Daily Archives: July 8, 2018

Euro18: A full Florence day

Having now washed away the sweat and grime of a hot, cloudless day in Florence, I can clearly state two truths:

  1. The light here is different. I can’t explain it, but it is.
  2. Showers are a gift from the goddesses.

It’s Sunday evening. I spent the better part of the last 11 hours on my feet, walking. The art tour was worth every penny, especially the Michelangelo crucifix in wood hanging in brilliant presentation in the Chieso di S. Spirito.

This particular crucifix, hanging as it is in splendid isolation and relief in the sacristy, is powerfully moving and somewhat disturbing, since he apparently modeled it on the body of a youth, rather than a 33 year old. This makes the image even more poignant.

Photos are not allowed, so I have to grab this one from the Web.

And of course this photo does not justice the impact of the piece of art, nor the presentation in that church.

I’ve already decided that my 2.5 days here will just whet my appetite to return, since there is so much art and history to see.

The tour guide today (it was just me and her) was surprised by may knowledge of Florentian history!

I lunched on gnocchi with Bolognese, a glass of Prosecco, and in the heat a full 0.75-liter bottle of San Pelligrino.

And then I headed to the Duomo museum, which is a work of art in itself.

The rest of the day wander-ful.

I finished with Evening Prayer at St. Mark’s English Church, Florence, where a small congregation read and sang the daily office.  And all was right in the world, for a few moments at least.


Modes of transportation!

The Duomo and the Arno:


Random city sights:

Dostoevsky lived here!

When I win the lottery:

Euro18: A room with a view

The Hilton Metropole executive lounge was filled last evening mostly with Americans, and this morning at breakfast was completely overrun with Americans.

I can’t shake the sense that I’m in some strange and weird contemporary remake of the Merchant-Ivory film A Room With a View.

Most of the Americans are here for dragon boat races on the Arno. They are a team from Jupiter, Florida. And they are all breast cancer survivors who travel the world racing dragon boats in celebration of their win over cancer.

No fund-raising. Just celebration.

I’d be in this remake of A Room With a View any day!

Euro18: under the weather

I woke up on Saturday feeling worse than I did on Friday, and after a tremendously restless night. My body can’t decide if I am having an allergy attack, or if something infectious has taken hold. I’m treating for allergies, but this is ugly right now.

Somewhere around 4 a.m., I realized that I was feeling marginally better, and had quit tossing and turning, and I slept until 5.30, when I awoke thinking it was 6.30 a.m.!

So I FaceTimed with a friend in NYC, and only after getting on the phone did I realize that I had another hour to go.

In any event, Saturday has been a day for grabbing what sleep I could. I was in business class on the way to Florence today, on Austrian Airlines, but that didn’t allow for any more or less sleep.

And Florence was rainy when I arrived, and I felt like crap, so I took a nap.

Sunday will be my day to venture out into the city and do my art tour that starts at 10 a.m. Evensong at the local Anglican Church is at 6 p.m.

But the one stop that I have to make: Michelangelo’s David. I’m beyond excitement to finally see it.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, with the sky having cleared and with moderate temperatures, the Duomo and Campanile and Baptistery look like this:

P.S. — this is the first Hilton hotel in which I’ve stayed, anywhere in the world, that does not have an iron and ironing board in the room! I have to go to some central laundry room to iron my linen shirts. Unhappy, am I.

AND SUNDAY MORNING. An update now: less restless night, and a healthy breakfast. I’m going to go face the Florentian world.

Coffee and pineapple and scrambled eggs and yummy croissants help fortify me for the shuttle, tram, and walking I’m about to do!