Yes, all good things must come to an end and so we have returned home to our beautiful backyard (thanks for looking after the garden so well Cam!) (even though he told us by text it was half dead). It is 7:30 in the morning and we have both been up for a couple of hours, but oh what’s that a glorious sleep in our own bed, without the 2:00 am mosquito hunt or the 4:00 am wake up call!
For our last day in Florence (when was that now?) we decided to find something new and so walked all the way to the southernmost (and best preserved) gate in the 13th century walls of Florence, the Porte Romana. It is on the “other side” (the Oltrarno) of Florence, meaning you walk over the Ponte Vecchio to the side away from the main area with the Duomo etc. The Pitti Palace and Bobboli Gardens are there, but after that – if you keep going – you find yourself in a relatively quiet part of Florence, complete with working artisans and the odd school. We found a few lovely churches along the way to the gate. It is quite magnificent, but this fact is seemingly lost on the drivers negotiating the intersection that has grown in front of it (and behind it) – a convergence of quite a few busy streets, cross walks, and random double parking jobs.
Usually I try to cut out any people or traffic as much as possible, but now I wish I had taken the full view, just for illustration.
Here are a few of the church interiors along the way:
We are not religious at all, but can’t help popping into any free church to just see the amazing artwork and I really do love the Madonna and child statues – each one is so different.
Vespas are still very popular here in the city, though we have notice a marked increase in larger cars and SUV’s. Considering that the roads haven’t gotten any wider over the years, I think the vespas are till the way to go.
As we wandered back to our place via a different bridge, I got this shot of the Ponte Vecchio, showing our hotel location. Though I wouldn’t really recommend the room, the location was really convenient.
Got everything packed up, had a final glass of wine on the terrace (now that it was dry) and headed out for our last meal in Florence. Here is your last bit of Italian food porn:
The restaurant wasn’t far from our hotel, but on the way back a nice older lady in a long black dress (choir lady) handed us a program and encouraged us to attend a concert in the adjacent church that was to start in a couple of minutes. One of us said no. One of us said let’s go see! It was a group from Paris who were performing once here and once in Sienna. We stayed for about half an hour – they were wonderful and it was amazing to hear them perform a very intimate concert in a lovely old church. Here is just a tiny sample:
Alas, to bed we must go – an early flight (6:30 take off) requires a 4;00 wake up call and a 4:30 taxi. Even so, the airport was crowded and chaotic and we just made it to our gate with a few minutes to spare.
Cam picked us up at the airport and we were whisked to our home sweet home. Sparkling clean, garden coming along very nicely, and dinner cooked by our own wonderful son:
We do love Italy, we really do. But home . . . There’s really no place like it.
Don’s in his morning happy place.
So until next time friends . . . Thanks for coming along with us, we have loved your comments and sharing our adventures with you. Until then:
– make every day count.
Jan and Don