Bumming around Firenze

By Colin McFadden
This post is part of a series called Italy 2012
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Haven’t posted as much from Florence, as I’m not doing as much – I’m just taking a few days to chill out, sit around, people watch.

Saturday, I checked out the Sant’Ambrogio market. It’s an indoor/outdoor market, with lots more produce than the Mercato Centrale, and seemingly a lot more farm-fresh stuff – honey, young cheeses, eggs, and so on. Not massively different from the other markets though.

From there, I made the hike up to San Miniato and Piazza Michaelangelo. San Miniato is always a calming place – I sat for a while, enjoying organ music and appreciating the darkness. Did some shopping at their little store, and then had my lunch in one of the parks. Had the obligatory gelato in Piazza Michaelangelo (note for connoisseurs: it’s not actually very good gelato up there, it just seems that way because you have to work to get it).

After that, a new (for me) museum – La Specola, a museum of taxidermy. It came highly recommended by @macreal, and didn’t disappoint. What a weird space. The animals are either posed in menacing or terrified positions. And then there’s all the wax models of dissected people – it verges on creepy.

It was really, really hot in Florence, so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon reading or spacing out in the Boboli gardens. It’s a bit of a scam that they don’t allow you to buy a ticket to just the garden – oh yes, I really was interested in looking at the collection of 18th century doll clothing, good thing my ticket covers that!

Dinner at Trattoria Cibreo and a lap of the city.

Today, more wandering – walked down to the Certosa di Firenze, because I failed to read that they were closed Sunday mornings (duh). Oh well, a pleasant enough ~7 miles. The most amazing part was when a pre-war Alfa 8C 2X00 drove past, totally out of the blue. Exciting, and rather surprising.

From the Certosa, a swing north to the Giardino Della Fortezza for more reading and people watching, plus more wandering, and so on.

As I say, I really haven’t been up to much – enjoying the city and the food. Definitely in the “wind down” portion of the trip though. The last few times I’ve been in Florence, I’ve had an apartment for a couple weeks, and punctuated it with day trips or overnight trips to other cities. This case has been different, obviously, and I think I’m experiencing the city a bit differently as well.

I hope things work out to get the whole family back to Italy at some point. Or, perhaps I’ll develop a good “travel buddy” – one way or another, I’m starting to get pretty good at Italy, and I’d like to start sharing the experience.

4 thoughts on “Bumming around Firenze

  • DebM July 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm Reply

    Sounds wonderful! We loved Florence and the first panorama really brings it all back with the views of the city. Enjoy the rest of your stay!

  • Susan July 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm Reply

    The panorama of San Miniato is wonderful — one of my favorite spots (especially because I get to see it every time I’m in your kitchen). That finger-y critter is really strange. And the restaurant sounds wonderful. Glad you’re having this time to relax. May Firenze give you a very good send off tomorrow!

  • Susan July 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm Reply

    PS: I’m starting to save for a family trip in 2020!

  • Susan July 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm Reply

    Just read this again. So nice. What an amazing trip. Welcome home! I love the story you told in the blog and can’t wait to see more pictures and hear more stories.

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