Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Solitary Walk


Sometimes hanging out is fun and sometimes exploring the city on my own is fun too. 

Before I arrived in the city, I thought that with all of the museums in this city, I would be spending everyday visiting a new one. But, as I have discovered, all of Florence is a museum. Each alleyway and street, each bridge and each neighborhood, have a long history and definite character. My favorite thing about Florence has been getting lost with the help of a map. Meaning, having some idea of where I am and then just going with the flow of things.
Yesterday, was just such a day. After our morning visit around the medieval city, I took off on my own to cross the Arno and walk around the other bank of Florence, which I prefer. It is said, and I felt immediately upon my first visit there, the other bank of the river is more authentically Italian. 
I walked across the Ponte Santa Trinita, then into the neighborhood. I bought a huge green fig at a little corner market. Washed it in a fountain. Why not? 

Porcini mushrooms I saw in the shop

And then walked where the mood struck me. Although I was tired, this included hiking up a 45 degree angle road to see what the ancient medieval wall lining it lead to, and what the beautiful walled garden and buildings perched on one of the hills overlooking Florence looked like. I wasn't disappointed. Everyone I met spoke Italian. There were no tourists. It was beautiful.

Here is an ivy covered wall in this ancient neighborhood

A walled garden

 Beautiful terra-cotta building

 An old medieval street

 Another street in this neighborhood. Check out the Tabernacle of the Virgin Mary next to the balcony.

Another tabernacle (detail)
After my brief exploration of this area, I walked down to the Arno and along it from the Ponte Vecchio past the Ponte Grazie to the Ponte San Niccolo.
Here is some of what I saw:

Street on the other side of the Arno. The motorbikes followed by cars (jammed together) are the typical layout of city parking. I don't know how people drive in this city!

The Uffizzi from across the Arno

View of the Ponte Vecchio

 The Skyline. I love the reflection of the buildings on the river.

 A swarm of fish along the banks of the river

The Duomo and the back side and tower of Santa Croce

Sign for the Ponte Niccolo

View of the Arno from the Ponte Niccolo facing East

View from the Ponte Niccolo facing West: Right to Left: The companile (bell tower) of the Duomo sticking up, the back side of Santa Croce, the tower of the Bargello, the Uffizzi along the river, the Palazzo Vecchio tower (sticking out), the Ponte Vecchio on the Arno in the far left distance  

My favorite part of this solitary walk (besides the men kayaking on the river) was a Mama Finch feeding her baby, who hopped on my shoe on his way down to the bank. It had its mouth open for feeding and its Mama jumped back and forth to find crumbs that she could feed it. It brought a smile to my heart :)

1 comment:

  1. I want the one with ham and mushroom, could you bring back one :-)