Finding Florence

Have you ever been walking through a narrow Italian alleyway and had to squeeze to the side to let a car pass?  An idiot driver who had no business being there?WP_20140908_002  Have some sympathy for that idiot.

That idiot was me.

We made it without incident from Ravenna to Florence, even getting into the right part of town after taking the wrong exit off the autostrade.  Finding our flat was a different story.  Rebecca had a map and a very close approximation of our destination,  but we had no clue where we were.

So I started zigzagging toward, and eventually across, the Arno River (oops, wrong side).

It was considerably more stressful than the ride through the mountains had been.

At one point we actually stopped about twenty feet from the flat, but I was too nervous about having a car in that spot and high-tailed it out of the center of the city (no pedestrians were harmed in the making of this blog).

We did finally get to the flat, and Rebecca really outdid herself in lining up this one.  Lots of space, two bedrooms, sitting room, and kitchen (can’t quite figure out the washing machine), but the piece de résistance (not Italian) is the rooftop deck.

View from the deck.

View from the deck.

If you’re not familiar with Florence, that’s the duomo out there, the singular landmark of the city.  You can see most of the other landmarks from up there, too.

We took a quick (three-hour, Gilligan) tour this morning, including walking past the highlights of the city and across the old bridge Hitler opted not to destroy, where they sell gold jewelry now.  In keeping with our chance encounters motif, we met one of Rebecca’s fellow lobbyists from the N.C. General Assembly at the tour headquarters.

The churches we tried to visit today were closed for siesta, or something, when we got there.  We did find multiple copies of Michelangelo’s David, including one at his namesake garden which overlooks the city.

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View of Firenze from Michelangelo Garden.

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