Thursday, March 18, 2010
This morning Jim and I headed off for a morning on our own; Barbara decided to stay at the hotel for the morning. Our first stop was at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi; a small museum in one of the former homes of the Medici family. Many family documents are displayed here and the upstairs still has the furnishings in most of the rooms. The Venetian chandeliers were amazing.
Our second stop was at the Town Hall, Palazzo Vecchio Quartieri located in the Piazza della Signoria; famous to Americans as the building that Hannibal Lector tossed out the Italian guy in the second of that series of movies. The council was in session and we got to see a bit of Italian Government in action and also some beautiful rooms.
Walked past the Cathedral for some photos and then on across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge to meet our son’s brother-in-law and his wife for lunch. They are both college professors and he is here with a group of students for ten weeks of study abroad. They live a half block from the famous bridge. We were looking for their apartment number when Chuck walked up to us on the street. He’d been at a class on Italian Language with his students and was returning home to meet us. Patti was upstairs waiting for us to arrive.
After a brief visit to the apartment we walked to a restaurant that was recommended to them by the group that is guiding them during their stay. We were headed in the direction of the restaurant when someone overhead our conversation mentioning the name and she asked if we were looking for that restaurant. Turned out that her husband is also an instructor with the same school; small world. She got us to the restaurant and then took her leave.
We had a wonderful lunch at Trattoria La Casalinga. I had Ravoli stuffed with ricotta cheese and a wonderful rabbit meat sauce; a bit of a wild taste but very good. On our way back to the bridge we were treated to geleto at Patti’s favorite shop. Somehow the boys missed us when we stopped on the bridge. Long story short….Jim finally walked back to the hotel and then Chuck found me and I then walked back myself, arriving about five minutes after him. Gotta have those plans of what to do when you get separated spelled out ahead of time! But all ended well.
Picked up Barbara and headed over to the park around the Fort that is only a block away from our hotel. Then we watched a parade of what we think were merchandisers who have the carts in the market squares who are on strike today. Tomorrow they will be back to work. I was disappointed that I didn’t really see any celebrations for St. Joseph’s Day.
We had an early dinner, some shopping for Miss Barbara and then home for the evening to get ready for another busy day tomorrow. Hard to believe that a week from today we’ll be flying home to the USA…hope you’re still enjoying our adventure…