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Florence, day 4

Set out after breakfast (well, at 9:45, not trying to move teenagers too early) to the one synagogue in Florence. Moorish style, built in 19 th century after the Emancipation in 1861 when Jews became citizens and no longer needed to build hidden temples. Survived the German occupation in WWIi, even saving the Torah scrolls by hiding them, but most were then destroyed in the 1966 flood. High water mark still visible inside at about 6 ft or so up the wall. Small museum on second floor.

Spotted a ceramic shop and diverted to buy a small dish (R) for dipping olive oil, and a cat-themed tile (me).

Next to Galileo Museum, actually a focused science museum with some instruments used by Galileo. Lots of really cool historical stuff, especially on time-keeping and astronomy, also physics topics. Seriously expensive displays in the interactive section, but without as much interpretive material as I'd like.

Lunch at restaurant recommended by a friend of L's, on Via dell'Agnolo, called La Vinaina. Family operation that appeared to be mother-daughter, making plain Tuscan food. I had tortellini with prosciutto and cream, which was nicely done. The panna cotta with chocolate sauce wasn't so, with too much gelatin.

Split up after lunch: R and mom went back to the market for one more item, then to hotel. Rest of us started towards Piazza della Republica, stopped back at Cantinetta del Verrazzano for cookies for the train tomorrow, more for immediate consumption, plus cake pieces ditto for others. The kids then split off to go to the hotel via the market, and Brian and I walked to Piazza Santa Maria Novella, took a look at the church exterior, then made our own way to the hotel arriving in time to make a cup of tea and join B and L as they ate their cake.

Downtime spent napping, Internet surfing, etc, then went down the block to a small Chinese restaurant, Tang, for dinner at 7:45. Crowded into a corridor space between the kitchen hatch and the bathroom, but nonetheless had a good dinner. Some communication issues, as with getting a chicken with bamboo shoots and black mushrooms instead of cashews, but other than lackluster spring rolls the dishes were good. Steamed pork dumplings, shrimp with noodles (very fine noodles), fiery duck in soy sauce, salt and pepper spareribs, a specialty beef dish that might have had black bean sauce and cumin, and the chicken.

Back to hotel and a sort of second Christmas organized by Robbie, mostly to make sure each of the kids got some *things* instead of all cash. A.L. and B. went to bed, L. tried to get stick-in-the-mud adults to go in search of New Years celebrations. I finally went with her on a brief walk at around 11, we encountered enough drunk young men roving in packs to be uncomfortable, and came back in 15 minutes or less. There were 5 or so concerts around in various piazzas, but I wasn't headed that far or into that big a crowd. Stick-in-the-mud....


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
Bonnie says, wow, you are in Florence
I'm enjoying reading about your travels in Italy.
I especially thought it was interesting that you saw the 6 foot high water mark from the 1966 flood in Florence.
Happy New Year, Nancy,
Jan. 3rd, 2013 01:12 am (UTC)
I am terribly sorry you didn't get to eat at Il Pirato, judging by your food comments in Florence. Diane liked the gelato best at a little place just south of the west side of the Baptistry, also the chocolate a bit east and north of the east end of the Duomo, listed as best by Lonely Planet. And also sorry about how crowded the Uffizi was. Have you ever considered taking an art history course post-college, or just not enough interest? I've never had any interest in doing my own fine arts work, just needlepoint & knitting, neither of which is at the Art level, though others' output can be. Hotel Cellai sounds like Hotel Columba spends less on decorating but has better breakfast.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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