30 May 2013 Florence
This weather is so strange. Yesterday a fierce and very unpleasant wind.
Arrived Florence about 11 a.m. – Hotel Santa Maria Novella, easy to find and beautiful, walked here from Santa Maria Novella train station.
We are tired. Walked forever but not so productively as usually. Walked a route through Piazza della Signoria (Michealeangelo’s David and zillions of tourists), past the Uffizi, over Ponte Vecchio to Pitti Palace, and the Boboli Gardens.
& back. Battling wind around the Duomo. Overwhelming.
The overwhelm came from getting sick, admitting to being sick. A bug – Tuscan or Alaskan or who knows what nationality – took residence in my upper chest. I don’t think I’ve ever had a virus quite like that one. Nothing more boring than telling cold symptoms, but it hurt.
Yet what’s one to do? Florence is the best of the best. I knew this would be just a quick visit – a return for us, a taster for the young people who will be back – and I kept going, because of tea (and Italian pharmaceuticals).
Most often tea came in a white china teapot full of really hot water from an espresso machine. Tea bags, yes, but generous amounts of hot water, making such a difference to a tight chest!
It was also cold – really cold – making the tea even more welcome.
31 May/1 June 2013 Trastevere, Rome
A very different feel on this side of the Tibur, more a neighborhood, the routes and ways the trail boss finds are less touristed. In a hotel that used to be monastery, rooms were monk’s cells.
To the Borghese Gallery yesterday which we loved completely – a thrill. Bernini sculptures stop your heart.
So cold. The outdoor tables here are optimistically set with yellow cloths and flowers each morning and then dismantled when rain threatens.
Trying to ignore the throat and chest and soldier on. Still really fun. Don’t want to infect the others.
Grateful for this weekend without obligations, be late for breakfast.
Doing a bad job of writing about this.
Only one’s passport matters as much as footgear on a long trip with much walking. Sandals and hiking boots, of course, and at the last moment leaving home, I traded running shoes for little shoes made by Jambu. They have unnecessarily beautiful soles – an incised pattern one never sees.
My sandals spent the trip in the suitcase, but those Jambus pounded miles and miles of cobblestones without a complaint from my feet!
The trail boss and his sweet bride did a little shoe shopping in Rome – blue suede for the trail boss – and the latest fashion in Europe (maybe here also, I am not up-to-date) short, cute, leather boots for the sweet bride.
The best shoe purchase provides a transition to Istanbul next week – shoes from there for Lady Baby!