Florence at first glance

Trip Start Jan 19, 2007
Trip End Jul 03, 2007

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Monday, February 12, 2007

(C) So many thoughts since coming here.  Mostly wondering what we are missing!  It's been almost two weeks and other than the trip to Salerno, we've been sleeping in and doing nothing.  That's probably good since we had such a tough time getting out of DC.  So much moving and planning and end of work stuff it makes my head sick to think about it.

I had such a nich going-away party at work and everyone was so wonderful.  It took me almost a whole day to write thank you cards to the people who gave me such nice gifts.  It was very emotional for both Sara and me and I'm not sure how long it will take to move past such a big deal.  I guess it's like leaving a family and you feel like you will always see everyone again, but some people know it's the last time, and you know it too.  But you don't want to think about it.  I guess in the end you just know when it's time and so do they and you also know that you love them and everything they want to do and you always want to know what they are doing because you were friends at one time in this life.  At the end of the day that's what you got - friends you made in this life and the stories they can tell.  I never want to not hear any more stories from my friends.  That's for sure.

So Sara and I have embarked into Florence today.  We wandered on foot towards town and discovered how far it is.  Guess we'll be taking the bus from now on!  But we walked past the very old Botanical Gardens and the historical home of Tomassi in college.  We took a picture to send to him, which we are sure he will enjoy.  I think it's the HQ of Gonzaga in Florence, but who can really tell with all the old buildings and bad signs.

We wandered through the Santissima Annunziata by accident, after wandering by accident through the square of San Marco.  Idling by artitistic wonders without having any notion of them is part of the game in Florence.  Find the Boticelli and understand it is probably worth a doctoral thesis somwhere.

Anyway, we found this amaazing church in the middle of "nowhere" and wandered in because we were lost.  It's a baroque masterpiece and apparently has lots to do with the religious heart of the city since it seems they have more masses here (in english and otherwise) than in any other chapel around.  Although coming at the hour we did, we missed them all.

We finished off the day at a great local trattoria call Godo, on Piazza Edison, that we've been eyeing for several days.  Just never seemed to get there at the magical hour of 7:30.  Tonight we arrived on cue - maybe a few minutes early since they hadn't lit all the candles yet, and had the most pleasant dinner so far in Italy.

For appetizer, Sara had tagliatelle with ragu and I had gnochettini with some sort of delicious tomato mix.  I had an ossobuco for dinner that Sara nibbled on.  We shared a bottle of up menu chianti and then switched to the house red which is far superior.  The meal was memorable, delicious, cheap and so frankly wonderful that both of us can't wait to go back.  They have so many piatta del giorno to try that this will definitely be a return favorite.  And so close to the house!  Only about a 20 minute hike through the ridiculous hills surrounding Palmerino.
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