Thursday, May 10, 2007

April 2007 - Florence, Italy - A Day in the Life . . .

Here is the view from our bedroom. Every morning, we wake up and look out at that spectacular blue sky, those medieval bell towers and the lantern of the Duomo's magnificent red brick dome.
Here is Casandra standing on our block - we love the charming narrow street - Via Vinegia with a great view of Signoria Square in the background. We love walking through the Square to see, not only the great statutes and Palazzo Vecchio, but also the Florentines going about their business amist all this history. This Square is popular for dog walkers. And this little guy just about owns the Piazza.

In the mornings we rush off to school for 2 hours of grammar lessons followed by 2 hours of conversation. Here is Kenny with his favorite conversation teacher, Rafaella.

After school we love to stop by Pino and Antonella's deli for a great, overstuffed panini or some fresh cold meats and cheeses to go. Undoubtedly, the dynamic owners are the best part of eating here.
Afterschool we often head out on field trips to discover the Florence lived by locals. On of our best finds is a super cheap restaurant in the Sant. Ambrosia market called da Rocco. This is a very hot local spot for lunch. You eat whatever Rocco makes.The funnest part is watching Rocco with his handlebar mustache serve his homemade dishes with pride.We also head out to museums like the Cezanne exhibit. Here we are with Stella and Ismail in front of Palazzo Strozzi where the travelling exhibit is housed.After lunch and a nap, we head to Ruggini's - our landlord's pastry shop for our complimentary caffe latte and docli.

After all that dolci, we head out for some exercise. Nothing beats the sunshine of a spring afternoon in Florence. Here we are at one of a series of parks situated along the Arno River. By the way, we're both riding the same bike and it was lent to us by Ruggini. Kenny actually towed me all the way to the park.

Here is Casandra heading home on Via dei Neri which is the main street in our neighborhood. On Neri are our favorite pizza and gelato shops as well as the grocery store and laundry service. We walk along this street several times everyday, but we never stop being amazed at the great view of the Palazzo Vecchio.Another great afternoon activity is a stroll down to Parco Delle Cascine which we love for its large lawns and shady spots perfect for studying and napping. This park is almost all locals and allows us to get away from the tourist traffic.
For dinner - we have some local favorites, but in particular, we love the tasting menu at Acqua al 2. We also love the fun, communal table atmosphere and the creative salads.

We often go for an after dinner strolls through the bustling streets of Florence always making our way over the Ponte Vecchio . . .and back across Ponte Delle Grazie for great views of the lit up Ponte Vecchio.

That is more or less a day in Florence . . . we know how lucky we are!!

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