We strolled through the Galleria Vittorio Enanuels and admired the high fashion. I found a painting by a local artist that I would like to purchase but with the 40% add-on for the devalued dollar it is going to take some further consideration. We will be back in Milan at the end of our journey so maybe maybe-not.
We are now on the train traveling from Milan to Florence; yes we mastered the train system as well as the subway and trolley. Nita and I are becoming proud world travelers even though we only speak English. We have found true what we were told in China, “Find a young person, they’ll speak English.” After a two and a half hour train ride we were in Florence; we pulled our rolling suitcases through the web of stone covered streets to find or apartment two blocks off the Arno River amongst an assortment of fine retail shops. Number 17 Via DellaVignia Nuova greeted us with two 12 foot by 3 foot heavy wood locked doors, a buzz on button SCS and an electronic lock was released, and we pulled out suitcases into a dimly lit entry to a fine restaurant that would not open for another four hours. At the end of the entry we found a steel gate with another electronic lock that gaining us entry to a staircase leading to a group of ten apartments in our 400 year old home for the next two weeks.
Our apartment sits on the third floor; the home of four centuries “Unclaimed Italian Art.” Rather than attempt to describe this collection of marble, canvas and oil, porcelain and bronze, I will let my pictures fill your mind with the same clutter that we will be living with along with Nita’s cousins Donn and his wife Linda, and Bill and a family friend Joyce. This adventure was organized by Bill and if we all still like each other at the end may become an annual gathering that might draw more of the cousins.
We left the apartment at six and walked along the river, turned on Vai del Proconsolo and found a restaurant on Plazza Della Signoria . Dinner was pizza, salad, red wine, spirited conversation, and laughs. We then explored the streets until we found ourselves on the Plazza della Repubblica. We noticed a gathering of photographers, film crews and bystanders in the center of the Plazza and joined them to see what was going on or who was commanding all the attention. As we arrived three sets of headlights drove onto the Plazza came to a stop in front of the cameras. Three new Farrari’s rested then revved their engines to a guttural grawl to the delight of the onlookers. We never did determine what brought them to the Plazza, but it was a nice welcome to Florence for two car lovers. (called Gear Heads in some circles)