Thursday, 12 July 2012

Arrival in Firenze

Santa Croce church - just steps away from our apartment in Florence

Bruschetta pomodoro
Assorted fried fish and vegetables (squid, baby octopus, sardines, zucchini and carrots - in cone)

Rigatoni with local pork sausage and black truffles

Spire of Palazzo del Vecchio

Statue in the Piazza della Signoria

It's been long day, as we left Rome and made our way up to Florence on a high speed train (the Frecciarossa). The journey lasted one hour and twenty minutes. The modern train has screens at the end of each coach that provide information on distance travelled, estimated time of arrival and speed. The "speed" section caught my attention. As we passed through the beautiful Umbrian and Tuscany countryside, I was aware we very moving along at a good clip because the vehicles on the autostrade that often parallels the  train track were no match for our speed. It was only when I noticed on the screen that we were going 250 km/hour that I realized our actual speed.
We weren't sorry to be leaving Rome, in spite of the fact that we left hundreds of things unseen. We attempted to choose well--instead of breezing through every tourist spot in the travel book, we selected a small number of Rome's attractions and focused on them. The heat and noise was beginning to take its toll, so we were pleased when the train left Rome's ugly suburbs behind and snaked its way through some green and pleasant countryside. Many of the fields are ready to harvest; the hay has already been baled in the rolling fields. We saw fields of sunflowers in bloom.
Florence (Firenze) has its own drab and dreary suburbs, and Santa Maria Novella station equals Rome's Termini for noise and confusion. We phoned the concierge from the station and he was waiting for us at Via Verdi 12, when we arrived by cab a few minutes later. Gian showed us where everything is and what to do if the electricity goes out (re-set the breakers). The apartment hadn't been occupied for at least a week and, as a result, it was stifling. The poor old air conditioners have been going full blast ever since--to no avail. It's after midnight and the apartment is still quite hot. We've opened windows and hope it cools off.
We shopped for a few groceries (mostly fruit, baked goods, milk, juice for breakfasts) and had a very late lunch at--wait for it: we found another Irish pub. There's something weird about our coming upon three Irish pubs for lunch in one week!
We became acquainted with our neighbourhood before dinner.We are in the Santa Croce area about fifty metres from the church in the photo. It appears to be away from the major tourist areas, which is just fine with us. We walked to the Piazza della Signoria where the Uffizi Gallery is located before having a wonderful meal at Boccadama Eneteca Ristorante.
More tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. thankyou for sharing your holiday with us very interesting from Drew and his family