The Accidental Resident

  • Random notes from Italy - One of the interesting transportation facets of Florence is that you don’t hail cabs, but you do hail buses. For cabs, you typically either telephone for a cab or go to a taxi stand. You don’t really hail a bus, since you can’t just stop one in the street, but if you see your bus … Continue reading Random notes from Italy
  • Christmas lights - One of our Christmas rituals growing up was to pile into the car and take a drive through nearby neighborhoods to look at the Christmas lights. One of our favorite displays was on a small manmade lake. The houses surrounding it were on a slight elevation above the lake and the homeowners decorated from the backs of their … Continue reading Christmas lights
  • The road to Porciano: Consuma to Porciano - After the road crests at the Consuma Pass, it dips down to the hamlet of Ponticelli. There’s a bus stop here, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, where the bus from Florence offloads passengers going to towns in the Casentino and the busses from the Casentino offload the passengers going to Florence. For the most part, … Continue reading The road to Porciano: Consuma to Porciano
  • The road to Porciano: Pontassieve to Consuma - After Pontassieve, I make the turn towards Consuma. For me, this is the dividing line in my journey, perhaps because after this, the road twists and turns and climbs up and dives down even more than it has until now and the towns become smaller. In a lay-by after the turn, a produce truck is usually … Continue reading The road to Porciano: Pontassieve to Consuma
  • The road to Porciano: Florence to Pontassieve - It’s a journey I’ve made many times; I never tire of it and it is never less than beautiful. For me, when I’m driving, the journey starts by going north from my apartment. I started using this route when I didn’t have cellular data for google maps and didn’t think I could remember how to navigate through … Continue reading The road to Porciano: Florence to Pontassieve
  • Gnomon - Another great day in the Duomo! Today I attended an observation of the transit of the sun on the meridian plane (I’ll have to study more to understand that fully!). What happens is that on a few days in June, the sun’s rays are channeled through a bushing under one of the windows of the … Continue reading Gnomon
  • A Duomo day, part 2 - It was raining when I woke up this morning and as I walked from my bus stop to the Piazza del Duomo, I told myself that this was a sign that I did not have to climb the bell tower. This was a relief since my calf muscles were aching from the climb of the … Continue reading A Duomo day, part 2
  • A Duomo day, part 1 - During the many years I lived in Boston, one of my favorite places was The Brattle Theatre, which showed second-run and classic films. I got to see some of my favorite movies on the big screen that I had previously seen only on television, like “Singing in the Rain” and “Rear Window.” The problem was … Continue reading A Duomo day, part 1
  • Fog and smoke - The combination of fog and smoke in the hills this morning created beautiful effects. The smoke is from the burning of plant matter such as branches pruned from olive trees. The smell of wood smoke is prevalent right now because burning is only allowed at certain times of the year.   Images © Melissa Corcoran.
  • Duty done - I’ve done my duty and visited the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. While appreciating the magnificence and symbolism of the statue, I was underwhelmed. (I don’t think it’s because I’d seen so many representations of it beforehand; other artworks have blown me away when I finally saw them in person after seeing them in pictures.) More interesting to me was … Continue reading Duty done
  • Olio nuovo - One of the highlights of the year in Italy is when the new olive oil arrives in stores. This oil is from one of my favorite places in the area of Porciano – Toscana Twist.  This is where we go to buy wine and breadsticks, taking our own empty bottles to be filled with wine … Continue reading Olio nuovo