Monday, July 2, 2012

Quintessential Florence (in retrospect)

Dave and I are now in Vienna, but as a bittersweet tribute to Florence and our month in that beautiful city I post one final installment of my lasting visual snapshots of this place we called "home" for June 2012.

Clear blue skies highlighting the Palazzo Vecchio on June 26 as we walk to our apartment.

The gelato case--always a welcome sight in the Tuscan heat. We averaged one cone or a cup a week each! (I'll be thinking about that at the gym in July!)

Iron anthropomorphic horse ties left from the Renaissance scatter Florence. This example comes from behind the Palazzo Vecchio.

Three-wheeler! This tiny one-seater is electric. Florence remains the only place I have ever seen people driving these, although I'm sure they are found elsewhere. I remember first seeing one in 1995 and being stunned by their small size.

The land of mopeds. One thing I never, ever miss about Florence is the distinctive whining buzz of mopeds. And the sound, wherever I hear it, immediately evokes this city for me.

One of my favorite plates of pasta in Florence--spicy tomato pesto over penne at Borgo Antico, a first day tradition, which we always repeat several times each trip, coupled with a house red wine and a Greek salad. (Love the plate! Even with the giant chip out of it the plate sets off the food dramatically.)

The crush of tourists spilling over the Ponte Vecchio into the city. We saw the dramatic up tick in tourists as the month continued. Let me say, it's not hard to see why Florentines get frustrated with their city being overrun for 4 months out of every year. I didn't even like it and I don't own a home here, but we do have our favorite haunts and felt ourselves become protective of them in much the same way I suspect Florentines do.

One of the remaining gates from the Renaissance era city wall. This piece is located on the Oltr'arno near the ascent up to San Miniato.

The ubiquitous Medici coat-of-arms. Florence wouldn't be Florence without it! One of my recent students counted (?!) nearly 170 Medici crests during her time in Florence. This example comes from the inner courtyard of the Medici Palace on Via Cavour.

Just as Dave noted in his recent post, it is these views of the Duomo that I most often think of when remembering the experience of Florence. These tantalizing slices of a vista which promises to be amazing, beautiful and awe-inspiring and always is, at least to me

With fond memories and a happy heart we say Arrividerci, Firenze (until next time)!

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