Sunday, June 3, 2012

Heather & Dave's apartment

To give you a sense of how very different Florence is from pretty much anything in the U.S., let me give you Heather's best guess as to the age and former function of our apartment, which to Florentines would be considered quite ordinary.  The building itself likely dates to the 16th century; it has five floors plus a small internal, open air courtyard that our apartment overlooks on three sides.  Our best guess is that, in its original state, the courtyard was surrounded by a covered colonnade.  The colonnade's ceiling consists of a series of groin vaults.  (I believe Homer Simpson giggles like a school girl every time he hears the words "groin vaults," or is it "titmouse"... I always get those confused.  Anywho...)  When this building was converted to apartments, it seems as if a floor was put in about 10 feet below the peak of the vaults.  This became our second-floor apartment.  We have wood flooring and groin vaulted (hee-hee) ceilings with glass doors that open onto the still-open inner courtyard.  The only unfortunate aspect of the place is that whomever decorated it is a big fan of  dissonant patterns, godawful tchotchkes, and a color scheme dominated by yellow and orange.  On the plus side, when we found out the apartment's address, we had a premonition of good things to come.  The apartment is located at Via Maggio Ventidue...22 May Street...May 22...Heather's birthday.   

Via Maggio 22.  
For those of you who were here with us in 2007, we are just down the street from: 1) the Ponte Santa Trinita (the first bridge west of the Ponte Vecchio); and 2) Paulo Peri, our wine guy.  And for Alex and Tim, we are right around the corner from the famous Friends Pub.  (More on that in a future post -- if I can type without slurring my words.)

The inside of our front door, complete with Renaissance deadbolt.

This is one of our capitals with the column plastered over.  It supports the vaulting that used to form the ceiling of the colonnade.

This is another one of our capitals complete with atmospheric floor lighting. 

This is the courtyard view from our kitchen window.  Note the column and capital, the top three feet of which grace the inside of our apartment, next to our dining room table.

 Groin vaults!

 More groin vaults!! 

 And finally, what would a post from an American in Europe be without the obligatory, snarky reference to the bidet?  So here's so nice to be in a country in which I don't have to do a handstand in the shower.

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