Sunday, May 31, 2015

25 May -- Monday in Firenze and Theater

My day is planned. All dirty clothes are sorted and inside two large mesh bags. I leave at 9 and Alessio asks me to wait a moment. Yumm. Here is a piece of the eggwhite fritata. I need to get its correct name. The laundrymat is only a 10 minute walk, on Via del Sole. Cost is 4€ for one load. I think the dryers cost the same. I never use the dryers. I always bring a clothesline to hang my things around the room. I enjoyed my breakfast treat and read for 30 minutes. 

Back in my room, I did housekeeping chores: hang wet clothes and dump my entire suitcase onto the floor. Later, I'll buy a cheap bag for €35. They always smell of chemicals. Any food item which is gas permeable will go into this, my original bag. I weighed it with my portable scale. Exactly 50 pounds. I zipped it shut and won't touch it again until it's time to leave. I hate packing at the last minute.  It feels less stressful to break it up into three sessions. 

I picked up a panino to go, next door. Focaccia, proscuito and young pecorino cheese. This shop also supplies the local residents with fresh produce. I saw a crate of fresh porcini mushrooms. I'm wishing I had my own kitchen here. With all these ingredients, I could cook for years and never be bored. 

My destination today is Trespiano cemetery. I'll refresh Alessandro's flowers and eat a picnic lunch. It's a peaceful place. Years ago, he brought me here to show me the location of the family vault. Today I did not bring flowers for them. The weather is still unreliable and I don't want to get soaked with a downpour. 

I passed through the tourists and made a stop at the Teatro della Pergola, located on the street just behind the Santa Maria hospital. For €12 I had the seat of my choice. All seats are priced the same for this one evening performance, which starts at 9pm. I chose the closest one to the stage. 

I passed this postal carrier bike and entered Conad grocery store buy a serving of precut fresh pineapple for my picnic. Back to Borgo Pinti to make my way to Piazza San Marco. I passed several groups of school children, out on an excursion with their teachers. The teacher usually leads the group, with I think a parent volunteer, bringing up the rear.  

Autobus #25 schedule. 

I exited the bus one stop early. I've always wanted to walk up the hill. 

Olive trees. 

I found a feather at my feet. I tucked it into my iPhone case. 

My very favorite angel statue is gone. The lighting was good today, but only her empty pedestal is here. No pictures allowed. I only do statues. 

View down into the valley from a lookout point. I shared the view with an empty schoolbus. The driver was talking outside on his phone. 

The return bus was retiring for the night and dropped us all off at Porto Rosso. I decided to take one of the smaller buses to Chiesa San Lorenzo, where I filled my water bottles at the public font. Comune water here safe and delicious. 

Window shopping my way back to the hotel, I took pictures of shop windows and decided to buy chocolates from Gilli for this evening. 

In my room, I packed a little more, then then took a nap. 

7€ for a sandwich bag size. The centers are filled with a liquor. 

Since dinner here is tradionally served at 8, a 9pm opening seemed just right. For my dinner I had a can of tuna and sliced tomatoes. 

Inside the theater, it seemed like a neighborhood gathering. People greeted each other and even members of the orchestra shyly waved out. No photos are allowed in the theater, but I followed the lead of the audience. Everyone was taking pictures, but not during the performace itself. The storyline follows the life of Filippo Neri (1515-1595). 

The music was recently written. 

The music, the singing and the production was excellent. Looking at the poster, I could see this was a locally organized event. As I walked home, I thought about what I had seen and heard. There was no pretentiousness about the production. In the US opera tickets are costly and tend to take place in performing arts centers. There is a prestige linked to an evening of culture. the main music theme

Full film Italian version

The opera let out at midnight. It was a 20 minute walk back to the hotel. I wrote these thoughts:  

'I now can put into words exactly why I love this place:  Balance. Life brings us all problems and pain. In order to live well, we need to find balance in life. Here the daily exposure to art, music, theater, natural and man-made beauty, wholesome food, the soft sunlight and friendship, bring me peace. I've been away too long and stress was beginning to be overwhelming. I promise myself to stay focused.'

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