A Quiet Sunday in Florence

Trip Start Jun 02, 2013
Trip End Jun 29, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, June 9, 2013

We're still catching our breath from a rather busy week in Rome.  So there's not much planned for today.  It's a good thing, because Florence is like a ghost town.  We've found that just about everything is closed on Sundays except for a few restaurants and shops.  So we start out the day with a quick coffee and pastry and then a little sight seeing.  Our wanderings take us to the Duomo, Florence's main cathedral, then to the Baptistery, and on to the Bell Tower.   As lunch time approaches, we decide to revisit one of the restaurants Diahann and Ron tried on their previous visit, Trattoria Za-Za.  It seems a bit more tourist oriented than last time, but still no complaints about the food!

Despite the fact that many shops are closed today, the girls (dutiful shoppers that they are) head off to do some shopping, dragging Ron along for comic relief!   We're searching for one of Florence's more intriguing shops, a perfumery/pharmaceutical shop called Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella.  It was established in 1612 and is one of the oldest such shops still in existence.  After a couple of wrong turns (Ron's comic relief) and with the weather starting to turn a little damp we finally arrive at our destination.

There is no "store front" per se, just a rather ordinary door which leads you down a short corridor into a gorgeous wood paneled anteroom and then into a luxuriously appointed multi-room shop.  There are different rooms for perfume products, herbal preparations, room scents, and more.  There is even an inner garden and courtyard complete with frescoed walls!  The most challenging aspect of coming here is trying to leave without buying something.  After sampling various products, we succumb to the scents.

It's time to divide and conquer, so Ron heads off in one direction to explore while Diahann and Kaylan are in search of more shopping opportunities.  Ron's wanderings take him back to the Piazza della Repubblica (one of Florence's main piazzas in the old city) for a few photos in the rain, then to a small sandwich shop/wine bar (I Due Fratellini visited on our last trip) to pick up sandwiches for tonight's light supper.  After dropping things off at the apartment, Ron heads back out into the immediate neighborhood in search of "nothing" in particular.  As is usually the case with our wanderings in Italy, "nothing" turns into a wonderful surprise.  Right up the street from our apartment hidden behind a large wooden gate is a modest convent/monastery.  Next to a frescoed wall inside the courtyard is a plaque which indicates that the chapel of this monastery was founded by the Benedictines in 1257 and called Santa Maria Maddelena La Penitente. After a few iterations it is now called Santa Maria Maddelena Dei Pazzi and, like just about any church in Italy, it displays many beautiful pieces of original artwork.

We all make it back to the apartment in time for a light late supper of sandwiches.  Diahann and Kaylan have scoped out future shopping conquests while Ron is content with the prospect of more exploring and discovering.
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Lisa on

Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures! Looking at them makes me more desperate for a return trip to Italy! And soon!!

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