Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

It's my last Sunday in Florence, so I woke up with every intention of taking advantage of it. And this morning, I covered a lot of ground, making up for the fact that it's now pouring rain outside. 
I started off my morning in search of a painting from a street painter that I could take home. The search led me up to Piazzale Michelangelo, where my parents had bought some paintings, but he wasn't there because they were setting up for the end of a bike race that raises money for breast cancer research! Regardless, I took in the view for a few minutes and decided to walk back to the Ponte Vecchio and try my luck there.
 I was walking back down the stairs and literally stopped in my tracks at the smell of roses. I immediately remembered that right over the stone wall beside me was Giardino delle Rose, which I had visited with my parents two months ago, but was, at the time, rose-less. Obviously since I could smell it despite my cold, I knew it must be filled with flowers, so I backtracked up a few steps, walked in the gardens and fell in love. I decided to take a seat in the grass, and watch the families walking around, while taking in the view of the city and all the gorgeous roses in full bloom around me. After a while, I got up and began taking pictures of all the colors of roses and other types of flowers, smelling each one along the way. Ever since trying the rose flavored gelato at Gelateria de Neri, I've been absolutely obsessed with the smell and flavor of roses, so stopping here made my day. 
 While I was sitting there, I remembered that when my parents had visited, we had also gone to Piazza Santo Spirito for the market that happens there on the second Sunday of every month, which was perfect, because it's the second Sunday of May! As I made my way there, I passed a parade of Itlaians dressed in Renaissance looking costumes, marching with flags and playing drums. I wish I could tell you why they were doing it, but I have absolutely no idea what it was for. 
I made my way over the market and looked at all the vintage items - everything from clothing, to jewelry, to pictures, furniture and books. I stumbled upon a food stand there selling Necci, which are traditional Tuscan crepes made out of chestnut flour, stuffed with ricotta cheese. I'd heard about these in my food class and read about them online, so I knew I had to try them as it might be my last chance! They were kind of a mix between pancakes and crepes in both diameter and thickness, and the nuttiness of the crepe was perfectly balanced with the creamy, slightly sweet ricotta cheese. Plus, the couple making them were the cutest old Italians that didn't speak a wink of English, so I knew the Necci were truly authentic. 
It was perfect. 
On the way back, I stopped in a few shops and finally found a painting I liked from a nice painter on the street, who gave me a great deal and even gave me a tissue because he could hear me sniffling from my cold! I then looked up and realized it was about to rain, so I quickly walked back home before the rain started and would ruin the painting. 
Anyways, it was a morning where I had absolutely no sense of time and not a care in the world. I saw some of the best sites of the city, but felt like I was a part of it, not just a tourist, and I really tried to savor every moment, exactly like the Italians do. They tend to take life slowly. When they order coffee, they sit down (or stand at the counter) and drink it there, there's no such thing as a to-go cup. It gave me the chance to reflect on my experience abroad before worrying about studying for finals. I'm so glad I'm able to call this place home, even if it's only for another week.

Also - Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mom! I love you so so soooo much and was definitely missing you (and dad!) today while walking around!

1 comment:

  1. that painting is beautiful!! i love that you can see the duomo in the background!