Oscar Wilde once observed that “When a woman remarries, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man remarries, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.” I guess my return to Florence was a womanly thing to do, as I hated Florence 19 years ago. Such is the triumph of optimism over experience. Florence is a pleasure.
The train station is modern and central. The walk to our hotel was mercifully short in the blazing heat, though oddly, our excellent hotel maintains secrecy at the border of a large city park, featuring volunteer entertainers and the ubiquitous slingshot, blue roto-toys so prevalent in Venice, by providing no hint of its name or business except with a small, but well-polished brass sign best suited to identify a mail box.
Step into the park and admire the launch of a toy to make a friend for life…or at least for three blocks as the well-meaning tourist is pursued as by a San Francisco real estate agent with a hot lead.
Our bellboy, seeing two old men and one bed, dropped our bags and headed for the door, getting one foot into the hallway before accepting a €3 tip dropped from a sanitary height into his cupped palm.
It is an annoying phenom that the quality of internet service is inverse to the elegance of the sleeping quarters—a poor exchange for the literary insomniac. “Who’s that?” I hear you ask.
Friends remind me that Italy is about food, not gratuitous commentary about the influence of the Roman Empire. So I must suspend, if only for a few paragraphs, my self-appreciated comic observances for dinner.
The restaurant was small and unpretentious, but the food…
Click once for descriptions, twice for enlargements. The Chianti Classico worked well.
After dinner we strolled to the famous Ponte Vechio, a bridge that serves as an entertainment center on warm nights. My intention had been to edit this long video, but getting it onto the page was tough enough.