• Arriving in Florence

    Italy, Day 1.5 I am not one to sleep on airplanes, and so when I find myself finally arriving in Florence in the afternoon, I have been up for a very long time. All feelings of exhaustion quickly dissipate when I am shown to what will be my apartment for the next 4 days, Vista Duomo.

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  • My Tuscan spinsterhood returns

    Miracle of miracles, I am no longer living on central Azores time. (You know, up till 2, sleep till 10:30...) This morning, aided in part by arising at 4:30 to bid my pal Mandy adieu, I hit the streets at...wait for it... 9:30. Wow. Not too late for a cappuccino.

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  • Market Day

    In anticipation of Mandy's arrival at Mimi tomorrow, Davis and I took a stroll to the St. Ambrogio market to fortify our paltry grocery stores. Some fruit, some meat, lotsa cheese. You know. Appetizers with a nod to breakfast.

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  • The more things change...

    Thirty-five years ago, two wide-eyed college girls gazed wistfully back at a vanishing city as their train crossed the Venetian lagoon. They had spent two weeks at the conclusion of a European semester surrounded by the mystic, surreal beauty of Venice, one of the world's treasures and most extraordinary republics

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  • Baby it's cold outside

    Interesting, isn't it, how a mere four weeks can turn a person's concept of proper weather from one reality to another. This morning, again, for the third day in a row, the dawn launched cold and gray. Snowflakes at the ready.

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  • Another Day, Another Cappuccino

    Here, at the end of our first week back in Florence, Davis and I are reveling in the familiar and the favorite. The day starts, usually, with an espresso and cantucci at the newly renovated caffe bar across the piazza. With free wifi, it's easy to spend a few minutes sipping, munching and consulting Google Translate to help La Repubblica make sense.

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  • Fleas are bilingual

    So the last Sunday of the month here in Florence is reserved for the big antiques flea market. Staged over several blocks surrounding the Piazza del Ciompi, hundreds of vendors set up with acres of, well, stuff.

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  • "When I Fell In Love With The Duomo." by Joe Riccio

    Florence is a city that, more than anywhere in Europe, embodies the splendor and endless wealth of the Renaissance. At certain times of the day, when the sunlight reflects in just the right manner, it would appear that the entire city was constructed from marble, and the brilliant array of shimmering colors allow you to easily imagine how so many brilliant artists called this inspirational place home. Much of this historic grandeur has been beautifully maintained, and is exhibited in each of the properties run by the Gidec Real Estate company and the amazingly helpful Marketing Director Cristiana Sagato These range from Villa Il Garafaolo, a sprawling estate once inhabited by Dante and Beatrice that overlooks the old city, to luxurious apartments at Palazzo Rimbotti that overlook Uffizi and Brunelleschi’s Dome, to name a few. I had the utmost privilege to lay my head down for 4 nights in the aforementioned Vista Duomo. Located on a high floor, all of the windows practically open directly into the Cathedral of San Gaetano, one of the city’s only Baroque churches that is marked by the crest of the Medici family, and beyond that is a direct line of sight to the most famous dome of all.

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