In the past year “almost daily” had become “almost never”. We did squeeze our Galapagos trip in, but for the most part we were selecting materials for our “new” home. Our contractor deserted us toward the end. That really surprised me, though I was on his case pretty much the last two months with time and performace issues. There are a few things left to be done; nothing beyond my capability.
On our retirement celebratory cruise, we visited Rome, Istanbul, Venice and discussed returning for two months to live like a local. This was not possible in 2016, ongoing work on the house anchored us here. Next year will be vastly different. We will take a discount tour of Vietnam to see how that experience compares with extravagant (seabourn) and luxury (Nat’ Geo) cruises. We’ll also tour some of the U.S. in the fall. The highlight of next years trips will be a two month return to Italy. In 2017 we will fly into Palermo, explore Sicily’s north shore, take a ferry and train from Messina to Salerno, explore Capri and Amalfi, explore Tivoli and the castle towns just north of Rome before settling in Florence for six weeks. The Vietnam and Italy trips are all planned out and reservations booked.
We will be staying in a quiet neighborhood of Florence that’s not touristy. In fact you would not know it’s a vibrant area until early evening when the roll up doors open to reveal bars, trattorias, and night clubs. All our accommodations have been confirmed. It will be interesting to post why we selected these particular hotels, B&Bs, and apartments and what our expectations are. Then later see if our experience exceeds our expectation. For the last month in Florence we will be staying close to “our coffee shop”, il Baretto del Rifrullo that sits below the climb to Michelangelo Square. I have fond memories of having our morning cappuccino there.
Here are a few photos from our four day sojourn in Florence last year
Botticelli, Birth of Venus and Allegory Of Spring
Local Coffee Shop
A View over Florence
The old ciy wall
A Garden in Florence
This looked to be a film class creating a film about an impromptu classical music street jam.