Monday, February 15, 2016

My Vita Fiorentina

Annamaria on Monday

I will be back in New York before I write my next blog after this.  Much as I think of NYC as my home sweet home, I will leave my life in Florence with regret.  It will likely be close to a year before I come back to this brilliant city where everywhere I look I see something wonderful.  So here is a peek at my neighbourhood to give you an idea of how pleasing is my everyday life--my vita fiorentina.

The photo above is the panorama of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo.  No need to admire my photography.  It is impossible to take a bad picture of this view.

I have posted the view from my terrace many times and hope you are not tired of looking at it.  I have owned this apartment for nearly 19 years, but still the first thing I do upon rising every morning is to look at this.

Dawn from my sitting room
To me, the height of relaxation and elegant decadence is to go out for breakfast.  I do so every morning.

When I exit my front door, if I glance to my left, I see Dante.

What can be better than a place where they put up
statues of poets?

Here in Italy, breakfast for me means a cappuccino and a pastry.  Just around the corner is one of the loveliest places for la piccolo collazione: Rivoire.

Ones pays up at the cashier, two euros, seventy for coffee and a pastry.
about a dollar less than a small, tasteless cappuccino at Starbucks in NYC

The hardest part of breakfast, choosing from among those yummies on the bottom shelf

One can sit at a table, but I take my pastry to the bar and order my
coffee there, in the style of the Italians

Let's take a look around the Piazza della Signoria as we leave Revoire.

I wish I could earn one mil for every picture taken in this piazza every day.

The Palazzo Vecchio from ground level, on a rainy morning

Close up of its entrance

The Loggia dei Lanzi

My favourite denizen of the Loggia, Benvenuto Cellini's
Perseus with the head of Medusa.

Neptune, looking great in the morning sunshine 

On the way home, I might need to stop for something at the local store.  It's on the short narrow street that runs past my front door.

Whatever you need, this lovely store has it, toilet tissue or a
jar of capers.  Fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, cured meats
and cheeses of a high quality that would be difficult to come by
anywhere outside of Italy.

Before going inside my house, let's take a look at the Mercato al Porcellino, a few feet from the front door.

During the day, the market features typical Florentine tourist purchases, clothing
and leather goods of good quality.

The market owes its name to this little pig--actually quite
a large wild boar.  Tradition has it that if you rub his snout,
you will return to Florence.  As you can see, many people
try it.  I did it in 1973.  It's worked for me. 

Every evening, the merchants of the market pack up their goods and roll
their carts to a nearby storage.  Here is how it looks by night.

Just across from the market and directly across from my front door, there is this source of delightful temptation:

Fabulous chocolates and wonderful gelato.

On an ordinary day, I spend some time working at my computer:

In the afternoon, I will certainly go out for a coffee and a snack, perhaps to another favourite spot--Il Forno da Verrazano, three minutes walk away. 

If I feel the need to stretch my legs, I can go on along the via Calzaiuoli for another two minutes and reach the  Piazza del Duomo:

If, like today, I need to make a trip to the supermarket, there is one just five minutes in the other direction from my home.

The view south from my corner, with the Ponte Vecchio at the end.

Looking west from the Ponte Vecchio

The east view.  Those arches on the left lead to the piazza in front of the
Uffizi gallery, that stretches to the Piazza della Signoria.

Returning from grocery shopping in the evening, over
the Ponte Vecchio.  That's the dome of the Duomo at the end
Whenever I write for MIE while I am here, I think of one of my happiest weekends in Florence.  I know you have seen this photo many times before, but I can't help posting it again.  It's my favorite EVER picture of happy me here.

With memories like that and many more, surrounded by all this beauty, how could I not be happy?  Besides, I've got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.


  1. Thank god you're returning to NYC. I'm tired of having my heart broken every Monday morning.

    1. Oh, EvKa, have I infected you with wanderlust? How great! I feel as if I've made a religious conversion!

  2. It looks magical, Annamaria! I envy you the view from your writing desk, but however do you manage to get any work done?

    1. I actually fine I am extremely productive here, Zoe. Perhaps its because that building in front of me would have looked to same to my historical characters, whether in 1650, 1848, 1911, or 1945!

  3. If I could bottle your zest and energy Annamaria, I could sell it and make a fortune!
    Lovely pics. Florence remains on my to do list I'm afraid.

    1. Make it an A priority, Caro, so you will have time to come back. It's not a place one can see in one visit!!

    2. Don't wait. Go to your computer right now and book a flight and an apartment in a palazzo.

  4. Okay, enough already. We know you're actually staying at Epcot in Disney World, because no one could ever bring herself to leave a place as magical as your Florence.

    1. Bro, I am going to tear myself away in time to get to Left Coast Crime next week. Will you and Barbara be there?

  5. What a great tour!! I so want to go back and see these things for my self! Thanks for the taste!!

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I hope you get a chance to come back soon. It's delights never fail.

  6. (Sighs happily) Thanks for that return visit.

  7. MY pleasure. I've been thinking about you while I am here. Xxxx

  8. Gosh, absolutely amazing beauty. I can't even imagine seeing those statues and architecture every day. Even the stores are enchanting.

    Not only how do you get your work done every day, looking out at such beauty, but the food! I'm thinking about those pastries and good coffee and know that I'd gain weight even if there for one day.

    But such is the sacrifice to enjoy that beautiful city and everything it offers.

    1. Kathy, everyone who comes to stay in my place here expects to gain weight. None do. Almost all lose. One very large American lost two inches around his waist in two weeks without sacrificing any gustatory pleasure. Why? Because the portions are smaller here, and the flavors are so delicious that less food is wonderfully satisfying. PLUS, there is so much to see and do that one doesn't even think of snacking between meals. Italians eat their food all the time and there are almost no fat ones.
      That's part of the magic in this place: many, many pleasures and no bad side effects!!