Ever have one of those days of unexpected pleasures one after the other? That was today for me.
It started with getting our business in the post office done in time to catch the bus into town. In the bus, we were standing near a woman wearing a Casentino wool cape in red, with a white fabric flower pinned to it. It looked so chic and fabulous on her! We had a conversation of sorts having to do with the route deviation the number 25 bus is taking this week.
Once in town, we stopped for a hot chocolate and a cappuccino. We drank them at the bar as the Italians do, something that gives me a tiny thrill.
The purpose of our trip was to visit Emma Draghi’s studio, whose work we had seen at the craft fair in Piazza Santissima Annuziata this past weekend. These are the Christmas ornaments I bought at the studio. I like the orange rim and yellow background—it’s very Tuscan. Emma herself is charming and we enjoyed our visit with her and looking at pictures of her dogs.
When we left the studio, we turned left so we wouldn’t retrace our steps. I was in the Oltrarno several times last year and sort of know my way around this section, so I took us back to the street on which Galileo once lived. Catherine was telling me about a walking tour the language instructor took her Italian class on during the summer and how they explored narrow streets and alleyways. All of a sudden, she recognized a set of stairs. I recognized them, too—my sisters and I had walked up them last year. We continued down the narrow street, which was picturesque; I loved these arches.
Where the street joined another street, I recognized this as a way down to the river. We crossed the Ponte alle Grazie and walked towards the Museo Galileo. Along the way, I took this geometric forms photo.
We saw another street that looked interesting and it being that kind of day, decided to walk down it. There were some nice shops on this street, including one that sold tea (good to know!) and had window decorations of glass teapots with small gold balls inside—very festive and elegant.
We were looking for a takeaway pizza stand, but came upon this little place that had a crowd in front of it. Taking this as a good sign, we ordered sandwiches and glasses of wine and stood outside with others to eat. On our walk towards the Duomo, we also found a lovely pastry shop where we made a couple of purchases (honestly, it was only two pastries!).
The Duomo was gleaming beautifully in the afternoon sunshine and although I have tons of photos of it, in my opinion, you can never have too many. This one is a little different in that I took it through a curtain of street decoration lights.
We went inside the Duomo so I could light a candle in memory of my uncle, whose funeral was today. That was a sad note in the day, but I was glad to remember him and to feel myself connected to my aunt and cousins and my two sisters who were able to travel to the funeral.
We got to Piazza San Marco and didn’t have to wait long to catch our bus. When the bus driver made the first turn out of the piazza, I and a man who were still standing to punch our bus tickets almost went flying. Given that the bus driver continued in this vein, we were glad to sit down and communicated to our fellow passengers by exclamations and sign language our feelings about the wild ride!
As we got to our stop and prepared to disembark, who did we see but the lady in the red cape! She recognized us and there were friendly smiles all around as we got off the bus.
What a lovely day!