Saturday, July 3, 2010

10 Days in Italy: Florence by Rain

I just went on a photography workshop,  my first week-long  workshop in over three years.  I just can't leave that long when my children are tiny, that's why I've waited so long.  Now, my youngest is 2 1/2, and he can deal with me being away for a while.  (And so can I, even if it's hard...)

First, I flew from Oslo (Norway) to Zürich (Switzerland), where I spent the night in a hotel close to the airport.  Early next morning, I flew to  Florence, arrived around 8:30 AM.

What a wonderful feeling to be back in that city.  I fell in love with Florence from a distance, without ever being there, and when I first came there, in 2002, my feelings grew even stronger.  It's not a big city, but it's so full of beautiful art and architecture.  It was here that the Renaissance started, and Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Donatello among others have lived here and walked the same cobbled streets that I walked during that Saturday. 
History is everywhere you turn.

But, I hadn't been here during Summer before, and yes, there was a slight change from the two previous visits:  People.  Thousands of tourists everywhere, and I learned that next time I visit Florence, it will be in the Fall, or early Spring.

However, it started raining.  Not a gentle summer rain, but a whipping, strong, soaking rain, that had most people run and hide out in their hotels.  That wasn't too bad, actually, to have the streets more to myself, and armed in my oversized rain poncho, I continued to walk, take pictures, and when the wetness started to seep down my neck, and my jeans were soaked up to my thighs, I found shelter in the most perfect restaurant: Golden view Open bar.
Kind of touristy, obviously, with that name, but, the thing is, most tourists, at least those  from the North of Europe, and those from US, don't sit down for big lunches, so I had the most wonderful table, with huge windows on two sides, where I almost could touch the river Arno and the famous bridge Ponte Vecchio.

I sat for several hours, enjoying a tasty fish soup, a pasta dish and a yummy peach dessert.  I read about Florence, and I wrote in my notebook.

Then, I had to venture out in the rain again, because of my appointment at the Uffizis.  But that is obviously another post.  Coming up!  :-)

Ponte Vecchio

The same bridge, taken from my window at the restaurant!

My view across the river.

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