14 December - Marbled

We woke up at 08:00, somehow making it past the 07:00 bells.  As we’d discussed the day before, we started off at the Bargello Museum.  It was the two of us, maybe a dozen other folks, and then 50 French students.  We’d seen a big group around Florence the last couple days (far bigger than 50), all with purple scarves, but we couldn’t figure out where they were from or who they were.  We still don’t know, but our best guess is perhaps college students from an Art school in France.  As we admired the sculptures, we wondered how they chose a good chunk of marble, and how they knew what was a good chunk and what wasn’t going to make the grade.  On some of the white marble statues, the “veining” in the marble literally resembled veins in the statues’ arms and legs, and we wondered if that’s where the term came from.

Outside, we saw the Coin store again, still with signs saying it was opening 14 December (today), but we heard all sorts of saws and other power equipment.  We wondered why they didn’t just say “December” instead of giving a specific date, but whatever.  It was just a block or two for us to walk to the Galileo Museum.  There were all sorts of interesting tools and inventions from prior centuries, and also videos indicating how some of the more famous machines worked, but most of it went over our heads.  Our friend Shuman would love this place.  There were a bunch of old telescopes that were made out of wood, and it occurred to us that the telescopes that astronomers like Galileo and Copernicus used were wooden, not metal - that had never crossed our minds before.  We also saw Galileo’s middle finger, which for some reason was on display in the museum.

After finishing at the Galileo Museum we headed over to Museo Palazzo Vecchio, specifically to see its Map Room.  We did check out other items in Palazzo Vecchio, however.  Some of the artwork and rooms reminded Justin of Palazzo Ducale in Venezia, so he told Crystal that if she looked at this stuff, she’d have a good idea of Doge’s Palace as well.  The Map Room was pretty cool, with maps from several hundred years ago.  It was interesting trying to guess what was what, as some of the maps were very obvious, but others were more raw (incorrect) based on the limited information available at the time.  

We had lunch (#1) at L’ Girone de Ghotti, a sandwich place that we ordinarily wouldn’t have gone to, but the reviews were so many, and so overwhelmingly positive, we figured we had to see (eat) for ourselves.  Crystal got a sandwich with spicy salami, eggplant, and a spicy oil salad.  Justin got a sandwich with porchetta (roasted pork), sundried tomatoes, spicy sauce, and arugula.  We also each got a house wine.  Justin was still hungry, so he got another sandwich, this time with prosciutto, olive and tomato paste, and veggies.  Everything was good, particularly the bread.

On our way back to the hotel we got our nephew Levi a little something, an Azzurri jersey.  Justin’s parents had got him a Peruvian football jersey when they visited Peru a few months ago.  Once Justin was outside, and far away from any locals, he told Crystal “now he has two jerseys from teams that failed to make the World Cup.”  We looked for the porchetta place we’d seen a couple days prior, and eventually we found it by Crystal remembering it was on the same street as the crowded restaurant we tried to eat at before we ended up at the Argentine place.  Since we could look that place up, we just found it and headed east by a couple blocks.  At that place, Antica Porchetteria Granieri 1916, we got one porchetta sandwich and one house wine, which we split.

Back at the hotel, we did our respective language lessons and then updated the trip log, trying to remember what we did when in Florence.  Justin took a nap for a bit.  We went out around sunset, heading over to Piazza della Signora and then Ponte Vecchio, before crossing the river and having a glass of wine outside, next to the river, at Signorvino.  Along the way we coincidentally passed by Coin, and Crystal noticed - to our immense surprise - it had opened sometime in the afternoon.  We were immensely impressed.  After finishing our respective glasses of wine, we headed a bit further south, to Palazzo Pitti, where we then turned around and headed back north.  We passed by several stores with excellent porcelain and ceramics for kitchens - it would be a perfect store if we ever happened to own a Mexican hacienda.

We went through Piazza della Signora again on the way back to the hotel, this time with no rain.  We met Dewey and Clarita at the hotel and headed over to dinner at Osteria Vecchio Cancello.  Before we even ordered our wine, Crystal ordered a prosecco and Justin ordered a Pampero rum.  We ordered a Super Tuscan wine for the table.  For food, Justin ordered the pappardelle with wild boar ragout, followed by roast lamb.  Crystal ordered bruschetta, followed by sausage and beans.  Clarita ordered ravioli with duck and truffle sauce.  Dewey ordered green risotto, followed by osso buco.  We got limoncello again, and Clarita pretended not to enjoy it again.  

We got a bottle of wine for free, since they were going to comp us dessert, but we didn’t order any dessert since we were full.  Back at the hotel, we decided to go out one more time, just the two of us this time.  The lady at the front desk of the hotel suggested we go to La Menagere, just a block or two over from the hotel.  She also taught us some Italian phrases, and we found it interesting that our best Italian teacher was from GdaƄsk, Poland.  We toasted her at La Menagere.  Justin ordered a Lily, and Crystal ordered something with elderflower and melon foam.  For our second round Crystal got a Negroni and Justin got something with mezcal, liquore assenzio, and acqua blanca, but more importantly some hot chocolate that froze at the bottom of the glass with the garnish in it, meaning the garnish was inside the drink the whole time.  We got back around 00:30 and went straight to sleep.

Previous Entry
Next Entry