|Porcellino, photo by Shawn|
We went back to the hotel to drop off our purchases, and then back to Toscanella Osteria for lunch as we've decided to try not to wait until late in the day to eat; makes for grumpy Hales when we do that. Today, I enjoyed the pappa al pomodoro that was already gone when I asked for it last night, and for Shawn, penne (be sure to pronounce both of those n's, or you are ordering something quite different) with Carrettiera sauce, a 'mildly spiced tomato sauce with fresh parsley.' We shared a half carafe of the house rossa, a 2011 Sangiovese, and very good, as well as the ubiquitous Tuscan bread, crusty and salt free (I could eat it forever).
After lunch, on to Piazzele Michelangelo, as many things are closed on Monday, but the view is always open. Today, we agreed, was the perfect sort of day for walking; it never got warmer than about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and there was a lovely breeze all day. We walked down Via dei Bardi to San Niccolo, and then up and up and up long sets of stairs (Florence is all about the climbing—have I mentioned that?), with a brief but lovely garden break in the middle.
|A portion of the 'stairs'--you get no sense here of how steep this is... (photo from http://images.everytrail.com/pics/fullsize/3346992-IMG_1992.jpg)|
To the south, a fairly large section of the 14th century city wall is still visible.
|A asction of the 14th-century city walls, and roses, photo by Nancy|
|A clearer shot of the wall, photo by Shawn|
|Duomo, Campanile, Arno, photo by Shawn|
|Ponte Vecchio and the Arno, photo by Shawn|
On up more stairs and on to the water closets, as lunch and too many stairs makes one need them. At least they were clean, as we had to pay a Euro each to use them.
Back then to the Piazzele, FULL of tourists from everywhere on the planet. Again, a very large space from which to view Florence, and one easy to get to by bus, with ample parking, and thus, popular with all of the tours. I was glad that we had eaten in Oltrarno rather than waiting to eat at one of the (I suspect) expensive restaurants nearby, though the views from them might be worth paying a bit more for one’s food.
|Shawn at Piazzele Michelangelo, Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio Santa Croce and the Arno in the background, photo by Nancy|
|Nancy at Piazzele Michelangoe, Duomo and Campanile in the background, photo by Shawn|
|San Miniato al Monte from Giardino di Boboli, near the Museo delle Porcellane, photo by Shawn|
|A small portion of the cemetery at San Miniato al Monte, photo by Shawn|
|San Miniato al Monte, Interior (photo from http://www.tuscany-by-divino.com/media/flor-san%20miniato.jpg)|
|Crypt, San Miniato al Monte (photo from https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7088/7251910946_ddf7196ca9_z.jpg)|
|Aretino Fresco, San Miniato al Monte (photo from http://rolfgross.dreamhosters.com/Tuscany-GE/Spinello/Spinello-Arentino-Life-SBenedict-sacristySMiniato-Florence-1387.jpg)|
Once again, lovely views from in front of the church; we had approached from the left as one faces the church, walking up through green space and past a memorial ground for Red Cross volunteers in WWI and WWII, so we did not use the huge flights of stairs that lead to the 'gate of heaven' until we descended, which considering who we are, is perhaps appropriate. I was very glad to have seen both the views and the church; Italian churches do make me feel spiritual, if only because of the awe they inspire at what we humans can create when we feel moved.
|Stairs up to front of San Miniato al Monte (photo from http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/62678451.jpg)|
|Fiocchi sfogliatelle (photo from http://www.matcompaniet.no/images/kaker/Fiocchi2.jpg)|