De-Florenced.

Posted by jswt | Posted in Italy - Florence | Posted on 29-03-2010

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So sometime in the past (lets refer to it as “this morning”) I left florence and caught a flight to zurich and had a layover and then caught a flight to montreal, where i’m currently sitting killing a few hours layover with a pint of beer and a burger. I wanted to get a few notes down about florence before I get back into home mode and the feeling of the place fades into a memory state…

[Note: my brain is currently splattered across many timezones and beer is holding it together. Incorporate that into this read…]

So…
Florence…

*OLD*.
Beautiful.
Amazing.

Rome has old stuff, but Florence is all just old. It’s a beautiful middle ages city on a river with squares and bridges and this church cathedral that you can’t even begin to imagine.

Monday: Chris had day off so we went on a tuscany wine tour with a crew… it started off as a civilized venture, but something about drinking heavily before noon before continuing on to multiple wineries lent itself to some serious fun, with some *really* amazing wines tasted along the way. Most surprising taste of the day? Real, proper olive oil. On a cracker. That’s it. And it blew my mind how good it tasted. The rest of monday was a bit of a write-off, but we went out for a nice dinner and then back home to bed early.

Other than that, it was just a bit of a great cycle… work in the morning, head out around noon to grab some lunch… everything shuts down at 2, so I’d just do some sightseeing around the city, and then head over to the venue for dinner before heading back to the hotel to do a few more hours of work before chris got home.

The city had some amazing sights… you could just wander and get lost forever in the tunnels of streets and alleys, which of course were all lined with some serious shopping…

Ended up on a mountaintop one afternoon at a church that was built around 1000AD and had more inlaid marble than I’ve ever seen in my life. Can’t imagine the amount of time it took to build, but it was stunning… Got shooed away by monks starting a mass, so I went and caught the sunset overlooking the city.

(burger just came so my notes might be short and greasy now…)

one afternoon ended up at the Boboli Gardens which were seriously epic… hedge mazes and miles and miles of trails with renaissance art just dotting the paths and hiding in the hedges. The park itself is half the size of florence, so it took a long time to make it through and I was too late to check out the palace that’s attached to it, but I did manage to find the statue of Bacchus – essentially the Italian budda riding a turtle waving his junk to the world and looking quite austere and amused about it.. (reminds me a lot of someone i know – heh).

Chris’s day off on friday we checked out the statue of David, which i didn’t think i’d really care much about, but as with the Picasso museum in Barcelona, you suddenly get what the big deal is… There’s no way you can’t look at it and have your jaw drop at the marble marvel it is.

We spent the rest of the day eating, drinking coffee, and shopping (not for anything in particular, just as a serious learning curve as the italians know how to dress). We did come across this shoe store that was a whole level above anything we’d ever seen… a Japanese shoemaker who lives in Florence and who’s store is simply one showcase showing samples (“I make everything custom. These are just examples.”). Seriously, these shoes were *art*… they take about 6 months to make a pair, and start at about 8000euro… But just knowing they’re out there stepped up our shoe game 😛

But yeah… wandering wandering wandering in awe at the awesome. Espressos beyond dreams. Cities older than anything I’ve ever known.

Food and wine continued to blow expectations away and just got better and better (dinner one night? Antipasti plate -> Octopus Carpaccio -> Pear Raviolo -> Florintine Steak… omnomnomomg)

Hanging out with Chris’ crew keeps getting better, travelling w/ chris keeps getting better, I’ve got the work/tourist thing in balance, and we continue living our dream of seeing the world without going broke in the process.

Don’t really know what else to say except life is good, and any chance you get to trip around Italy, jump at it… not sure if life’ll really be the same afterwards.

(note: gallery is too big to post all thumbs… click next button below to see more…)

Now back to Vancouver for a couple weeks of adventure, dj-gigs and appointments before I take off next…

La vita è buona.
🙂