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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Florence, (Firenze) Italy: August 2009.

The path to my adventures that I imagine in my mind all look like this one.

When taking this path to Florence Italy my husband and I decided to go together without the children. Although, this was nice spending all this time alone with my husband. While in Florence I realized that I never wanted to go on a trip again without my children. (Or at least while they are still young and live at home)

 When I was there a realization hung over my head. I began to feel the stretch of time. We had made a conscious decision to go on this trip without children because they had seemed to be comfortable to be away from us. I was able to let go of worries or at least worry less, while they were in the care of their Grandma. I know the importance of spending quality time with my husband as well as my kids. The fact remains, my husband and I seemed to be floating in the same age, as my children are growing up and changing everyday. Now this is all good and expected.  It's just..... the parenting path isn't that long, and in the end your children are grown before you know it. I am hopeful that my husband and I will have plenty of time someday to travel many places on our own when the children are all adults. Why spend that time now?

While being away, I got a taste of being childless and it was bitter. On every adventure my husband and I took, I couldn't help think how much this child would enjoy this, and this child would like that. I missed them. My oldest daughter is almost 17 years old and I don't want to miss anymore minutes. Still alas, I will not speak of this any further, or wine anymore. I have a blog post for you filled with pictures of the adventure, and reminisce of  some wonderful memories made with my husband.

Florence from my perspective:
By day, it is a place filled with intricate fragrant gardens, friendly smiles, Gelato heaven, cobblestone pathways and a query of talented artists who line the streets.  By night it is a  city full of colorful music, lights, dancing and waves of aroma from bubbly pizza and Italian sauces.

It is the town where The David lives. And from my viewpoint, when seeing the David stand before me,..he breathes. He was spectacular with the curve of each fine detail. If I didn't know better I would think he would just get up and start walking away or ask for some clothes.  Michelangelo in my opinion was an artistic genius.

This amazing renaissance city called Florence was established in 80 BC.
It recently was ranked one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And it bestowed a special bridge that was molded by hand and crafted through generations it was named the Ponte Vecchio "Old bridge." It began as a market of meats and green groceries. Later to change into a bridge full of Jewelers .

The Ponte Vecchio at night

Seen here is the gorgeous craftsmanship of the original store fronts that have been the symbols of this bridge. We arrived early in the morning to watch the merchants open their shops. It was like watching them open giant wooden jewelry boxes.

 Another amazing detail about this bridge is that most of the jewelers have been handed down the skills from their parents or other relatives to make a particular style of jewelry. The gentleman I bought my ring from said his father and grandfather had taught him jewelry design and skill.

The Ponte Vecchio in the daylight

Fountain at Pitti palace

Boboli gardens behind Pitti palace

We got up early and wandered the empty streets exploring the gardens and feeling the warm sun.

Giardino Bardini
"Garden Bardini"

La Spiaggia di san Niccolo

"The tower of St. Niccolo"

View of Florence from the Boboli gardens

There is artists on every corner in the city. As we walked along the streets the corners were filled with art displays of paintings and drawings and the streets were decorated in chalk art.

Fashion is strewn across shop windows

This young woman was one of the most amazing and talented opera
singers I had ever heard. She was so memorizing it was like I was glued to the spot I was standing in. I just couldn't leave. I stood there in pure awe as she belted out vocal tones that rippled across the arches of the stone buildings.

A carousel spins in the Piazza della Repubblica "Square of the Republic" late into the night.

Metal map of Florence

In the evening shadows there is live music played near the Uffizi gallery. The audience sits in wonderment laced in between the great sculptures that grace the exterior of the museum.

Aaah fluffy hats :)

Our favorite Gelato place.
 Though it seems to look like a disco parlor.
 All the Gelato here is homemade  and delicious

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella: First great basilica in Florence.
 Built on site of the 9th century oratory of Santa Maria delle Vigne.
(An oratory is a Christian room for prayer)

  Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
"Church of Santa Maria of the flower"

The ceiling of  the Battistero di Giovanni    "Baptistery of St. John."

The mysterious disappearing purse men.