Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Five Pictures of Florence

We’re bubbling over excited: we have visitors coming a week from Thursday. And, even better, the visitors are Nat’s mom and sister, and they’re coming for Christmas. Yay! They’re flying in (from KS and LA) to Florence first, and spending a day there more-or-less with Natalie. Florence is one of my favorite cities in the world (Seattle being the other), and if we had limitless $$s, maybe we would have tried to find a place big enough for us and the dogs there (though the country is pretty darn fine, so I'm glad I didn't have to face that daunting choice. Well, sorta glad). We stopped in for the first time (which is sad, but hey, things happen) last weekend, in preparation for Nat’s mom and sister because Nat wanted a quick Florence refresh. We trained in, ate some lunch, walked here and there, and saw some sites without getting in too deep (as Nat will be there again so soon). I thought I’d take you on your own whirlwind tour, following our basic itinerary. First stop, the San Lorenzo market. It’s surrounded by a street market, but to us the real San Lorenzo market is the indoor food market in a building behind the sellers on the streets. There are many, many meat stalls (pretty much every meat you can imagine), a fish and seafood stalls section, veggie stalls, condiment stalls, wine stalls, and more. There are also a few restaurant stalls, and we had lunch at one: the Virginia. While waiting for our mushroom risotto and pesto lasagna, I took a pic of the stall across the aisle:
From there, we headed inwards to the centers of old Florence, stopping first to take in the Duomo. One of those buildings that never ceases to amaze me, take my breath away, and make me wonder “how,” the Duomo is hard (impossible?) to get a full pic of, but here’s a shot from the front:
Heading next to the Arno, we ambled towards, and then into, the Piazzo Vecchio, where the statue garden is fabulous (the Cellini is my fav, but the Rape of the Sabines is heart-stopping, too), and where the statue of Neptune (with a Medici twinkle in his eye) gazes out over the populace. Of course, this art doesn’t stop commerce, as shown by the man riding his bicycle through the center—with a ladder:
From there, we walked past the Uffizi (one of the best art galleries in the world, natch), walked along the Arno, past the Ponte Vecchio (the most famous bridge), and along the Arno towards Santa Ponte Trinita, which is my favorite bridge in Florence. Its un-assuming lines, and the array of colorful houses, buildings, and hotels reflecting off the Arno make it more of an approachable, convivial, bridge to me:
For our final stop, and our final picture, we headed up the most fashionable avenue in Florence, the Via de' Tornabuoni. Now, it’s not that we aren’t fashionable (Nat does have the snazziest jacket in Italy), but we head down and up this street for one reason: Procacci. A Panini and tartfuoreum (I made that word up—but they have lots of truffle and other products), Procacci has the finest mini-sandwiches ever. White truffle pate on light little loaves. They rule. I didn’t take a picture of them, cause after going in the door my hands hold only sandwiches:



  1. ahh firenze. the san lorenzo market is always a good place for a meal. for a good sandwich go here - www.iduefratellini.com. i love reading about your adventure. tanti bacci e buona natale!

  2. We will totally watch for that sandwich place next time we're in Florence. And thank you for reading the blog--wish y'all would slip over while we're here. Did you catch the one about your cousin's place?

  3. Make sure you clue Farmer into where to get those little sandwiches. I've been talking them up a lot.

  4. Will do. And will try to keep him away from Italian hobos.