Sunday, September 12, 2021

Florence in the Time of Covid

Annamaria on Monday

Here is a photo essay of my travel to Florence, and my first days here, along with some running commentary.

Generally speaking, it feels sane here. Italians have a reputation for flouting rules, and I suppose they do when the rules are complex and rob life of its joys. Certainly, some--like people everywhere--do so for their own convenience. But now, when lives are on the line and the rules are based on science, vast percentages of Italians are willingly complying.  This is true all over the country, and certainly here in my second home city.  So one feels cautiously safe.

Today, I want to take you along on the trip so far.

Leaving NYC

I have given the car service a nickname: "Lap–o'-Luxury Transportation:

Despite being held together by duct tape, the car got me to the Newark Airport in time to see the sunset…

… and in plenty of time to make my flight:

Making Lemonade

Just before leaving home, I had received a call from my friend Nicoletta with bad news.  The elevator would not be working in my building in Florence the day I arrived until the following evening. My apartment is a penthouse, ordinarily a wonderful thing. The elevator goes to the fifth floor of the building. (Please remember that in Italy they count floors from zero. That means their fifth floor would be an American sixth floor.) From top of the elevator to my place, there is another flight of stairs. I have done so in the past, but this time around I didn't feel quite up to carrying my luggage up seven flights of stairs. 

Nicoletta and I always meet for lunch on the day I arrive.  This time, after so long an absence, I said we should make it a very special place.  Discussing the elevator issue, we worked out a plan for me to stay the first night with her out in the Chianti (not what I would ever call a sacrifice, since it is a kind of paradise to me.)  Our plan  involved my taking my luggage to the restaurant.  "Where are we going to meet?" I asked. 

"You said a special place," she responded, "so I chose the Four Seasons Hotel."


"How about this for Plan B?" I said. "Let's just get a room at The Four Seasons and stay there while I wait for them to fix the elevator?"  We both giggled!

And so we spoiled ourselves!

Dessert after lunch in the garden

A sparrow (I think) bussed/buzzed our table.

A Kubu bride waiting for the gala reception to begin!

On Wednesday at 5:30 PM, I finally arrived at home.  This view greeted me.

Home away from home, at last!


  1. Smart thinking on the Four Seasons. Have a great time, Sis!

  2. That certainly turned a problem into an opportunity! Thanks for the pictures - especially the Kubu bride...not Joy I think!

  3. Not Joy, Michael. But I cannot see a hippopotamus in any form without thinking of Kubu. The Director of Marketing for the gorgeous hotel took me on a tour which included an old convent chapel, which is now a ballroom. He took me to see the nearby guest rooms, which included the bridal suite, complete with a beautifully restored Renaissance ceiling. I got a big laugh from my guide when I said, if I were a bride on her wedding night I would prefer a room in which my new husband would be looking at me not the ceiling. Italy can be such fun!

    1. I'd think someone other than the husband would be looking at the ceiling on a bridal night...though things may be different in Italy. :)

  4. Jeff: You're old-fashioned! Wow, there are even computers and smart phones and jet planes today.

    How nice that you and Nicoletta turned lemon into lemonade and stayed in a lovely room in that beautiful city. I am green with envy.

    But I look forward to your photos. I hope not too many of the pastries there. Then I really turn green with envy.

  5. More photos soon. At your request, no pastries. PS: Thank you for bringing Jeff up to date. He spends so much time on naughty Mykonos you would think he knew better. But perhaps all those tourists are really missionaries the rest of the year.

  6. There are even "How to spice up your relationship" type books waiting to be purchased.

    Glad you are having a good time and I look forward to the photos. Thanks for none of those gorgeous pastries. I then have to go out and find a good one for myself.