Roberto drove me the five km to Poppi and I got the bus to Florence. What a slick way to do this—if I visit Partina with friends in the future, I would propose driving to Poppi and then getting this bus. It took two hours (by car it only takes 1 1/4 hours) but the scenery was gorgeous as the bus snaked through the high Tuscan mountains (hills).
For fun in Florence, I looked up a hotel (the Hotel Aprile) and stayed where Jeanne, Bob and I had stayed over 20 years ago. It is a 15th century palaccio, and located very near Santa Maria Novella church and also the train station.
I had lunch and for dessert decided to get a BIG gelato—my first on this trip. Now, I wanted a BIG, BIG gelato, which I got in a really fat cone with three kinds of ice cream—the cost? 15.50 euros which is very nearly $20! I’ve never heard of a $20 ice cream cone! And I ate it all!
I see that I have pretty much exhausted all the sights for seeing in Florence. Friday I walked across the Arno to the Pitti Palace to see the art collection again, and stopped at three churches on the way there because I hadn’t remembered seeing them but once I got into each, they were all familiar. No matter, it was fun to look at the ancient frescos again.
During the three days in Florence I revisited the Central Market (bought some dried porcini mushrooms), Michaelangelo’s house where Artemisia Gentileschi has a painting, studied the frescos in Santa Maria Novella and looked at and photoed lots of the architecture. They now have lines in the pavement in front of the Bargello Museum where underground they have found remnants of Roman towers which dates the founding of Florence as a Roman city to 30 to 15 B.C. What a museum downtown Florence is.
Yesterday I took that fast train to Rome, then the train to the airport, and then home! It was a lovely trip, but it’s always good to be home, too.