Saturday, April 9, 2016

Day 13: Florence

Woke up to a cool day here in Florence.

We had no plans other than to get out and do some walking around the city.

As usual, I found something new to see:

This doorway is immediately to the left of, and across the street from the St. James' Townhouse where we are staying here in Florence. Somehow I never noticed it before! It is no longer a church, but this part of the building "survived". It is one of many "holy" pieces of art that are just randomly (at least that's the way it looks to me) placed on buildings. I'll be taking more pictures of these as I find them in the weeks to come. Each time I come across one it is an invitation to me to pray!

I have had a fascination with doors, windows and door knobs/knockers here in Italy, especially in Florence. Today was no exception:

We passed by an interesting church that was open -- Sant' Egidio -- St. Giles -- Some information about the Saint from Catholic online:

Feastday: September 1

Patron of beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; Edinburgh (Scotland); epilepsy; fear of night; noctiphobics; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility

Birth: 650

Death: 710

I had to pop in, light some candles and say some prayers:

We had to wait for a protest to pass us by and we needed to head down the narrow street the people participating in the protest were coming from. They really liked their whistles that they were blowing:

We wanted to go back to Santa Croce and the Leather School there. We went in the "back way" as we were told to do, so as to not have to pay again to enter through the church. I loved the buildings on the way to the school on the inner courtyard:

We went to lunch at a restaurant recommended by the Rev. Ricardo Avila -- Coquinarius -- fabulous! I had the cheese and pear ravioli. It's the one in the upper left corner of the picture below:

We continued our journey through Florence with no agenda other than to walk, and walk we did. 

We were approached by several men who said they were from Kenya asking us where we were from and wanting to engage in conversation with us and "give" us a "gift" -- it was very hard to get them to leave us alone. I watched them with other people in the street -- the "gift" cost money!

We ended up at the Central Market downstairs area right before it closed. We did manage to get strawberries, coffee to bring home and Steve had a coffee there, strudel and a few other things. It was amazing -- can't wait to go there next week early in the morning!

Deborah and I went to try to look at some tomatoes and Deborah reached out her hand to pick one up -- apparently that's a BIG no-no. The woman at the stand was on us quickly informing us that we couldn't touch the produce. Whoops! ....but it looked so tempting! Wouldn't you want to pick any one of these up and smell it?

We made a stop at a Gelateria -- when the women behind the counter told me it was 6,50 for a cone, I said, "no thank you!" We ended up around the corner at a very tasty place that was priced at 3,00 a cone. Whew! Much better. I may not have mentioned that thanks to Deb and Steve we have to locate a gelato every day. Thank goodness I'm walking as much as I am!

By the time we reached the townhouse (after a quick run to the local market) I logged over 16,500 steps and 6 miles! All just walking around Florence today starting at about 11 this morning. 

We ended up staying in, with Mike and Steve going around the corner to get us pizza for dinner.

Truly, a blessed day.

Total steps today: 17,027, 6.56 miles.

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