Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday, time to say goodbye DRAFT

It's 4C today. I felt it getting colder here yesterday. Today crowds of Florentines are out walking, warm in their furs, hats and gloves. All the shops are open to start the Christmas shopping season.
Leo has decided to stay in today and I was not surprised. This has been a fatiguing week for him and adding in the coldness, it's best that he not come out.
I walked toward Via Servi this morning and discovered Ben&Jerry's Ice Cream, at Piazza del Duomo, 4. They have an Italian website too:
Something else I have noticed different on this trip. The gypsy girls are dressed in much nicer clothes and shoes. They also seem less interested in begging. They walk quickly by, shaking a little cup of coins and just keep on walking. Before it was difficult to avoid them. They would approach, pleading and begging, pointing to their old shoes or pictures of their babies.
I walked to the Museo degli Innocenti, (Foundlings Hospital) an orphanage designed by Brunelleschi (1419-1424). He also was responsible for the Duomo, which stands as the tallest structure in Firenze.
Cost for entry: 4€ I had not realized the orphanage was associated with an attached church: Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Innocenti. The 2nd story museum shares a wall with the church, which makes it possible to look through the old nave windows to see the original rafters of the ceiling and to look down into the current interior of the church.
I saw Ghirlandaio's 'Adoration of the Magi,' a very large, brightly colored painting. I used a touch screen monitor setup to allow one to zoom into see the detail of any part of the painting.
In this building I revisited some of my favorites: Sandro Botticelli's 'Madonna with Child and Angel,' Andrea della Robbia's glazed terra-cotta pieces and a poignant display of children's identification markers. These small objects were left with abandoned children, indicating the parent's interest in being reunited with their child.
I walked back to the European Christmas Fair, setup in Piazza Santa Croce. I bought cookies from England, the same type which I bought last year.
For lunch I had a German plate of stinco (ham on a bone), fried potatoes, and hot sauerkraut. Cost: 12€ (leftovers are on my window ledge for dinner).
I stopped at the grocery store for milk, more tangerines and Paneangeli brand leavening packets, for making Italian cake recipes. I think I've eaten 30 tangerines this trip. They're never a disappointment.
I've torn apart four or five Italian cooking magazines, to take home only potential recipes. Paper is really heavy and now I'm down to my last night of packing. I'm putting aside (for Asumi and Alessio) or throwing away what I can. My Nutella chocolate spread is just too heavy in its glass jars. Now I wish I hadn't picked out the ones proclaiming +75 grams!
Alessio brought me their scale this morning. I'm not sure just how accurate it is. My luggage allowance is 23 k for each bag and 18 for the carry-on. I have two heavy items I can't leave: Leo's novel (2.3 k) and an olive wood breadboard which about equal to the book.
Alessio has already called a taxi for a 5 am pickup. He assured me, he will be up early to carry my bags down. The flight to Paris is scheduled for 7.20. I'm hoping to make all the connections...without snow. One December, AirFrance had to bus us to Genova due to icy runways here in Firenze.
Leo has called to say his goodbyes. My room shutters are closed to keep out the cold. It's a dark 6pm and I'm in for the night.
Time to weigh these bags and repack if I need to. I'm always so sad to leave. I could easily live here, with a job and some money of course.
Luckily, I have new books and films to keep me company until I can return.
Sent from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. have two homes in your here and one in Italy. I feel your joy and your grief to have a foot in each country. Glad you have shared this trip with us. I have treasured your posts. Buon viaggio!