We have been living in Firenze for a month now; two weeks in a rustic hillside house and two weeks in an palace apartment. You would think with so much time, I would be writing about our experiences. When we are home, I am enjoying relaxing and reflecting on the day. I plan to write a compendium of our experience in Firenze when we arrive back in Hercules.
We are having a wonderful time. I am sure people wondered how we could endure six weeks in Florence. Most tourists visit for a few days, four at the most, and move on. Florence is steeped in history and its art. It is one of the most storied cities in the world, and was home to an unrivaled list of genius’. Every day holds something new for us: sometimes a bit of historical information, often something more contemporary.
Then there is the food. Think of Italy and most Americans think pizza. We have ordered our share of pizza in Italy; it is quick, tasty, and inexpensive. It is not what I consider Italian cuisine. I have had fresh ravioli, cone shaped and stuffed with Porchetta, bread, mussles, and pop pig. I have no idea what pop pig is, but it was delicious. Spaghetti cacio e peppe and spaghetti alle vongole verace are both wonderful. The antipasti can be surprisingly tasty with unusually paired flavors. Along the coast, the seafood is marvelous. Italian wines and artisan beers are quite easy to drink.
Everywhere we have gone we have had fun talking to the people in our small but expanding Italian vocabulary. Most everyone speaks English, but they love to see us speak their language. Sometimes we get a barrage of Italian in response! Then we sheepishly have to respond in English, popping the illusion that we can actually speak Italian. It’s fun. We are learning every day and that’s fun too.
The food is so good and so varied, it is impossible not to gain weight. As Antonella said over dinner last night,, “Italians do not eat like this every day. We typically eat a light lunch, maybe a salad.” We do not eat like this every day either, not “at home”. Visiting Italy, now that’s an entirely different beast. Overindulging for a week’s vacation is one thing. We are staying for two months. We have gained some weight. I hate dieting, I enjoy food far too much to deny myself this simple pleasure. I do see an extensive exercise program in my future.
We have taken an massive gallery of photographs. If I had to guess, I’d say we have taken six thousand photos and videos. Some simply document meals and restaurants. Some chronicle ancient ruins we have visited. Others picture expansive views of the sea or cities we have visited. Some are spectacular. It takes time to sort through them, culling the best and posting those. For now, I claim laziness! I will post photos and an in-depth description of our stay in Florence some other time.