Friday, July 6, 2012

Sunday in Florence with Taylor

As it happened, my friend Taylor Shapiro and I were both in Florence at the same time last Sunday.  She had just spent a week touring Tuscany and I was preparing to head home after my two weeks in Italy.  We met at 2 pm near her hotel, which was near the beautiful Santa Trinita church I had visited a few days before.

She took me to a perfume store she had heard about. It turned out to be something like an old fashioned drug store, situated in several beautifully decorated rooms and filled with lovely scents of every description.  It was a bit pricey so we just looked and didn't buy.

As we were walking about, I got excited when I saw this sign, thinking it said "garage sale":

We both were quite amused at this condom dispenser installed in the doorway of a (closed on Sunday) pharmacy:

We thought the jeans "flavour" of condom was a bit odd (Taylor wondered if they would be more comfortable if you washed them a few times before wearing them?) but who knows what the kids are up to these days!

After a quick stop at my apartment, where we had fun in the elevator that doubles as a photo booth:

we headed off to visit the Pitti Palace.   We stopped to check out a sidewalk artist set up in front of the palace and both ended up buying artwork from her.  In the end, we decided we didn't want to pay the higher than expected admission fee to look at the art in the palace so we headed off on foot again.  Took photos of ourselves on the Santa Trinita bridge looking down river at the Ponte Vecchio.

Ended up at Taylor's hotel, which was old world stunning.  The hallways were filled with statues, artwork and antiques galore.  They have guest books from years gone by lying out on tables to flip through.  I resisted the urge to take one home with me but I was sorely tempted.

We sat on the rooftop terrace there, got out our art supplies and started recording our surroundings.  It was rather hot up there, I must say, but the view was so distracting, we hardly noticed.

We had dinner at the Golden View restaurant, one of Rick Steves' recommendations.  It is located right beside the Ponte Vecchio, with a lovely view of the bridge and the river Arno. 

After a tasty dinner (I had a saffron risotto that was delish), having crossed the same bridge in time to get this fabulous sunset view:

we treated ourselves to gelato and walked around to try to find somewhere to watch the big soccer game - Italy vs. Spain in the final match of the 2012 Euro Cup.  Every restaurant, pub and tiny take-away store with a TV was jammed full of people:

Eventually we got a seat (following a blown fuse which caused the screens to go dark, alarming the patrons momentarily and causing some to leave, freeing up seats for us), only to watch Spain run away with the championship.  No cheering or honking of horns in Florence that night, just a lot of disappointed sports fans.

After that, it was time to part company and head off to our respective accommodations. What a lovely way to spend my last day in Italy!


Taylor schapiro said...

Wow a whole posting about our day. I think you must have captured every detail except what flavor gelato we got. It was a great day that reminded me of our fun days in Portugal.

Mary Ann said...

how nice to meet someone to cavort with while traveling alone :-))

Lulu said...

Cynthia--I didn't know you were traveling! I still have some soap I bought at the Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Pricey indeed. Hope you had a great time--it looks like you did! xoDoriot