult, but once you've arrived at the university, the atmosphere is good for maintaining a healthy mind.'
He felt well enough to have lunch with me. We decided to return to the same place we had eaten with Laura on Wednesday. As Leo and I were trying to get him into a comfortable position, we did not notice two complimentary glasses of white wine had been placed at our table settings. And, after we ate our lunch, the waiter surprised me with a slice of chocolate torte (cake). They let us sit and talk, even though they had closed. I'm going to miss Italy and its hospitality. Wherever Leo and I go together, people see the specialness of our relationship. It's a bit of a paradox that in Italian culture one needs to give up everything for family, yet lovers are treated with special affection.
I could see as he drove away, Leo was really fatigued. The extremely cold weather today also exasperated his back pain. We sort of said our goodbyes today. He may need to recuperate and rest tomorrow.
I walked to the Florence Noel Christmas Fair, held each year inside the old train station, Stazione Leopoldo, which is just outside the old city gate at Porto al Prato. Babo Natale (Santa Claus) and his elves are in residence, taking Christmas wishes from the local children. An area near Santa's throne, is filled with child sized tables and chairs where they're provided with writing materials and a tiny post office.
I made one final purchase tonight at the Christmas show. As usual, food vendors were present. I bought two giant sized authentic (from Napoli) Baba pastries to take home on Monday.
I am pretty sure one bag is now overweight...but I have no regrets.

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1 comment:

  1. Oh I can just imagine you walking, tasting and buying little souvenirs. Have fun these last moments and a safe flight home.