Florence, Italy (Firenze, Italia)
Day two in the Tuscan capital began with our by now customary cappuccino, coupled with a cornetto (pretty much exactly like a croissant but less crescent-shaped and usually with jam inside). A rainy day, I had my hood up but that did nothing to shelter my feet, which were clad only in jandals, aka flip flops. With the abundance of leather goods stores around, I figured this would be a wonderful place for shoe shopping! However, I wasn't immediately successful as €750 is too pricy for a boot, no matter how Gucci. Like a good little Kiwi I carried on as though my feet were in utmost comfort, ignoring the occasional scandalised glance I received.
(The Firenze card costs €72 and is valid for 72 hours, allowing entrance to many museums and sights. See the website here for more details.) Originally constructed by the Davizzi family in the late fourteenth century, the palace was purchased by Elia Volpi in the 1800's and restored in what he believed was an original style.
The wall frescoes in particular were eyecatching, featuring bright patterns and bird motifs.
On days when the weather is clement, students enjoy lounging around the palace's central courtyard, but the day we visited was not conducive to such activities.
Feeling like we should take a break from all our pizza-and-gelatoing, we lunched at La Canova di Gustavino, a cosy wine bar. While eating bruschetta and osobucco (tender braised veal on the bone) with a house red, a fuse blew and all the lights went off in the restaurant. With a magnificent Italian sense of humour, our waiter broke out into the happy birthday song, and then fiddled with switches for a few minutes until power was restored.
And as the cherry on top of an already magnificent gallery, the view outside of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio is spectacular. Note how when we were indoors for several hours the sky cleared to a pleasant "partially cloudy".
However, upon leaving we donned our hoods, scoped out interesting reflections in puddles and trekked to what had become our trusty pizza joint - Caffé Italiano - and ordered a margharita and a marinara. A nice touch are the placemats, which have black and white photos of elderly people happily drinking coffee. How very Italian. Unable to fit gelato, we caught the bus back to our camping to shelter under our flimsy piece of plastic, aka our tent.
Today's post was almost called: Puddlegrams and Jandal Tans