Okay, I am past my prickliness from last week and excited to share one of the many things I love about living here in Florence – the “passeggiata.” While this literally means “a walk,” it’s really so much more. The passeggiata is the time when everyone in the community is out and about – walking, chatting, stopping at bars for drinks and snacks, meeting up to enjoy a gelato (yay – more excuses to eat gelato!), and basically unwinding from the day. This is pretty much a nightly event, which gives even a work-night the feel of a festival. I have never lived anywhere where you can go out on the town at 9:00 on a Tuesday night and enjoy such a jovial and family-friendly atmosphere. To be honest, until now, we were most likely to be on the couch watching t.v. at 9:00 p.m. on a Tuesday (or most any day). I love walking around this town at that time of the evening – it is such a fantastic novelty!
While I think the evening walk is most appropriately termed a “passesggiata,” anytime is a great time to saunter around town. It is still amazing what we get to see on a daily basis – famous art and architecture, outdoor markets, people from literally everywhere in the world, and more. It is really impossible to describe the richness of a simple stroll. So, instead of telling you about a walk through town, I will “show” you around. (You may have noticed that you rarely get an up-close view of individual folks in my blog (other than us) – that is because I have decided not to include clear facial photos of folks unless I ask their permission first (like the proprietors of the places we’ve eaten), so more photos of things than people is the result).
Below are shots (in this order) of the Duomo (famous landmark by Brunelleschi, c. 1436); the Saturday market in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziate (another Brunelleschi creation and where the roundels, or “mummy-babies” are); Santa Croce Church (I walk right past this on the way to my new Italian language school every day!); the Ponte Vecchio (as I mentioned in an earlier post, the only bridge not blown up by Hitler’s troops); a beautiful carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica (a great place for an evening stroll, complete with street musicians); and just a random shot down any street with a peak-a-boo view of the top of the Duomo. Pretty impressive scenery, no?!