Friday, April 22, 2016

Day 26: discovering and re-discovering parts of Florence

An overcast but nonetheless beautiful day in Florence!

Started the day with coffee in the Piazza Spirito Santo at a cute coffee shop called Volume. No one was sitting outside so we took a chance -- no smokers- a dream come true for Steve-- to sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee!

I took Max and Devika into Spirito Santo afterwards to see the crucifix carved by a young Michelangelo. Once again I'm in awe and inspired by being able to walk where he walked, be in the area where he leaned about the human body -- I remember learning about this in high school,  College and seminary -- but to BE here is, well, it will be a long while before I'm done processing this.

We headed to lunch at a place Devika's friend recommended -- and we weren't disappointed! I finally tried ribolitta -- 
From Wikipedia:

Ribollita is a famous Tuscan soup, a hearty potage made with bread and vegetables. There are many variations but the main ingredients always include leftover bread, cannellini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrotcabbagebeanschardLacinato kale, and onion. Its name literally means "reboiled".

Like most Tuscan cuisine, the soup has peasant origins. It was originally made by reheating (i.e. reboiling) the leftover minestrone or vegetable soup from the previous day. Some sources date it back to the Middle Ages, when the servants gathered up food-soaked bread trenchers from feudal lords' banquets and boiled them for their own dinners.

Needless to say, I will be trying this again -- and to make it at home:

I also had the beef stew -- yum!

The waitress was very friendly -- and helpful!

And here is the place we ate lunch:

Other pictures from this meal-- one person had the pasta with rabbit sauce:

Another had ravioli with sage:

Everything was delicious! I think we will be making a trip back here!

Heading to the Central Market for snacks for the townhouse, I stopped by and said a prayer in St. Mark's Anglican Church:

A long walk in the afternoon netted more sights for me to take pictures of:

Stopped and lit and candle, offering prayers for all those I'm carrying on my heart:

And more sights:

...and I finally put a coin in the Porcellino's mouth and rubbed its nose:

Again from Wikipedia:

Il Porcellino (Italian "piglet") is the local Florentine nickname for the bronze fountain of a boar. The fountain figure was sculpted and cast by Baroque master Pietro Tacca (1577–1640) shortly before 1634, following a marble Italian copy of a Hellenistic marble original, at the time in the Grand Ducal collections and today in display in the classical section of the Uffizi Museum. The original, which was found in Rome and removed to Florence in the mid-16th century by the Medici, was associated from the time of its rediscovery with the Calydonian Boarof Greek myth.

Tacca's bronze, which has eclipsed the Roman marble that served as model, was originally intended for the Boboli Garden, then moved to the Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy; the fountain was placed originally facing east, in via Calimala, in front of the pharmacy that by association gained the name Farmacia del Cinghiale (Italian for "boar"). To gain more space for market traffic it was later moved to the side facing south, where it still stands as one of the most popular features for tourists. The present statue is a modern copy, cast in 1998 by Ferdinando Marinelli Artistic Foundryand replaced in 2008, while Tacca's bronze is sheltered in the new Museo Bardini in Palazzo Mozzi.

Visitors to Il Porcellino put a coin into the boar's gaping jaws, with the intent to let it fall through the underlying grating for good luck, and they rub the boar's snout to ensure a return to Florence, a tradition that the English literary traveller Tobias Smollett already noted in 1766,  which has kept the snout in a state of polished sheen while the rest of the boar's body has patinated to a dull brownish-green.

We tried a place not far from the Duomo which ended up to be a bit touristy -- Ciro and Son -- because Steve had his heart set on pasta carbonara -- which is a dish attributed more to Rome not Florence. I had the homemade ravioli with pecorino cheese and pears -- delicious!

And yes, we did have gelato -- before dinner. Back at gelateria Trinita -- and yes, I had pistachio.

A quiet rest of our evening together!

One bad thing, I'm now nursing a blister on my foot -- ugh!

Total steps walked today: 23,496. 9.05 miles.

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